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Young People and Well-being: Views from Britain. Dr. Jonathan Hadley 14 November 2011 House of Sciences Helsinki. Note on sources: Presentation based on UK’s Open University material ’Young people’s wellbeing’: http :// openlearn.open.ac.uk/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=397505&section=2.2

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Young people and well being views from britain

Young People and Well-being:Views from Britain

Dr. Jonathan Hadley

14 November 2011

House of Sciences

Helsinki

Note on sources:

Presentation based on UK’s Open University material ’Young people’s wellbeing’:

http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=397505&section=2.2

in particular, content of slides 3, 8-11, 15, 18-25.

Additional material developed by presenter (slides 2, 5-7, 14, 16-17, 26-28).

Accompanying images independently obtained via thematic internet image search


Wellbeing a new word in the politics of fairness

’Wellbeing’: A new word in the politics of fairness?

”Top pay has been found to bear little or no relation to company performance, but even if it did, isn’t the performance of a company dependent on the work and wellbeing of all its staff? ...

... Among the ill effects of very large income differences between rich and poor are that they weaken community life and make societies less cohesive.”

The archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, on the ’scandalous unfairness of our society’ due to financial sector ecxesses.

Speaking in support of Occupy protestors camped outside St Paul’s Cathedral, London since 13 Oct.

(Reported in the Guardian, 5 November 2011)

(Image: Lewis Whyld/PA, Guardian 5 Nov 2011)


Health well being

HEALTH & WELL-BEING

WELL-BEING as:

physical, mental & emotional HEALTH

(Generic policy term today)

HEALTH as:

physical, mental & social WELL-BEING

(from WHO definition of Health, 1948)

WELL-BEING as beyond medical: to achievement.

But how is SOCIAL being replaced by EMOTIONAL?


Health well being1

Health & well-being

A DESIRED SOCIAL CONDITION?


Language use distinctions

LANGUAGE USE & DISTINCTIONS

(’HYVINVOINTI’: Welfare/Well-being as same?)

English dictionaries:

Both as ’good health, happiness & prosperity’

Welfare: external provision of care/money

Well-being: independent means of support

’Well-being’ = Laughter: a desired social condition

’Welfare’ = Misery: for those not doing ’well’


Young people and well being views from britain

’The Bull’s Eye’ (1872) by Gustave Doré.

THE DANGEROUS ’WELFARE’ CLASSES?


21st century well being entry into uk policy

21st Century ’WELL-BEING’:ENTRY INTO UK POLICY

Local Government Act 2000

(extended to Local Councils in 2009)

’Well-being power’

(via required ’Community Strategies’).

”To promote or improve the economic, social or environmental well-being of their area...”

Social model recognising role of socio-economic disadvantage in individual experiences of physical/mental health


Health well being2

Health & well-being

IMPOSSIBLE PURSUIT OF PERFECTION?


Young people and well being views from britain

FOREVER DISSATISFIED WITH CURRENT HEALTH


Young people and well being views from britain

PROMOTING HEALTHY LIFE-STYLE CHOICES


Young people and well being views from britain

INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY


Young people and well being views from britain

WELL-BEING AS A COMMODITY


Young people and well being views from britain

COMMERCIAL TARGETS OF WELL-BEING?


Uk well being policy application to young people

UK Well-Being Policy: APPLICATION TO YOUNG PEOPLE

CHILDREN ACT 2004

Requires Children’s Services to promote the well-being of children (under 18 yr olds) via local statutory partnerships

’Well-being’ relates to:

Physical and mental health and emotional well-being

Protection from harm and neglect

Education, training and recreation

The contribution made by them to society

Social and economic well-being

Reflects five desired outcomes of the 2003 Youth Strategy


2003 youth strategy five desired outcomes

2003 Youth Strategy -Five desired outcomes:

BEING HEALTHY: enjoying good physical health and emotional well-being

STAYING SAFE: being protected from harm and neglect

ENJOYING & ACHIEVING: getting the most out of life and developing the skills for adulthood

MAKING A POSITIVE CONTRIBUTION: being involved in the community and society and not engaging in anti-social or offending behaviour

ECONOMIC WELL-BEING: not being prevented by economic disadvantage from achieving their full potential in life.


