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Young People, Pathways and Crime: Beyond Risk Factors

Young People, Pathways and Crime: Beyond Risk Factors AbstractResearch and policy approaches to risk are recognised as falling into two cultures, most commonly referred to as artefact and constructionist. Moreover, within constructionism, a continuum of positions exists from weak constructionist in which risks may be viewed as cultural mediations of ‘real’ dangers or hazards, to strong constructionist in which the ‘dangers’ or ‘hazards’ are themselves perceived as socially constructed. In this article a similar continuum of epistemological positions in relation to pathways is developed, and then findings from projects in the ESRC Network ‘Pathways Into and Out of Crime’ demonstrate how constructionist perspectives have generated new insights into the way in which traditional risk factors operate for young people. Examples based on three classically identified risk factors are presented. First, the complex and multidimensional effects of school exclusion are highlighted. Second, the nature of social networks is explicated and the role of their components as both potential risk and protective factors proposed.Third, the need for drugs to be understood within their cultural and historical contexts is identified, and the potential role of drugs as a mediator between other life stresses and offending portrayed. In conclusion, the value of synthesising rather than disputing paradigms to produce different layers of knowledge is discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology SAGE

Young People, Pathways and Crime: Beyond Risk Factors

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0004-8658
eISSN
1837-9273
DOI
10.1375/acri.39.3.354
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractResearch and policy approaches to risk are recognised as falling into two cultures, most commonly referred to as artefact and constructionist. Moreover, within constructionism, a continuum of positions exists from weak constructionist in which risks may be viewed as cultural mediations of ‘real’ dangers or hazards, to strong constructionist in which the ‘dangers’ or ‘hazards’ are themselves perceived as socially constructed. In this article a similar continuum of epistemological positions in relation to pathways is developed, and then findings from projects in the ESRC Network ‘Pathways Into and Out of Crime’ demonstrate how constructionist perspectives have generated new insights into the way in which traditional risk factors operate for young people. Examples based on three classically identified risk factors are presented. First, the complex and multidimensional effects of school exclusion are highlighted. Second, the nature of social networks is explicated and the role of their components as both potential risk and protective factors proposed.Third, the need for drugs to be understood within their cultural and historical contexts is identified, and the potential role of drugs as a mediator between other life stresses and offending portrayed. In conclusion, the value of synthesising rather than disputing paradigms to produce different layers of knowledge is discussed.

Journal

Australian & New Zealand Journal of CriminologySAGE

Published: Dec 1, 2006

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