The Concepts Of At Risk And Risk Of Young People 's Lives Essay

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The concepts of ‘at-risk’ and ‘risk’ are prominent in much of the literature on the sociology of youth. The objective of this essay is to explore the positive and negative sides of focusing on risk in young people’s lives, and contend that although the concepts may help us to understand youth behaviours, there is a need to be cautious in its implementation, as they carry a number of implicit assumptions. Firstly, the approaches of ‘at-risk’ and ‘risk taking’ are defined; in order to understand the different ways the concepts are related to young people. These positive aspects include of the identification of ‘at-risk’ youth for prevention measures and Stephen Lyng’s edgework notion to comprehend individuals’ voluntary ‘risk taking’. Secondly, discussions the usefulness of the concepts in promoting our comprehension of young individuals’ behaviours are provided. Lastly, limitations of the approaches are discussed to highlight the precautions needed when applying the concepts, as it may lead to placing the blame on ‘at-risk’ youth, higher degree of scrutiny for young women than their men and the normalised assumption on behalf of the ‘risk taking’ notion.
The concepts of ‘at-risk’ and ‘risk taking’
There are two main concepts in the literatures of the sociology of youth, which linked risk and young people together. The first concept is ‘at-risk’ and the term is often used to identify or describe young people who, due to difficulties and disadvantaged situations,
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