Young people are regularly cast as a threat to social order. Deconstructing Youth argues that this is due in part to the way the notion of youth is conceptualised in Western society. Drawing on Derridean deconstruction, Gabriel analyses the limits of dominant youth discourses, revealing the ways in which common sense assumptions about young people are marked by contradictory expectations that actually function to create youth as a 'problem'. With case studies on youth sexuality, violence and developmental neuroscience, she details how these contradictions go unrecognised in attempts to make sense of young people's identities and actions. Gabriel argues that this leads to the misattribution of blame to young people who are then taken to operate outside the boundaries of acceptable conduct. In response, she considers what a deconstructive approach has to offer in terms of moving beyond these conceptual limits and in opening up to more enabling possibilities for understanding youth.