Jacqueline Kennelly (auth.)'s Citizen Youth: Culture, Activism, and Agency in a Neoliberal PDF

By Jacqueline Kennelly (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0230119611

ISBN-13: 9780230119611

ISBN-10: 1349290327

ISBN-13: 9781349290321

ISBN-10: 4620113034

ISBN-13: 9784620113036

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Extra resources for Citizen Youth: Culture, Activism, and Agency in a Neoliberal Era

Example text

Instead, I seek within these pages to generate understanding about “the activist” as a deeply gendered, classed and racialized category. This is not to suggest that individual young people engaged in activist practices are not motivated by ideals of freedom, democracy, or morality more generally; however, my argument is that those who are able to take up this identity are located as such within a specific class, gender and “race” imaginary (as well as, in different although connected ways, an imaginary influenced by assumptions about ability and sexuality).

That is, “tolerance” has become a new form of governmentalized morality, where individual subjects are expected to behave in particular ways and espouse particular views, while leaving in place state structures that are actually at the root of social inequalities. Following Brown, I am suggesting here that discourses of “youth citizenship,” and the desirable qualities that are attached to this status—which is not about legal belonging within a state but rather about identity and characteristics seen as valuable by the state—function as a form of governmentality designed simultaneously to shore up state power and disperse potential threats to that power.

It is not to suggest a predictive capacity of history, but to paint a broader picture, in order to bring a more nuanced appreciation of the multiple influences that shape the present day. As Jocelyn Létourneau (2006) points out, education and its history can become “intellectual crutches” that individuals use to “help them understand the world in its past and present, and to anticipate its future as well” (71). ). In other words, how have the historical and educational inculcation of values and norms associated with the “good citizen” come to shape the C ons t ruc t i ng t h e G o od You t h C i t i z e n 35 manner in which youth activists are viewed by the world, and view themselves?

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Citizen Youth: Culture, Activism, and Agency in a Neoliberal Era by Jacqueline Kennelly (auth.)


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