My proposed research is set against a policy background of a crisis in youth employment in the UK – almost 1 million young people between the ages of 16 and 24 are classified as ‘NEET’ – not in education, employment or training. The Youth Contract, recently launched by the Department of Work and Pensions is intended to address this issue.
But the revelation published by the Guardian last week, that ‘acceptable personalised support’ provided to young people under the Contract can amount to a single, weekly text message depressed me. Is that ‘support’? Thats a Simulcra of support; not the real thing. The Baudrillard quote for the world Simulacra on Wikipedia pretty much sums it up “The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth–it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true.”
Is this what digital delivery of services means? Simulacra of support, simulacra of political engagement?