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Refusing adulthood, How young people feel about being poor

Laurie Taylor asks if and why some people refuse to grow up. Also, how children and young people feel about being poor.

Refusing adulthood. Laurie Taylor talks to Susan Neiman, the American moral philosopher, who asks, if and why, some people refuse to grow up. She argues that being an adult allows the opportunity for agency and independence rather than signalling decline. Yet a modern tendency to idolise youth prevents us from seeing the rewards of maturity. They're joined by the writer, Michael Bywater, who wonders if we inhabit a culture of creeping infantilisation.

Also, how children and young people feel about being poor. Rys Farthing, social policy researcher, explores how young people living in low-income neighbourhoods feel about their own lives, using data generated as part of a participatory policy project with five groups of young people, aged 11-21.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

Available now

28 minutes


Susan Neiman at the Einstein Forum in Germany
Michael Bywater, writer and broadcaster
Rys Farthing


'Why Grow Up?' by Susan Neiman, (Penguin, 2014)
'Big Babies' by Michael Bywater (Granta, 2006)
Rys Farthing's article, "What's Wrong with Being Poor? The Problems of Poverty, as Young People Describe them." (published in the journal "Children and Society", 2014)


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