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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences eTheses
Title: Understanding youth offending: in search of 'social recognition'
Authors: Barry, Monica Anne
Supervisor(s): McIvor, Gill
McIntosh, Ian
Issue Date: 2004
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: This thesis, whilst taking a predominantly criminological topic as its subject matter, incorporates other sociological and social psychological debates around youth transitions, power relations, youth culture and capital. In so doing, this thesis attempts to come to terms with the wider problems faced by young people who become embroiled in offending. It argues that the transition to 'adulthood' is heavily implicated in the fact that most offending occurs in late childhood and youth. This study asked 20 young women and 20 young men about why they started and stopped offending and what influenced or inhibited them in that behaviour as they grew older. What these young people suggested was that their decision to offend - or not offend - was very much based on their need to feel included in their social world, through friendships in childhood and through wider commitments in adulthood. The process of moving through the transitional arrangements from childhood, through youth, to adulthood seems to run parallel with the process of starting offending, maintaining such behaviour over a period of time and eventually stopping offending in favour of greater conventionality and stability. This analysis of the parallel paths between the process of youth transitions and the process of offending draws on the theoretical concepts of Pierre Bourdieu, in particular that of capital accumulation. But it goes further in suggesting the need to take into account not only capital accumulation but also capital expenditure and power imbalances - power imbalances based not only on class distinctions, as Bourdieu suggests, but also on age and status.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: School of Applied Social Science

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