IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Youth for Sale: Using Critical Disability Perspectives to Examine the Embodiment of ‘Youth’


  • Jenny Slater

    () (Room 10110, Arundel Building, Sheffield Hallam University, 122 Charles Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S1 2NE, UK)


‘Youth’ is more complicated than an age-bound period of life; although implicitly paired with developmentalism, youth is surrounded by contradictory discourses. In other work [1], I have asserted that young people are demonized as risky and rebellious, whilst simultaneously criticized for being lazy and apathetic; two intertwining, yet conflicting discourses meaning that young people’s here-and-now experiences take a backseat to a focus on reaching idealized, neoliberal adulthood [2]. Critical examination of adulthood ideals, however, shows us that ‘youthfulness’ is itself presented as a goal of adulthood [3–5], as there is a desire, as adults, to remain forever young [6]. As Blatterer puts it, the ideal is to be “adult and youthful but not adolescent” ([3], p. 74). This paper attempts to untangle some of the youth/adult confusion by asking how the aspiration/expectation of a youthful body plays out in the embodied lives of young dis/abled people. To do this, I use a feminist-disability lens to consider youth in an abstracted form, not as a life-stage, but as the end goal of an aesthetic project of the self that we are all (to differing degrees) encouraged to set out upon.

Suggested Citation

  • Jenny Slater, 2012. "Youth for Sale: Using Critical Disability Perspectives to Examine the Embodiment of ‘Youth’," Societies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(3), pages 1-15, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsoctx:v:2:y:2012:i:3:p:195-209:d:20067

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jayne Raisborough & Matt Adams, 2008. "Mockery and Morality in Popular Cultural Representations of the White Working Class," Sociological Research Online, Sociological Research Online, vol. 13(6), pages 1-2.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    youth; disability; feminist; feminist-disability; embodiment; time; crip time; sociology of childhood; commodification;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • P - Economic Systems
    • P0 - Economic Systems - - General
    • P1 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems
    • P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies
    • P3 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions
    • P4 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems
    • P5 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gam:jsoctx:v:2:y:2012:i:3:p:195-209:d:20067. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (XML Conversion Team). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.