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Educating Youth

Educating Youth
Regulation through Psychosocial Skilling in India

  • R. Maithreyi - Strategic Lead of the Adolescent Thematic in the Karnataka Health Promotion Trust, India

August 2021 | 296 pages | SAGE India
Educating Youth: Regulation through Psychosocial Skilling in India studies the rise in skill-based developmental interventions for young people that aim to harness youth potential. Tracing these changes to the neoliberalization of education and training globally, this book discusses how a range of training programs, from social and personality development skills to employability and vocational skills, seek to cultivate an ethic of self-responsibility through skilling, to overcome structural disadvantage among the marginalized youth.

Examining one such form of training in depth, Life Skills Education or LSE, that is advocated by international organizations, such as WHO and UNICEF, and popularized in India by various actors---from the state departments of education to local non-governmental organisations and middle-class citizens—this book shows how these programmes get adapted and modified within the Indian context. It demonstrates how authoritarian adult–child relations, caste inequalities and rote culture inflect the messages for self-development that the programmes transmit. Discussing the impact of these psychosocial skilling programmes observed in the Indian context, the book reflects on the cultural disconnects and internal limitations of liberal, progressive and experiential pedagogies in achieving intended outcomes.
Introduction: Framing Youth in Contemporary Times
The Skilling Economy and Youth at Risk
Cultures of Schooling in India
Schooling, Skilling and a Range of Actors Redefining ‘Educated Youth’
Life Skills Education as Pedagogies of ‘Discipline’
Ends of Discipline: Curricular Transactions and Social Reproduction of Identities
Cultural Disconnects and the Possibilities for Subject Formation

Combining nuanced ethnographic insights with rich theoretical perspectives, this book represents the contradictory positioning of India’s youth as either ‘population dividend’ or as masses of troublemakers. As Maithreyi explicates, ‘life-skills’ training for disadvantaged youth entails attempts to fit them into the dominant class and cultural capital apparatus and the subsequent rendering of life-skills training as meaningless to their life-worlds. The book will be a landmark study that provides insights into the trajectories of mainstream education, the misplaced orientation that overlooks the agency of youth and the personal disorientation and systemic distortions that ensue. A mustread for all educationists and education policymakers.

Professor A. R. Vasavi
Social Anthropologist

In this brilliant new study, Maithreyi develops a compelling argument about the role of education in the formation of youth identities. The book charts with extraordinary sophistication and clarity the changing context shaping young people’s actions as well as youth efforts to reinterpret and, sometimes, transform what it means to be young and successful. A tour de force.

Professor Craig Jeffrey
Director of the Australia India Institute and Professor of Geography, University of Melbourne, Australia

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