Bilden av den "hotfulla ungdomen": om ungdomsproblem och fastställandet och upprätthållandet av samhällets moraliska gränser
Sammanfattning: The main aim of my dissertation is to investigate som conceptions, power relations, and practices in the discourse of youth problems. I have studied some of the actors that are involved in the social constructing of the "juvenile delinquent" such as the police, the judical system, the social service, the media, the general public and last but not least, the young people themselves. The bulk of my dissertation consist of three case studies. The first is the (re)construction of "an event that never happend" where a loose group of youth, who previously never had been the object of the authorities' attention, were identified as a delinquent and violent gang by the media, the police, and the social service. The other two cases map the judicial system's processing and criminalization of two youth gangs. The cases are supported both by qualitative and quantitative data. I have analysed mass media reports, state memorandums and pronouncements, police reports, records of preliminary investigations, minutes of trail, and documents from the social service and I have also observed the gangs of youth in the field. The quantative studie draws largely on two surveys. In one survey I asked 800 young people about thier attitudes to violence and fear of violence, In the other a selction of organizations that, for some reason, come in contact with youth were asked about thier view of the "youth problem". The dissertation support the thesis that "youth problems" are socially constructed. The cases show how the indentification of a "youth problem" activates and relates different social institutions to each other, how the different actors in these cases give meaning to the events, and how this constructed "reality" not only dictates the framework of thier subsequent actions and govern them, but also maintains and reproduces society's moral boundaries around the youth.
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