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Societies 2012, 2(3), 195-209; doi:10.3390/soc2030195
Article

Youth for Sale: Using Critical Disability Perspectives to Examine the Embodiment of ‘Youth’

Received: 26 October 2011; in revised form: 22 August 2012 / Accepted: 30 August 2012 / Published: 13 September 2012
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Abstract: ‘Youth’ is more complicated than an age-bound period of life; although implicitly paired with developmentalism, youth is surrounded by contradictory discourses. In other work [1], I have asserted that young people are demonized as risky and rebellious, whilst simultaneously criticized for being lazy and apathetic; two intertwining, yet conflicting discourses meaning that young people’s here-and-now experiences take a backseat to a focus on reaching idealized, neoliberal adulthood [2]. Critical examination of adulthood ideals, however, shows us that ‘youthfulness’ is itself presented as a goal of adulthood [3–5], as there is a desire, as adults, to remain forever young [6]. As Blatterer puts it, the ideal is to be “adult and youthful but not adolescent” ([3], p. 74). This paper attempts to untangle some of the youth/adult confusion by asking how the aspiration/expectation of a youthful body plays out in the embodied lives of young dis/abled people. To do this, I use a feminist-disability lens to consider youth in an abstracted form, not as a life-stage, but as the end goal of an aesthetic project of the self that we are all (to differing degrees) encouraged to set out upon.
Keywords: youth; disability; feminist; feminist-disability; embodiment; time; crip time; sociology of childhood; commodification youth; disability; feminist; feminist-disability; embodiment; time; crip time; sociology of childhood; commodification
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Slater, J. Youth for Sale: Using Critical Disability Perspectives to Examine the Embodiment of ‘Youth’. Societies 2012, 2, 195-209.

AMA Style

Slater J. Youth for Sale: Using Critical Disability Perspectives to Examine the Embodiment of ‘Youth’. Societies. 2012; 2(3):195-209.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Slater, Jenny. 2012. "Youth for Sale: Using Critical Disability Perspectives to Examine the Embodiment of ‘Youth’." Societies 2, no. 3: 195-209.


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