Course Title: Risk Management and Young People

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Risk Management and Young People

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global Studies, Soc Sci & Plng


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 2 2009

Course Coordinator: Kerry Montero

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3

Course Coordinator

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course is a youth-work elective taken in either the second or third year of the program,
and will be available to non-youth-work students. The first part of the course is designed to introduce key contemporary ideas and practices about the key concept of ‘risk’ as it is as it is found at work in various categories like ‘the risk society’, ‘risk populations’, ‘youth at risk’, ‘risk management’ and ‘the science of risk’. Attention will be given to the heritage of contemporary discourses in gambling, actuarial theory statistical/mathematical calculation, insurance and deviancy theory. You will critically examine what we know about ‘youth at risk’. Students will explore how ideas and practices around risk are now embedded in a range of Disciplines, (i.e. criminology, sociology, psychology, health) and fields of practice (human services, policy making, health work). Attention is also given to how categories of risk connect to problem-setting activities and the governance of young people. The course will be designed to highlight the fact that the new language of risk and risk-based practices is of itself an expert account of particular groups/’types’ of young people. This will be observed in the context of activities designed to elicit the views and experiences of ‘youth’ deemed to fit the various risk categories, and to ask how close the experts’ accounts match young people’s own accounts of their lives.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

By the end of this course students will: develop discipline knowledge by analysing key ideas and practices related to contemporary risk discourses; appreciate how current thinking has a history that draws variously from earlier economic, statistical/mathematical and sociological ideas; understand how risk categories developed and critically analyse how their popularity connects to emotions such as fear, and a sense of security or assurance that ‘the science of risk’ promises; be able to apply these ideas and insights to youth-work practice in a range of areas; demonstrate a clear understanding of the various ways risk discourses are themselves often part of problem-setting activities and how they relate to the governance of young people; be able to analyse the role of experts in constituting risk categories, and articulate how young people themselves experience risk, and how they are identified as being ‘at risk.’

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be able to engage in a variety of lectures and smaller classes.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be able to use a prescribed text.

Overview of Assessment

You will be able to prepare assessment tasks with a total word length or equivalent of 4,000 words.