Following the 2008-09 Global Financial Crisis and the Great Recession in many OECD economies, young people have been disproportionately affected by unemployment, underemployment and precarious employment. The Social Enterprise based model of providing structured education and employment pathways for marginalised young people promises to break the cycle of youth unemployment. Art based social enterprises, it is argued, are highly effective at engaging marginalised young people.
The presentation will canvas some preliminary findings from an Australian based ARC research project (2017-2020) Arts Based Social Enterprise and Marginalised Young People’s Transitions. The project analyses the ways in which Art Based Social Enterprises (ASEs) facilitate and manage education and work transitions, and develop physical and mental health and well-being of marginalised young people. Through a range of methods including critical case studies and action learning, the project aims to develop complex, critical insights into a rapidly emerging and promising sector. The project is combining policy analysis, qualitative methodologies and action learning approaches to assess factors that impact marginalised young people’s transitions and health and wellbeing.
This presentation is informed by previous work that argued that social enterprise-based transitional labour-market programmes (TLMPs) can be understood, following Foucault (1988, 1991), as neo- liberal technologies of the self that promise to produce, promise to ‘make up’, a form of entrepreneurial selfhood in young people who are destined to live ‘wasted lives’ (Bauman2004) without these targeted education and training interventions. In the presentation, I will build on this work, and situate and further develop these interests in contemporary policy and academic discourses about social enterprises. The aim is to identify and make explicit the moral dimensions of the emergence of the phenomenon of social enterprise, in order to bring into view the moral dimensions of this governmental ‘turn’ to social enterprise. A turn that most explicitly hinges on diverse governmental attempts to ‘responsibilise’ an array of non-state actors in order to develop enterprising solutions to the challenges, paradoxes and contradictions faced by many millions of marginalised young people in a globalising, neo-liberal, digital, bio-genetic capitalism that is yet to engineer an exit from, or develop inclusive, socially and economically just solutions to, a Global Financial Crisis, an OECD/EU Great Recession, and the emergence of artificial intelligences, ‘algorithmic-life’, the possible disappearance of ‘meaningful’ work for large swathes of the population (young and old), and the consequences of Anthropogenic climate change.
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