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Note on sources: Presentation based on UK’s Open University material ’Young people’s wellbeing’:

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Presentation on theme: "Note on sources: Presentation based on UK’s Open University material ’Young people’s wellbeing’:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Note on sources: Presentation based on UK’s Open University material ’Young people’s wellbeing’:§ion=2.2 in particular, content of slides 3, 8-11, 15, 18-25. Additional material developed by presenter (slides 2, 5-7, 14, 16-17, 26-28). Accompanying images independently obtained via thematic internet image search

2 ”Top pay has been found to bear little or no relation to company performance, but even if it did, isn’t the performance of a company dependent on the work and wellbeing of all its staff?...... Among the ill effects of very large income differences between rich and poor are that they weaken community life and make societies less cohesive.” The archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, on the ’scandalous unfairness of our society’ due to financial sector ecxesses. Speaking in support of Occupy protestors camped outside St Paul’s Cathedral, London since 13 Oct. (Reported in the Guardian, 5 November 2011) (Image: Lewis Whyld/PA, Guardian 5 Nov 2011)

3 WELL-BEING as: physical, mental & emotional HEALTH (Generic policy term today) HEALTH as: physical, mental & social WELL-BEING (from WHO definition of Health, 1948) WELL-BEING as beyond medical: to achievement. But how is SOCIAL being replaced by EMOTIONAL?


5 (’HYVINVOINTI’: Welfare/Well-being as same?) English dictionaries: Both as ’good health, happiness & prosperity’ Welfare: external provision of care/money Well-being: independent means of support ’Well-being’ = Laughter: a desired social condition ’Welfare’ = Misery: for those not doing ’well’

6 THE DANGEROUS ’WELFARE’ CLASSES? ’The Bull’s Eye’ (1872) by Gustave Doré.

7 Local Government Act 2000 (extended to Local Councils in 2009) ’Well-being power’ (via required ’Community Strategies’). ”To promote or improve the economic, social or environmental well-being of their area...” Social model recognising role of socio-economic disadvantage in individual experiences of physical/mental health







14 CHILDREN ACT 2004 Requires Children’s Services to promote the well-being of children (under 18 yr olds) via local statutory partnerships ’Well-being’ relates to: 1. Physical and mental health and emotional well-being 2. Protection from harm and neglect 3. Education, training and recreation 4. The contribution made by them to society 5. Social and economic well-being Reflects five desired outcomes of the 2003 Youth Strategy

15 1. BEING HEALTHY: enjoying good physical health and emotional well-being 2. STAYING SAFE: being protected from harm and neglect 3. ENJOYING & ACHIEVING: getting the most out of life and developing the skills for adulthood 4. MAKING A POSITIVE CONTRIBUTION: being involved in the community and society and not engaging in anti-social or offending behaviour 5. ECONOMIC WELL-BEING: not being prevented by economic disadvantage from achieving their full potential in life.

16 21st CENTURY ’ASBO’ = 19th CENTURY ’YOB’


18 MEDIA REPRESENTATION: The unfit teenager: over-weight, indoors, junk food. Risky behaviour: sexual activity, drug use, binge drinking. The anxious teenager: pressure to perform/get good job. Narrates a general decline in young people’s well-being


20 Depression, eating disorders, addiction, self-harm, street violence – as seemingly endemic Important to understand because: Influences & impacts on young people’s perceptions of themselves and their behaviour. As well as policy makers and practitioners over their health and behaviour.

21 Healthism: Well-being as gendered Young women’s mediated pursuit of ’fit’ & ’thin’ Disadvantage: Well-being as a class issue Ill-health in areas of disadvantage affects achievement Mental Health: gender and ethnicty Young men’s conduct disorder & suicide rates Young black men suffer institutional/individual racism

22 Mental Health Foundation 1999 ’Positive factors’ in reducing health risks: Good communication skills... Sense of humour... Religious faith... Ability to reflect... At least one good parent-child relationship... Affection... Peaceful family environment... Appropriate and consistent discipline... Family support of education... Community support networks... Good housing... High standard of living... Sports and leisure activities... High morale in school (with a safe and disciplined environment alongside academic and vocational opportunities...).........

23 WELFARIST Prioritise tackling child Poverty. Provide access to education & employment INDIVIDUALIST Reduce state spending to encourage personal competitive market skills The neo-liberal ’healthy teenager ’ model favours individualist over welfarist approaches Emphasis on personal skills or social environment depends on political priorities of government

24 Emotionality (in schools programmes since 1990s): Cultivation of emotively competent ’self’ optimises ability to achieve and contribute. But risks individualising problem, away from social level. Spirituality (Faith-based welfare initiatives since 1990s): Powerful resource for people with mental health needs, promenant in multicultural societies for depression. But can deny importance of healthy scepticism in adolesence What of illiberal attitudes in some religions? More conducive to passive consumer than political citizen?

25 Individualist interpretations of ’well-being’ contribute to a neo-liberal discourse of self-determination and responsibility. This overlooks complex social power relations that shape they way young people are positioned and feel about themselves in society. Be careful not to allow the term ’well-being’ to negatively and selectively redefine the term ’welfare’ as a problem in favour of individualism. Be critical: challenge the social structures that selectively prevent the well-being of some sections of society more than others. Politically campaign for social and institutional reforms to allow the promotion of well-being as both social prosperity and social justice. Beware the constraints of neo-liberalism on the pursuit of social well-being.

26 Aim of the Scout Movmenent: ’The mental, physical and spiritual development of young people.’ Emphasis on self-reliance, personal achievement, community contribution. Back to Edwardian Britain and concerns over young people, gangs and the future? Lord Robert Baden-Powell, 1929.

27 Source: CIA world factbook 2009 via (population pyramid) accessed 24 Oct 2011

28 World’s ’7 billionth baby’, Danica Camacho. Born 31/10/2011 in the Phillipines. (Getty Images) Global Wellbeing – Global Welfare


30 World Pop’ (Blln) Growth UK Growth China Growth USA Growth India Fastest Growth Jan 19552.6750.32%1.65%1.75%1.83%Qatar 6.16% May 19643.1940.71%1.37% 2.08%Kuwait 13.81% Nov 19905.2060.27%1.04%1.09%1.9%Djibouti 6.79% Nov 19965.7810.26%1.04%1.09%1.9%Afghanistan 6.66% Nov 20016.1870.33%0.76%1.17%1.7%Rwanda 6.81% Oct 20066.5780.53%0.54%0.97%1.52%Qatar 14.78% Oct 20116.9850.63%0.5%0.9%1.4%Qatar 10.07% Source: UN Population Division via accessed 24 Oct

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