Understanding youth exclusion: critical moments, social networks and social capital

Tracy A Shildrick, Robert MacDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper reviews some key findings from research in North East England that was based on young people's accounts of growing up in poor neighbourhoods. The studies were neither youth policy evaluations nor investigations of the potential of mentoring. In focussing, however, on the role of 'critical moments', social capital and social networks in shaping youth transitions, the paper highlights questions that are relevant to professional work with young people in the context of social exclusion. It identifies two examples of positive professional practice that assisted young adults in turning away from destructive lifestyles and transitions. It concludes, though, that even the proliferation of this sort of best practice would be unable to reverse the longer-term, deeper set processes of collective downward social mobility and economic marginalisation experienced by informants.
Original languageEnglish
JournalYouth & Policy
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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