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    Making the waste count: a contribution to the political economy of youth

    Pais, Alexandre (2022) Making the waste count: a contribution to the political economy of youth. Youth and Globalization, 3 (2). pp. 403-421. ISSN 2589-5737

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    This article contributes to the debate on the political economy of youth by exploring elements of Lacanian psychoanalysis and Marxian theory in the context of youth participation. It will be argued that the mechanisms deployed to support youth participation are part of a university discourse that functions as to guarantee that youth is not wasted but is instead assimilated into the functioning of capitalist political economy. Elements from a large European project will be used to illustrate the modus operandi of this discourse, together with an exploration of Lacan’s notion of jouissance as an important construct to understand the motivations behind young people’s participation in formal settings. The article finishes with a set of remarks about our own role as researchers in the way we enjoy the same economic system that we so often criticise.

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