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Durham e-Theses
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Secondary education & juvenile delinquency

Corrigan, P.D. (1973) Secondary education & juvenile delinquency. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This thesis is based, upon a three year research project into the experiences of 14-15 year old male working class youth. It highlights, empirically, the areas of school, spare-time activity and ideas about future work as the experiences of major importance. These three areas were studied over a two year period in schools in Sunderland. A variety of research techniques were used. However, the empirical side of the research, is of little importance without the theoretical and methodological ideas that were worked out alongside the empirical research. Within these three areas of experience the thesis tries to show the way in which sociology has imported into its study a series of concepts that are not those of the boys. Thus through the filters of ideas about 'education', 'delinquency' and 'careers' sociology has tried to 'make sense' of working class youth experience. However, these concepts are at such distance from these boys that they can only warp their experiences beyond recognition. The thesis tries to show that in these areas if the sociologist is prepared to listen to the different forms of language of the working class youth then a much more separate world view can be seen. One that perceives education as an attack; the police as people that 'pick on us for doing nowt'; and jobs as things that you end up in. Discipline is not a series of rules but a series of power struggles in school and on the streets. The boys reactions to these power struggles are tactical rather than moral; 'truancy' and’ deviancy' are tactics in this struggle. However, much ‘delinquency’ on a Saturday evening is a series of activities that the boys do not perceive as law breaking. Rather they perceive it as action within their own cultural categories. The interactions between boys working class culture and that of the school and law represents the substance of the theses.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1973
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:27

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