Misrepresenting choice biographies? A reply to Woodman
Journal of Youth Studies, 13, (1), . (doi:10.1080/13676260903233720).
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This paper provides a reply to Woodman's (2009) recent argument that youth studies often incorrectly attribute the concept of 'choice biographies' to the work of Ulrich Beck. Drawing heavily on Beck's own words, this paper contends that youth researchers might not be making this association unduly. Consideration is paid to some conceptual issues outlined by Will Atkinson, which Woodman has not appeared to consider, that challenge Beck's rejection of the relevance of structural analysis. Further, a review of some empirical evidence countering Beck's theory of 'individualization' suggests that 'middle-ground' positions in youth sociology can arguably be justified. Finally, it is proposed that Woodman's defence of Beck is partly a reflection of an alignment of focus between Beck's theoretical repertoire and Woodman's preferred method for understanding the youth period - the concept of generation.
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