School-to-work transition services: marginalising 'disposable' youth in a state of exception?

Chadderton, C and Colley, H (2012) 'School-to-work transition services: marginalising 'disposable' youth in a state of exception?' Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 33 (3). pp. 329-343. ISSN 0159-6306

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Disadvantaged young people often inhabit a dangerous space: excluded from education, training and employment markets; constructed as disposable; and cast out as ‘human waste’ (Bauman, 2004). There are many macro-level analyses of this catastrophic trend, but this article provides insights into some of the everyday educational micro-practices which contribute to such marginalisation. It presents findings from a study of a national school-to-work transition service in England, in a context not only of neo-liberal policies but also of severe austerity measures. The data reveal processes of triage, surveillance and control – driven by governmental and institutional targets – which denied many young people access to the service, including some of the most vulnerable. Beneath a rhetoric of social inclusion, the service in fact acted as a conduit into a dangerous space of exclusion. Drawing on the work of Butler and of Agamben, the article argues innovatively that such practices may represent an encroaching state of exception, in which more or less subtle forms of governmentality are gradually being supplanted by the more overt exercise of sovereign power.

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Keywords: school-to-work transitions, youth, social exclusion, homosacer, state of exception
Divisions: School of Education
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Date Deposited: 03 May 2018 14:12
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:50
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