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"Youth in a Suspect Society: Democracy or Disposability"

Henry Giroux @ Truthout - In many ways, Youth in a Suspect Society is motivated by a sense of outrage and a sense of hope.

While youth have always represented an ambiguous category, they have within the last thirty years been under assault in unprecedented ways. The book identifies a number of forces—including unfettered free-market ideology, a dehumanizing mode of consumerism, the rise of the racially skewed punishing state, and the attack on public and higher education—that have come together to pose a threat to young people. The combined threat of these forces is so extreme it can be accurately described as a “war on youth.”

Since the late 1970s, young people have been transformed from a generation that embodied hope for the future to a generation of suspects in a society destroyed by the merging of a market-driven corporate state and the increasingly powerful punishing state. Central to this claim is the idea that the current generation of young people is no longer viewed as an important social investment or as a marker for the state of democracy and the moral life of the nation. Youth are now under assault by a number of forces, the most widespread and insidious of which are market-driven forces and pedagogies of consumption that increasingly penetrate every aspect of young people’s lives so as both to commodify them and to undercut their possibilities for critical thought, civic responsibility, and engaged citizenship. Read more.

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