The effects of neoliberalism on young people and youth workers through outsourcing government services has attracted critique from multiple sources. Post-structural analysis interrogates subjectification effects of these policies on youth. However, this kind of analysis of the governmental formation of youth ought to consider the interaction between the knowledge of youth underpinning neoliberal social policy, and those employed by non-government agencies implementing them. The interaction between these two shape the reciprocal governing activity within the young person and youth worker power–knowledge relationship that, this paper will argue, is an important factor in the critique of neoliberal social policy. Young people are governed by a diverse array of knowledges developed by government, youth studies, NGOs and young people themselves. These knowledges interact, reinforce and contradict discourses of youth work. This paper focuses on a neoliberal social policy (FLO) which constructs youth as a surplus population in need of risk management, and youth workers as the producers of young workers. Furthermore, I will consider the interfering subjectification effects produced by an intake and assessment tool (Your Story) utilised by a non-government FLO provider. These discourses underpinning Your Story and FLO render young people and their workers as relational beings or economic citizens respectively.
- Youth policy