Young people and well being views from britain

21st CENTURY ’ASBO’ = 19th CENTURY ’YOB’


Young people and well being views from britain

WELL-BEING AS POLICING ’WELFARE’ YOUTH?


Popular concerns about young people s well being

POPULAR CONCERNS ABOUTYOUNG PEOPLE’S WELL-BEING

MEDIA REPRESENTATION:

The unfit teenager: over-weight, indoors, junk food.

Risky behaviour: sexual activity, drug use, binge drinking.

The anxious teenager: pressure to perform/get good job.

Narrates a general decline in young people’s well-being


Young people and well being views from britain

POPULAR CONCERNS: ’THE COUCH POTATO KID’


Media images

Media Images

Depression, eating disorders, addiction, self-harm, street violence – as seemingly endemic

Important to understand because:

Influences & impacts on young people’s perceptions of themselves and their behaviour.

As well as policy makers and practitioners over their health and behaviour.


Critical reflection

Critical Reflection

Healthism: Well-being as gendered

Young women’s mediated pursuit of ’fit’ & ’thin’

Disadvantage: Well-being as a class issue

Ill-health in areas of disadvantage affects achievement

Mental Health: gender and ethnicty

Young men’s conduct disorder & suicide rates

Young black men suffer institutional/individual racism


Promoting well being the resilient child

PROMOTING WELL-BEING:The Resilient Child

Mental Health Foundation 1999

’Positive factors’ in reducing health risks:

Good communication skills... Sense of humour... Religious faith... Ability to reflect... At least one good parent-child relationship... Affection... Peaceful family environment... Appropriate and consistent discipline... Family support of education... Community support networks... Good housing... High standard of living... Sports and leisure activities... High morale in school (with a safe and disciplined environment alongside academic and vocational opportunities...) ... ... ...


Criticism of resilience model

CRITICISM OF RESILIENCE MODEL

Emphasis on personal skills or social environment

depends on political priorities of government

WELFARIST

Prioritise tackling child

Poverty. Provide access to

education & employment

INDIVIDUALIST

Reduce state spending

to encourage personal

competitive market skills

The neo-liberal ’healthy teenager ’ model

favours individualist over welfarist approaches


Neo liberal areas of attention emotionality spirituality

Neo-liberal areas of attention:EMOTIONALITY & SPIRITUALITY

Emotionality (in schools programmes since 1990s):

Cultivation of emotively competent ’self’ optimises ability to achieve and contribute.

But risks individualising problem, away from social level.

Spirituality (Faith-based welfare initiatives since 1990s):

Powerful resource for people with mental health needs, promenant in multicultural societies for depression.

But can deny importance of healthy scepticism in adolesence

What of illiberal attitudes in some religions?

More conducive to passive consumer than political citizen?


In summary

In SUMMARY

Individualist interpretations of ’well-being’ contribute to a neo-liberal discourse of self-determination and responsibility.

This overlooks complex social power relations that shape they way young people are positioned and feel about themselves in society.

Be careful not to allow the term ’well-being’ to negatively and selectively redefine the term ’welfare’ as a problem in favour of individualism.

Be critical: challenge the social structures that selectively prevent the well-being of some sections of society more than others.

Politically campaign for social and institutional reforms to allow the promotion of well-being as both social prosperity and social justice.

Beware the constraints of neo-liberalism on the pursuit of social well-being.


Been here before

BEEN HERE BEFORE?

Aim of the Scout Movmenent:

’The mental, physical and spiritual development of young people.’

Emphasis on self-reliance, personal achievement, community contribution.

Back to Edwardian Britain and concerns over young people, gangs and the future?

Lord Robert Baden-Powell, 1929.


Median ages by country 2009

Median Ages by Country, 2009

Source: CIA world factbook 2009 via www.wikipedia.org (population pyramid)

accessed 24 Oct 2011


World population 2011 7 billion

World’s ’7 billionth baby’, Danica Camacho. Born 31/10/2011 in the Phillipines. (Getty Images)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/31/seven-billionth-baby-born-philippines

World Population 2011: 7 Billion

Global Wellbeing – Global Welfare


Thank you

THANK YOU

[email protected]


World population 7 billion

World Population: 7 Billion

Source: UN Population Division via www.guardian.co.uk. accessed 24 Oct 2011


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