Reflections on the Changing Dynamics of Youth Disadvantage and Social Exclusion: The Legacy of Andy Furlong

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 10:30
Oral Presentation
Tracy SHILDRICK, University of leeds, United Kingdom
This paper reflects on the legacy of Professor Andy Furlong on the field of youth studies and in particular, his contribution to how we understand youth exclusion. The paper looks at the breadth of Andy’s contribution but also reflects on some of the detail. In particular the paper, will reflect on the concept of the ‘epistemological fallacy’ of late modernity first published in the classic text, Young People and Social Change authored with Andy’s long-standing colleague Fred Cartmel (initially in 1997); a book which even today remains core reading on many youth degree programmes. In particular, the paper explores the continued utility of the concept in helping us to unravel the increasingly complex relationship between social structures and young people’s agency and decision-making in determining contemporary youth life experiences. At a time of increased anxiety around the prospects of the current younger generation and amidst serious economic and social challenges, and growing inequalities in countries such as the UK, these issues are ever more pressing. The paper revisits the concept of ‘epistemological fallacy’, assessing its strengths and potential weaknesses in the context of growing intra-generational and inter-generational inequalities. The paper concludes with some reflections on Andy’s wider contribution to the field of youth studies.