Comfort radicalism and NEETs: a conservative praxis

Journal article


Avis, James 2014. Comfort radicalism and NEETs: a conservative praxis. International Studies in Sociology of Education. 24 (3), pp. 272-289. https://doi.org/10.1080/09620214.2014.943030
AuthorsAvis, James
Abstract

Young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) are construed by policy-makers as a pressing problem about which something should be done. Such young people’s lack of employment is thought to pose difficulties for wider society in relation to social cohesion and inclusion, and it is feared that they will become a ‘lost generation’. This paper draws upon English research, seeking to historicise the debate whilst acknowledging that these issues have a much wider purchase. The notion of NEETs rests alongside longstanding concerns of the English state and middle classes, addressing unruly male working-class youth as well as the moral turpitude of working class girls. Waged labour and domesticity are seen as a means to integrate such groups into society thereby generating social cohesion. The paper places the debate within it socio-economic context and draws on theorisations of cognitive capitalism, Italian workerism, as well as emerging theories of antiwork to analyse these. It concludes by arguing that ‘radical’ approaches to NEETs that point towards inequities embedded in the social structure and call for social democratic solutions veer towards a form of comfort radicalism. Such approaches leave in place the dominance of capitalist relations as well as productivist orientations that celebrate waged labour.

KeywordsGeneral Social Sciences; Education
Year2014
JournalInternational Studies in Sociology of Education
Journal citation24 (3), pp. 272-289
PublisherInforma UK Limited
ISSN0962-0214
1747-5066
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/09620214.2014.943030
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/625300
hdl:10545/625300
Publication dates29 Jul 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited28 Oct 2020, 11:47
Accepted08 Jun 2014
ContributorsUniversity of Huddersfield
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