As they enter the next decade, British young people are in a precarious position — demographically, economically and politically. Stereotyped by newspapers, sensationalised by marketeers and pigeon-holed by politicians, our cultural narratives about young people are not fit for purpose. It is little wonder that young people are more alienated from formal politics than at any other point in recent history. But that matters, more now than ever.
Their generation will need to work with governments to solve an array of intractable problems; from adapting to low carbon lifestyles to caring for an ageing population. But the inequality between this cohort and older generations means that politicians will have to do more than associate themselves with the trappings of youth culture to prove their relevance. They need to start taking their cue from the values and concerns of the next generation of British citizens and find a convincing way to describe the future they face.
Starting from an analysis of the attitudes of 16 – 25 year olds and some of the key trends they are living through, An Anatomy of Youth is a resource for anyone interested in what politics can do for the next generation. With a foreword from David Willets MP, new essays from Zygmunt Bauman, dana boyd, Katherine Rake, Peter Madden, Stuart White, original data from v's 'Voicebox' survey and portraits of young people, this report reveals a generation that is creating social change rather than simply experiencing it.
An Anatomy of Youth shows that the greatest asset we can give this generation is more political capital and the chance to shape the debate about the issues that will affect them tomorrow.