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16 Oct 2012
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£58.00
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9780230280533
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This book proposes a new conceptual framework for theorising young people's relationship with crime. It emerges from a critique of the narrow approach advocated by developmental criminology and argues for an analysis that recognises and includes the important contribution that the young themselves can make to the theorising and understanding of their relationship with crime. Explicitly using the voices of a group of working class young people who are defined as 'a social problem', this approach emphasises how criminal identities and pathways are strongly influenced by the interactions embedded in political ecological systems and relationships.
 
Drawing upon the work of the social psychologist Urie Bronfenbrenner and sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, this book explores young people's 'nested' and 'political' ecological relationships with crime. A Political Ecology of Youth and Crime examines the impacts of these relationships through an empirical investigation of the important 'places' and 'spaces' in young people's lives; in their social relationships with peers and family members; and within formal institutional systems such as education, youth justice and social care. This book makes an important new contribution to how we understand the relationship between youth and crime in the contexts of sociology, criminology, social psychology and education.


Description

This book proposes a new conceptual framework for theorising young people's relationship with crime. It emerges from a critique of the narrow approach advocated by developmental criminology and argues for an analysis that recognises and includes the important contribution that the young themselves can make to the theorising and understanding of their relationship with crime. Explicitly using the voices of a group of working class young people who are defined as 'a social problem', this approach emphasises how criminal identities and pathways are strongly influenced by the interactions embedded in political ecological systems and relationships.
 
Drawing upon the work of the social psychologist Urie Bronfenbrenner and sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, this book explores young people's 'nested' and 'political' ecological relationships with crime. A Political Ecology of Youth and Crime examines the impacts of these relationships through an empirical investigation of the important 'places' and 'spaces' in young people's lives; in their social relationships with peers and family members; and within formal institutional systems such as education, youth justice and social care. This book makes an important new contribution to how we understand the relationship between youth and crime in the contexts of sociology, criminology, social psychology and education.


Reviews

"This is an imaginative, well-researched book that sets a new agenda for criminology. Building on a solid empirical foundation of research focused on pathways into and out of crime, the authors develop a theory of political ecology to provide an enhanced understanding of young peoples involvement in crime. This approach successfully moves beyond accounts focused on individual level factors, providing a more holistic picture of young people in difficult circumstances. This is a book that deserves to be read by anyone who has an interest in youth and crime." - Professor Andy Furlong, University of Glasgow, UK

"This book makes a much-needed departure from developmental criminologies to provide an understanding of young people's relationships with crime at a time when developmental ways of thinking about young offending heavily permeate the structure and function of youth justice systems [...] a must-read for youth justice practitioners and policymakers who want to know more about the material outcomes that youth justice and school supervision processes can create for young people. I would also recommend this text to academics teaching youth justice and setting readings for their courses." - Youth Studies Australia
 
"The book is engagingly written and appropriately sympathetic to the subjects whose voices it records and attempts to understand [...] It is successful too in developing a 'nested political ecology' that illuminates understanding of youth and crime."
- British Journal of Criminology
 
"This book is a far cry from many of the 'how to do youth justice' books that crowd the shelves and reading lists of youth
offending team trainers [...] For all that it should be required reading I suspect the authors will be satisfied that it is simply rewarding." - Children and Society


Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction
Beyond Developmental Criminology
Resilience and Social Ecology
Research Background
Outline of the Book
PART I: A THEORY OF THE POLITICAL ECOLOGY OF YOUTH AND CRIME
Introduction
A Political Ecology of Human Development
Power and Political Ecology
Human Development and Social Identity
Conclusion
PART II: THE ECOLOGY OF PLACE AND SPACE
Introduction
Social Disorganisation in Disadvantaged Neighbourhoods
The Normalisation of Crime, Risk and Danger in Place and Spaces
The Ecology of 'Protection' in High Crime Areas
Social Control and Regulation in High Crime Areas
'Feeling Safe' in Risky and Dangerous Places
Place, Space and 'Disrupted' Lives
Conclusion
PART III: BEING CRIMINAL
Introduction
Pro-social and Anti-social Childhood
'Ordinary Lives'
Being Criminal: 'Things' Happen
The 'Situating' and Management of Boredom
'Being a kid' and Social Ecology
'In the system'
Assessment in Youth Justice
Early Interventions for those 'at risk'
Conclusion
PART IV: THE ECOLOGY AND CULTURE OF PEER GROUPS
Introduction
Peer Groups as 'Delinquency Training'
Peer Groups and Friendships
Friends, 'Others' and the Contexts of Peer Relations
Hanging Out, Going Out and 'Chilling Out'
Peer Back-up on the Streets
Peers, Conflict and Empowerment in School
Changing Peer Groups
Conclusion
PART V: EDUCATION AND CRIME
Introduction
Accounts of Low Achievement and Low Commitment
Permanent Exclusion from Mainstream Schools
Acquiring Special Educational Needs
Young People's Views on PRU's and Special Schools
Alternative Provision and Pathways
Conclusion
PART VI: THE ECOLOGY OF FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS
Introduction
Family Risk Factors in Developmental Criminology
Young People and Families: Routines and Relationships
Home Rules
Family Roles and Young People's Offending
The Impact of Offending and Interventions on Families
Family Adversities
Young People, Families, Risk and Resilience
Conclusion
PART VII: THE ECOLOGY OF BEING 'IN CARE'
Introduction
Being in Care as a 'risk factor'
In and Out of Care
The Nature of 'being in Care'
The Social Ecology of Care: Diversity and Trajectories
Managing Identities in Care
The Importance of Peers and Friends
The Social Care System and Risk
Professional Intervention
Conclusion
CONCLUSION: YOUTH, CRIME AND 'ORDINARY LIFE' THROUGH AN ECOLOGICAL LENS
Ecological Impacts and the Bounding of 'Choice'
The 'Nested' Qualities of Social Action
Resilience as a Social Resource
Power and Injustice in Political Ecology
Conclusion
References
Endnotes


Authors

DOROTHY BOTTRELL is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney, Australia. She worked in secondary teaching, juvenile justice, youth and community work before taking up an academic post in 2007. Dorothy is Convenor of the University of Sydney Network on Childhood and Youth Research and co-editor of Schools, Communities and Social Inclusion (Palgrave, 2011) and Communities and Change (2008).
DERRICK ARMSTRONG is Professor of Education and is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) at the University of Sydney, Australia. His research has focussed on issues of social inclusion and exclusion in education and the ways in which disadvantage and 'deviance' are identified and managed by professionals, social agencies and institutions working with children and young people. He is author, co-author and editor of eight books and monographs. His most recent publication is Inclusive Education: International Policy and Practice (2010) with A.C. Armstrong and I. Spandagou.
ALAN FRANCE is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. He has, over the past 20 years, been researching and writing on youth related issues. He set up and established the International Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth (CSCY) at the University of Sheffield in 2002 and was Director of the Centre for Social Policy Research (CRSP) at Loughborough University (2006 – 2010). He has written extensively on youth policy, risk, citizenship, and youth crime and has a number of publications including Understanding Youth in Late Modernity (2007) and Pathways and Crime Prevention (2007).