This paper the concept of risk as applied to an understanding of the nature and changing relationship between social welfare and youth in the United Kingdom. The paper begins by drawing on the sociological work of Ulrich Beck (1992) in order to examine how changes in modern society have led to what has been coined the ‘risk society’. The paper then assesses historical narratives of social welfare which positioned younger individuals in society. The paper moves attention to examining neo-liberalism in contemporary times as a key feature of the ‘risk society’ and the recasting of the state, welfare agents and younger people. In particular, the paper observes the rise of managerialism and consumer narratives that are central to neo-liberalism and management of social welfare yet are indicative of risk. The paper concludes by arguing for an interface between risk and a critical sociology of youth.
International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences (Volume 18)