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Urban sociological research posits a strong correlation between social isolation and the growth in illicit activities of street culture, namely the drug trade and violent…
Urban sociological research posits a strong correlation between social isolation and the growth in illicit activities of street culture, namely the drug trade and violent gang activities. However, in this article we offer an explanation for why, even in the absence of extreme poverty and social isolation from mainstream institutions, youths in Cambridge, Massachusetts feel vulnerable to illicit street cultural activities. We also offer an explanation for why these youths perceive the effects of social dislocation to be similar to that experienced by youths from larger central cities. As we will elaborate below, some students in Cambridge are affected by illicit street cultural activities because: (1) social dislocation is a relative phenomenon and not merely an absolute phenomenon as described by William J. Wilson; (2) there is a social dislocation spill‐over effect from larger central cities that intensifies or amplifies the experiences of youths in the relatively poorer neighborhoods of Cambridge; (3) and some youths, from stable working‐class or wealthier neighborhoods in Cambridge, view involvement in the illicit activities of street culture as a reputable means of gaining peer respect through status group affiliation.
In recent years, the concept of subculture has been fiercely criticized, with some scholars even claiming that it is no longer relevant in a multi-cultural world…
In recent years, the concept of subculture has been fiercely criticized, with some scholars even claiming that it is no longer relevant in a multi-cultural world (Muggleton, 2000; Chaney, 2004; Stahl, 2004). However, the authors argue that by revisiting the Chicago School tradition and reconceptualizing subculture on the basis of acknowledging its limitations and its potential, subculture theory remains applicable in the context of contemporary China. Through an eight-month ethnographic study of a group of deviant students in a secondary school in urban China, the purpose of this paper is to contend that the subculture of these young people from lower-class backgrounds is a means to negotiate their space and power in a failing school system situated in a drastically transforming society full of diversified yet often conflicting values.
In this study, the authors undertook an ethnographic study to follow a group of deviant students for eight months, trying to understand their everyday lives and the process of their identity construction. The research was conducted in Xiamen, a coastal city located in the southeast part of mainland China. Unlike large metropolitan areas such as Beijing and Shanghai, where most studies have been conducted so far, Xiamen represents one of the medium-sized cities, which are the majority in China. After a process of sampling among 11 classes from five schools in different tiers, the authors chose one class in Grade 2 at a medium-level secondary school called “Central Park Secondary School” as a pseudonym. The authors stayed in the field for the main study and the authors also paid another visit to the school to follow up on students’ recent development.
In this study, a group of problem students identified with each other and shared the same problems and situations, and collectively formed a subcultural group, from within which they could challenge the authority of teachers and parents and negotiate power in the school; for example, reaching a truce with teachers so that they could have an easier time at school until they graduated. Their subculture and resistance may seem like a self-defeating practice, because what they learned at school and the qualifications they obtained could only assure them laboring jobs and reproduce their lower class status. However, this subculture offered an alternative way to safeguard their happiness and healthy development, which in this case is psychological well-being and better interpersonal skills.
This paper could provide the teachers and school administrators with a new perspective to look at some of their students’ poor performance and disruptive behaviors. With a deeper understanding of their “deviant” students, the teachers may develop more pertinent measures to help their students.
This paper argues that, through revisiting the Chicago School tradition and reconceptualizing subculture on the basis of acknowledging its limitations and potential, subculture theory remains applicable in the context of contemporary China.
This paper explores the changing shape of black youth cultures and youth crime since the 1970s and the emergence of ‘gangs’ in the 21st century, against the backdrop of…
This paper explores the changing shape of black youth cultures and youth crime since the 1970s and the emergence of ‘gangs’ in the 21st century, against the backdrop of Britain's changing social, economic and cultural conditions. Using a structural‐cultural conceptual framework, it demonstrates that like much black youth crime in the 1980s and 1990s, gang membership amongst black young males can, in part, be explained as a dysfunctional cultural adaptation to socio‐structural pressures. Yet, while tackling poverty, social and economic disadvantage and racism will alleviate some of their pressures, many young people feel they are trapped in ‘violent worlds’ and have developed a sense of nihilism, which now appears to be a more pressing problem.
