Social Youth Entrepreneurship: The Potential for Youth and Community Transformation

Social Youth Entrepreneurship: The Potential for Youth and Community Transformation

Social Youth Entrepreneurship: The Potential for Youth and Community Transformation

Social Youth Entrepreneurship: The Potential for Youth and Community Transformation

Synopsis

Establishes an agenda for integrating education, social work, and small business programs to create economic opportunities for urban youth and their communities.

Excerpt

Overview

Youth are often referred to by adults as being complex to understand. Yet, are they any more complex than any other age group? I do not think so. Unfortunately, unlike adults, youth rarely have an opportunity to share their opinions or have the power to shape public opinion about themselves; this power is always in the hands of adults. Adults, having been youth at some point in their lives, are the so-called national experts on youth. This bias permeates much of how youth profiles and perceptions are shaped in this and countless other countries in the world and, as a result, shapes society's efforts to address youth needs and concerns. the ultimate results of this bias, needless to say, are disastrous, with society shortchanging the potential contributions of youth (Walker, 2001).

Youth policies in the United States have often been characterized as fragmented, disconnected, contradictory, inadequate, antiquated, misguided, and last, but certainly not least, harmful (Academy for Educational Development, 1995). the primary systems mandated to serve youth often coexist as if in parallel universes and rarely engage in discourse or partnerships. Consequently, youth—particularly those who are further marginalized by society because of some physical trait, socioeconomic class, or sexual orientation— are not served well in this country.

Grossberg (1994, p. 34) argues that youth as a group are important in this society, yet they are also feared: [Youth is a material problem; it is body—the individual body and the social body of generations—that has to be properly . . .

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