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Youth Work, Welfare and the State

  • Tony Jeffs
  • Mark Smith
Chapter

Abstract

The state, both local and central, has long involved itself in the daily lives of young people. Indeed, one of the principal motivations underpinning both the creation and the maintenance of the Welfare State has been a desire to secure the future well-being of the nation via the production of a fit, educated and socially responsible new generation. Within the context of the contemporary world, with its interweaving patterns of competition, both military and commercial, no nation state dare risk entrusting the education, health or moral training of the ‘new generation’ to the uncontrolled whims and vagaries of the family, the voluntary sector or the market. As Tawney so eloquently expressed it, this function is crucial, for:

Historians tell us that decadent societies have been revivified through the irruption of new races. In England a new race of nearly 900,000 souls bursts upon us every year. They stand on the threshold with the world at their feet, like barbarians gazing upon the time-worn plains of an ancient civilisation (1914).

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Copyright information

© Tony Jeffs and Mark Smith 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tony Jeffs
  • Mark Smith

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