What’s the problem (represented to be) in Finnish youth policies and youth support systems?

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Young people's unemployment and social exclusion - the so-called 'youth problem' - is one of the main focuses in Finnish youth policies. We examine youth policies and youth support systems by applying a framework of policy analysis developed by Carol Bacchi. We ask 1) what kind of problematisations in youth policies and their implementations produce this 'youth problem' in Finland, 2) what are the assumptions behind these problematisations, and 3) what are the similarities and differences of these problematisations in youth policies and their implementations? We analyse youth policy documents and ethnographic and interview data from two youth support systems: One-stop Guidance Centres and outreach youth work. We suggest that both the policies and their implementations produce two discourses: the lack of young people's participation in economic activities, and the immaturity of young people. We also conclude that these discourses are attached to two contradictory ways of governing: neoliberal and paternalistic governing.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Studies in Sociology of Education
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)264-283
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 516 Educational sciences
  • Governing
  • youth policy
  • youth support systems
  • neoliberalism
  • WPR policy analysis

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