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By Alan France, Dorothy Bottrell, Derrick Armstrong (auth.)

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For example, Barbara (15) lives in a block of flats where there are a ‘lot of druggies’ but her fear is related to having been beaten up, by three local girls who live in the area, ‘I got beat up by three lasses and, I wouldn’t say 42 A Political Ecology of Youth and Crime that I am scared but I am right eerie when I go out in case they come up behind me’ (Barbara). Being able to manage this by avoiding the places these girls use is almost impossible as they live in the same block of flats and hang out on the stairs she has to use to get home.

Patterns of social practice have built within them forms of classification that position people into certain roles and status. But, as outlined in the previous section these processes are not without tensions in that they can be and are embedded with relationships of power. For example, labelling perspective identified the internalisation of an ‘authoritative identity’ that is institutionally defined and re-enforced, which can have a major impact on how people perceive themselves (Matza and Sykes, 1961; Becker, 1963).

This is recognised as a traditional ‘cultural activity’ of the young (Corrigan, 1976; Robinson, 2010). They recognised that their parents before them and other adults, who had lived in the areas for the best part of their lives, had been in a similar position. This form of structured exclusion and construction of life ‘being boring’ was a part of the apprenticeship of growing up in their places (Robinson, 2010). The limited opportunities to participate are for many historically and culturally defined.

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