ABSTRACT. The paper is in four sections to put the case that discourses of youth in the 21st century context of neoliberal, consumer, capitalist societies, need to move beyond earlier understandings based on psychological and cultural/subcultural studies to harness Foucault’s notion of governmentality. First, governmentality, which links government and self-government; and neoliberalism and the entrepreneurial self is discussed.  Second, a brief genealogy of ‘psychologizing adolescence’ and ‘sociologizing youth’ discourses shows historical shifts in how youth are viewed and positioned. Third, discourses of youth ‘at risk’ considers youth governmentality in terms of social security, risk assessment, management and insurance, i.e. both economic aspects and therapeutic discourses for managing risk, using technologies of the self that include interventions of the ‘psy’ sciences, to promote or enhance personal health and well-being and self-realization. But, if youth cannot or will not govern/control their conduct, they cease to be ‘docile bodies’ and ‘useful’ so in weilding its biopower, the state youth justice system intervenes to control youth. Differences in youth justice in both USA and New Zealand are discussed. The fourth section analyzes the importance of changing economic conceptions of the self which demand more than just cultural studies perspectives. Cultural studies needs a Foucauldian history of homo economicus as in The Birth of Bio-politics (Foucault, 2008) and a critical engagement with the economics of the self now that pure rationality models have given to  considering range psychological attributes that influence our economic decision-making. (pp. 36–83)

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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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