The words ‘children’ (Danish: ’børn’) and ‘young people’ (Danish: ’unge’) are so often combined that they almost have the character of idiomatic expressions. But what differences in the use of the words can be found? This article seeks to study the prevalent, dominant discourses about children and young people. In particular, it endeavours to answer the following question: What is thematized, and how are the thematizations created and maintained? The study is theoretically inspired by Foucault’s discourse analysis. The methodological approach is that of a multiple case study. Thus, it provides examples of how children are typically referred to in positive terms such as innocent, imaginative, cheerful, spontaneous, creative and competent (a surplus discourse), while young people are typically referred to in negative terms such as irresponsible, rootless, violent, dysfunctional, hedonistic and unaccountable (a deficit discourse).
- Børn og unge