Governing suburban youth: discourses on suburbs, parents and other subjects in multi-ethnic Sweden

Magnus Dahlstedt, Vanja Lozic, Kenneth Petersson

    Forskningsoutput: KonferensbidragSammanfattning

    Sammanfattning

    The paper focuses on current debates on youth in deprived suburbs in Sweden. In the article, interviews withrepresentatives of different organisations involved in managing the situation of suburban youth are analysed. One recurring theme in the interviews is problem discourses representing the parent as a problem. Departing from Foucault´s understanding of governmentality, we analyse the construction of problems, problematization, and solutions, as depicted by the interviewees. The main problematizations are the deficiency of urban space, dysfunctional family relations and parents as passive and culturally different. On the basis of such problematizations the interviewees propose solutions in various ways fostering the parents to become responsible and active subjects, who have internalised current norms and values. In the article, these problematizations are set in genealogical perspective, through relating them to other historical discourses: namely the Philanthropic discourse of poor relief and the policing of families during the late 19th  century and the discourse of problematic suburban youth in the 1980s. These different historical situations illustrate both similarities and differences in the problematizations of the early 2000s. With adopting this genealogical approach we do not claim  that history repeats itself unchanged, but rather we wish to investigate how historical discourses are re-­‐activated and acquire new meanings in new historical epochs. An important conclusion in the article is that the way of developing solutions to the problems of suburban youth in the early 2000s tends to focus on the transformation of individual parents, while structural dimensions get out of focus. What appears is a desire to foster parents and thus to produce a certain kind of subject, namely an active, responsible and cooperative individual, involved in the local community. Such a desire isboth similar and different from the desire found in the late 19th Century and in the 1980s.

    Konferens

    KonferensParenting and Personhood: Cross-cultural perspectives on family-life, expertise, and risk management Thursday 23 and Friday 24 June 2016, Canterbury, Kent, UK
    Period80-01-01 → …

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