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Chapter 1

CRIM 3657 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Squeegee, Critical Thinking, Praxis (Process)

Course Code
CRIM 3657
Zachary Levinsky

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CRIM 3657: Chapter 1: Introduction Towards Understanding Youth and Crime
There is a gap between our understanding of youth, and our response to it
The public consciousness about young offenders create a stigma towards youth and creating names such as
“terrifying teenagers” in our “non safe communities” (Youth + crime = young offenders)
The media was on rise with several stories on youth crime, such as various horrendous offenses committed by
young people. I.e. The case murder of Barb Danelesko by two young males this event led to young people
being seen as “out of control”
The most significant shifts concerning youth crime have been in the way that problems have been constructed
and responded to, rather than youth behaviour itself
The development and understanding of youth crime and youth justice; main arguments
1.First, it is argued that social problems defy how the youth will be treated
2.Second, Government responses and about what is done to young people; by the practices of governance (what
is done in response to youth crime), and rationalities of governance (why it is done)
3.Third, view of praxis; social conflict theory by Karl Marx youth crime is not tied simply to social change
but is a praxis (process being undergone)
Social justice praxis is aimed at addressing the systemic conditions of marginalization, isolation, and social
inequality that lead to the involvement of youth in crime first in the first place. It is about making meaningful
changes to improve the life chances of young people.
- (i.e. addressing the affordable housing shortage in Edmonton, and dealing with extreme child poverty in
Winnipeg reducing and overall 13% of unemployment rates in PEI, connecting to the displacing “squeegee”
in the business district of Toronto to skills-building and employment agencies, mentoring 14-year-old
Aboriginal girls in Regina who are being sexually exploited and lured into prostitution)
Praxis of Possibility argues that “our task is to attend to the suffering of those about us and to open up worlds
of the possible beyond human misery” (Hogeveen and Woolford)
Youth are suffering without a place to live, food to eat, and are unemployed without any supporting role
models. They are marginalized because it is very tempting for us to distance from youth as being the problem,
and to choose judgments such as “bad youth”, or even judgement made on their race/ethnicity, class, gender,
and age.
THEREFORE, Hogeveen and Woolford encourage outsiders to think outside the current socio-political
climate about the social, economic, and political context in which we live – and by doing so, we can
problematize embedded assumptions and ideologies created that are taken for granted, and then envision how
we can create alternatives and create a more ‘just’ humane and social condition for youth
Culture of Sensitivity: skills that allows you to understand and learn about people whose cultural
backgrounds are different from yours i.e. respecting youth in terms of their differences and feel empathy
towards what they may feel or are going through
Hogeveen and Woolford want readers to separate youth crime from the youth justice system in cases of
crime - perhaps putting ourselves in their shoes
Praxis (process) is taking as theoretical areas and putting them into practice in society (i.e. Taking the idea
of preventing youth marginalization and putting the work into society via protests, to prevent others from
being part of marginalizing or viewing youth negatively)
Media discourse is the major public headlines of youth, on the subject of youth crime being categorized into
entertainment and news/information based on the government and publics information
Creates a moral panic through a media hype of youth crime being such a “horrendous” issue in society
Creates higher surveillance, and harsher punishment on youth crime
Creates a stigma towards youth overall – all young people will be seen “deviant and dangerous”
Barron states that the media discourse denies the structural and cultural barriers that youths say contribute to
their actions influences a child’s decision to take part in criminal activities)
- Cultural barriers such as feelings of hopelessness, lack of belonging, lack of identity and
- Structural barriers such as lack of recreational opportunities, being expelled from school, and growing up in
an impoverished environment
Public discourse refers to anything said about a particular topic by members of a particular culture and society in any
given historical moment
Popular discourse is referred to in two forms
1. Gossip and urban legend
2. Circulation of stories – experiential narratives and media-informed personal tales about young peoples
involvement in crime (i.e. stories and gossip told amongst friends, families, peers, etc.)
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