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SOC310H5 (39)
Chapter 1

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Abigail Salole

Chapter 1: Introduction- Toward Understanding Youth and Crime Introduction  Media reporting crimes that involve young offenders; portraying the negatives more than the positives  Case of Barb Danelesko- media representation of youth violence (evidence of today’s youth as out of control); 1999 murder case that found Sonny Head (second-degree murder) and David Lorocque (manslaughter) guilty in adult court  Three years maximum imprisonment for manslaughter under Young Offenders Act (YOA)  Public reaction to have more punitive interventions  **appeared that youth as a group were out of control and couldn’t be held accountable under YOA and new legislation was needed  Belief that severe methods of punishment will reduce youth crime and violence  **the most significant shifts concerning youth crime been in way that problems have been constructed and responded to rather than youth behavior itself** (pg. 4)  Three main arguments: The way social  Policies, processes and practices involving handling, regulation, management problem is defined or control of youth/ youth crime operate in conjunction with ways of has implications on knowing or discourses and sets of ideas how individuals,  **discourses about youth crime dictate its governance through various groups, and social youth justice practices institutions react and respond to it Main issue to be  Youth criminal justice act (YCJA) and YOA define youths as between 12-17 addressed is not  Practices of governance (what is done in response to youth crime) and youth crime itself rationalities of governance (why it is done) but the relationships  Social conditions (cultural, historical, political, and social context between youth, crime and society Praxis  Marxian praxis-Knowledge should not simply exist for its own sake but should be used for social transformation  Karl Marx- research don on humans should be used to make change in society  Social justice praxis- aimed at addressing systemic conditions of marginalization, exclusion, and social inequality that lead to involvement of youth in crime in the first place  Praxis of possibility (Hogeveen and Woolford)- critical reflection and social engagement of what the social world could be like  Socio-political climate- the social, economic, and political context in which we live  Questioning society, its practices, claims, discourses, and ideas that justify their practices  Gendered, racialized, class-based, and adult-centered social order  Culture of sensitivity- respect of differences and empathy toward needs Media and Popular Discourse  What is done about youth crime mostly driven by media and politics  Discourses- ways of speaking about particular social issue/problem o Have social consequences ; what is said, by whom and who is listening have implications for group being discussed Media Discourse  Two categories: 1. news and information and 2. Entertainment  Use of term “gang” to describe group of youths involved in criminal activity and increased attention on school violence misrepresents youth crime as “gang-related” and schools as unsafe o Led to police officers in schools, expulsion of students for minor acts of violence  Presents a one-sided conversation about youth crime  **when youth crime is presented in a social, economic, and political vaccum, it appears as if nothing else is occurring in a society except kids doing bad things**
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