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Parenting a Youthful Offender

Studies in Symbolic Interaction

ISBN: 978-1-78052-156-5, eISBN: 978-1-78052-157-2

Publication date: 14 October 2011


This personal narrative describes the results of a tragic gun accident involving my young son and his close friend. In this autobiographical narrative, I trace the effects of youthful offender laws on my family and explain how our state's juvenile justice system transformed our family's lives for over three years. In addition, as both a participant and a sociologist observer, I show how race and class have conditioned the accident's outcome. As Griffith and Smith's (2005) work on mothering for schooling illustrates, social class greatly affects the relationship between school and family.

In our case, largely because of my training as a researcher and my husband's background in education and psychology, we were able to make the juvenile justice system work as positively as possible for our son. And, because of my privileged position as an academic, I am now able to make visible the effects of youthful offender laws on one youthful offender and his parents.


Hood, J.C. (2011), "Parenting a Youthful Offender", Denzin, N.K. and Faust, T. (Ed.) Studies in Symbolic Interaction (Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Vol. 37), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 79-103.



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