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Youth in a Suspect Society: Democracy or Disposability?


This book argues that with the rise of market fundamentalism and the ensuing economic and financial crisis, youth are facing a crisis unlike that of any other generation. With the collapse of the welfare state, youth are no longer seen as a social investment but as troubling and, in some cases, disposable, especially poor minority youth. Caught between the discourses of consumerism and a powerful crime-control-complex, young people are increasingly either viewed as commodities or are subjected to the dictates of an ever expanding criminal justice system. Constructing a new analytic of youth, Giroux explores the current conditions of young people and their everyday experiences within this emerging crime complex, a politics of disposability, and the ever present market-driven forces of commercialization and commodification. Drawing upon the work of theorists such as Zygmunt Bauman, Judith Butler, Agamben, Foucault, and others as a theoretical foundation for addressing the growth of a rigid market fundamentalism and a punishing state, Giroux explores both the increasing militarization and commercialization of schools and other public spheres, and what can happen to a society in which young people are increasingly portrayed as dangerous and, hence, no longer appear to be a referent for a democratic future. But Giroux does more than examine the implications this new war on youth has for American society, he also analyses the role that educators, parents, intellectuals, and others can play in both challenging the plight of young people deepening and extending the promise of a better future and a sustainable and viable democracy.http: // Hide synopsis

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