Friday 1 November 2013 9:31am
A Neoliberal Generation Leaves School
Karen Nairn, Jane Higgins and Judith Sligo
From 2003 to 2007 Nairn, Higgins and Sligo investigated what life was like for 93 young people coming to adulthood in the wake of Rogernomics. The authors conducted two interviews, one in participants’ final year of high school and another 12 months later.
The authors bring the lives, places and hopes of these young people into sharp focus. Their stories reveal the powerful psychic and material impacts of the discourses of neoliberalism, which obscure the structural basis of inequalities and insist that failure to achieve standard transitions is the result of personal inadequacy. They show how institutions drawing on deficit discourses create additional barriers for those who are ‘other’ – often young Pasifika and Maori, and young working-class women and men. But they show, too, how ordinary lives can be inspirational, and reveal the ways young people attempt to work and re-work the possibilities, opportunities and constraints of their times. The stories are authentic and hard-hitting. This book is a must for anyone who is interested to understand what it means to be a young person in contemporary times.
KAREN NAIRN is a professor at the University of Otago College of Education; JANE HIGGINS is a senior researcher at Lincoln University; JUDITH SLIGO works at the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Research Unit.
Paperback, 210 x 148 mm, 196 pages, ISBN 978 1 877578 18 2, $45.00
Out of print