chapter  Chapter 3
13 Pages

Doing research in organisations

Implications of the different definitions of youth
WithJoel Robert McGregor, David Farrugia

This chapter interrogates the flexible and shifting understandings of youth that are mobilised within youth justice case management programs to discuss how definitions of youth take place through the relational practices between case manager and client. Most interpretive frameworks in juvenile justice are based on either a risk-based or governmentality-based approach. That is, research in this area either imagines young people as subjects of risk to be managed or critiques the discursive frameworks through which subjects of risk are constructed as modes of late-modern governmentality, understanding case management as the mobilisation of risk frameworks for the construction of risky subjects. Using data from research on community-based reintegration programs, this chapter will examine the forms of knowledge through which definitions of youth come about and suggest that the multiple ways in which young people are imagined in the case management of juvenile offenders escapes the current interpretive frameworks in youth research. In particular, the chapter argues that while much youth research in this area takes place through either a risk-based or governmentality-based framework, these frameworks are unable to capture the day-to-day, socially situated relational practices through which definitions of youth come about in case management practice.