Education perpetuates inequality directly, in that messages distributed by schools are linked to student social class. A specific focus on the response of white…
Education perpetuates inequality directly, in that messages distributed by schools are linked to student social class. A specific focus on the response of white working‐class and minority students' attitudes to school (in the USA) reveals that elites maintain themselves not only through their own education but also through the education of others; and that those at the bottom contribute to the maintenance of class structure through their own creative response to wider ranging inequalities, and the way these inequalities are mediated in schools.
Charitable Choice Policy, the heart of President Bush’s Faith‐Based Initiative, is the direct government funding of religious organizations for the purpose of carrying out…
Charitable Choice Policy, the heart of President Bush’s Faith‐Based Initiative, is the direct government funding of religious organizations for the purpose of carrying out government programs. The Bush presidential administration has called for the application of Charitable Choice Policy to all kinds of social services. Advocates for child‐abuse victims contend that the Bush Charitable Choice Policy would further dismantle essential social services provided to abused children. Others have argued Charitable Choice Policy is unconstitutional because it crosses the boundary separating church and state. Rather than drastically altering the US social‐policy landscape, this paper demonstrates that the Bush Charitable Choice Policy already is in place for childabuse services across many of the fifty states. One reason this phenomenon is ignored is due to the reliance on the public‐private dichotomy for studying social policies and services. This paper contends that relying on the public‐private dichotomy leads researchers to overlook important configurations of actors and institutions that provide services to abused children. It offers an alternate framework to the public‐private dichotomy useful for the analysis of social policy in general and, in particular, Charitable Choice Policy affecting services to abused children. Employing a new methodological approach, fuzzy‐sets analysis, demonstrates the degree to which social services for abused children match ideal types. It suggests relationships between religious organizations and governments are essential to the provision of services to abused children in the United States. Given the direction in which the Bush Charitable Choice Policy will push social‐policy programs, scholars should ask whether abused children will be placed in circumstances that other social groups will not and why.
Purpose – Recent research on the gender culture and femininity of adolescent girls found that girls construct their gender identity in various ways that are intertwined…
Purpose – Recent research on the gender culture and femininity of adolescent girls found that girls construct their gender identity in various ways that are intertwined with race, ethnicity, social class, and sexual orientation. However, these existing studies focused on either general schoolgirls (see Ali, S. (2003). To be a girl: Culture and class in schools. Gender and Education, 15(3), 269–283; Bettie (2003); Weiler, J. D. (2000). Codes and contradictions: Race, gender identity and schooling. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press; Renold, E. (2005). Girls, boys and junior sexualities: Exploring children's gender and sexual relations in the primary school. London: Routledge) or delinquent girls in a gang (see Miller, J. (1998). Gender and victimization risk among young women in gangs. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 35, 429–453; Miller (2001); Joe-Laidler & Hunt (2001); Schalet, A., Hunt, G., & Joe-Laidler, K. (2003). Respectability and autonomy: The articulation and meaning of sexuality among the girls in the gang. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 32, 108–143; Messerschmidt (1995); Messerschmidt, J. W. (1997). Crime as structured action: Gender, race, class, and crime in the making. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage), and only a few studies paid attention to girls who showed overt oppositional behaviors at school.
Methods – The research uses qualitative methods and explores the gender identity of two adolescent girls in a junior high school in Taiwan, who are regarded as problem or “bad” girls by the school faculty.
Results – The two girls both manifested “ladette” culture (Jackson, 2006). On the one hand, they showed masculine behaviors such as fighting, troublemaking, disobeying school regulations, and using drugs and alcohol. On the other hand, they deliberately emphasized their femininity and sexual maturity in the way they dressed, talked, and behaved.