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The Inbetweeners: Young people making sense of youth anti-social behaviour

Armitage, Vici (2012) The Inbetweeners: Young people making sense of youth anti-social behaviour. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Beginning with the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, the UK government’s ‘Anti-social Behaviour Agenda’ has served to label all young people as potentially anti-social. This study describes and analyses young people’s accounts of anti-social behaviour and the impact of anti-social behaviour legislation on young people living in a rural context. Through semi-structured interviews with eighteen teenagers in a rural northern town who had undertaken anti-social behaviour but were not subject to any individual control measures, the research explores the participants’ perceptions of their (informal) identification as anti-social, their interactions with institutions of social control and how these factors impacted on their sense of self. In particular, it explores the strategies that the respondents utilised to avoid internalising a deviant identity and through doing so examines the relationship between anti-social behaviour and youth as a transition. Whilst none of the respondents considered themselves to be anti-social, they had all been subject to informal control measures including being ‘moved on’ and having their details taken by the police. The findings indicate that for these young people, anti-social behaviour is inexorably tied to their liminal position as ‘youths’ and this allows their identities to be fluid and constantly changing. The respondents understand their social position/s as ‘in-between’ a variety of statuses, and it is postulated that the widely acknowledged vague nature of ASB definition and their identities as ‘youths’ allows them to negotiate the space between a pro- and anti-social identity without internalising either. They therefore construct anti-social behaviour as a normal part of conventional youth, and something which they will certainly ‘grow out of’.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Youth, Anti-social behaviour, Delinquency, Liminality, Transition
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Applied Social Sciences, School of
Thesis Date:2012
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:29 May 2012 12:47

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