Gangs, Marginalised Youth and Social Capital

Paperback / softback, 188 pages, 234 mm x 156 mm
30 Oct 2009
Trentham Books Ltd

Price: £21.99

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Here is a book written for all those who work with young people from disadvantaged groups, whether in schools or youth organisations. It will be of particular relevance to academic researchers with an interest in social capital and also to community educationalists and youth leaders, secondary teachers and students who are studying towards qualifications in community education and youth work. The book will also interest people who are concerned with community welfare: politicians, the police, community sports development officers and youth coaches. Adolescents today are demonised by politicians and the media across the world. We are bombarded with assertions of young people's antisocial behaviour and gang fighting and the link to depletion of social capital. This book examines the extent to which young people are engaging with the indicators of social capital, as illustrated by a sample group of 16-18 year-olds in the most socially deprived urban areas of Glasgow in Scotland. Ross Deuchar's compelling research reveals the adolescents' views on life in the city, the influence of gang culture and territoriality on their own lives and on the social capital within their communities. The book features the voices of young people, some of them asylum seekers or from ethnic minority backgrounds, who have become disenfranchised by educational failure, unemployment and poverty and also of those who have faced great challenges but have overcome them. The book examines the extent of their civic participation, social networks and levels of reciprocity and trust, and presents case studies of projects and initiatives which are helping to re-engage young people. Dr Ross Deuchar is senior lecturer in Education at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. He is the author of "Citizenship, Enterprise and Learning: Harmonising Competing Educational Agendas".

  • Ross Deuchar

CONTENTS: PART 1: Gangs, territoriality and the impact on youth and social capital. 1. Anti-social behaviour, gangs and marginalised youth; 2. The young people, their communities and the research methods; 3. ‘Not a lot of people would come here ... it’s got the reputation of knife crime and junkies!’: young people’s perceptions about their local neighbourhoods and territories; 4. ‘See the buzz, I used to love it ...’: gangs, violence and youth identity; 5. ‘It’s human nature to hate or discriminate against something you fear’: racism and its relationship with gangs; 6. ‘It’s just a bit of harmless banter!’: football, gangs and sectarianism; 7. Life through a lens: social capital theories and marginalised youth in Glasgow. PART 2: Re-building social capital among marginalised youth. 8. ‘I’d never have seen mysel’ walkin’ doon the street wi’ these people!’: re-building social capital in schools; 9. ‘The coaches make you feel as if you are somethin’’...’: sport and youth mentoring as a catalyst for building social capital; 10. Tackling gangs, marginalised youth and social capital: the journey continues

What a reader is left with is a sense of Deuchar's curiosity about a frequently stigmatized group and abiding sense that something not only can be done but should be done.

, Runnymede Bulletin

For students involved in education, community learning and development and social work in particular, this work would provide valuable insight into the processes which influence both positive and negative behaviour within an urban context.

, Scottish Educational Review

An accessible and interesting read for a practitioner audience [and] also of use for academics interested in gangs and social capital.

, Youth Justice

If you are looking for a book that focuses on solutions to the "gang problem" and how to re-engage marginalised, disenfranchised young people, then this book will be of value

, Times Higher Education Supplement