Social Exclusion, Youth Transitions and Criminal Careers: Five Critical Reflections on ‘Risk’

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This chapter draws upon recent youth research in some of Britain’s poorest neighbourhoods (in Teesside, north-east England). It stresses the importance of a qualitative, biographical and long-term perspective in attempting to understand drug-using and criminal careers (and wider youth transitions) and points to some difficulties in applying – straightforwardly – influential models of risk assessment and prediction to individual biographies. In a context of deep, collective disadvantage, most research participants shared many of the risk factors associated with social exclusion in early adulthood. Yet the majority did not pursue fullblown criminal or drug-using careers and the research struggled to identify background factors that seemed to play a causal role in separating out more ‘delinquent’ transitions from more ‘conventional’ ones. Youth biographies were marked by flux; they did not roll on deterministically to foregone conclusions. Unpredictable ‘critical moments’ turned transitions in unpredictable directions; sometimes towards crime, sometimes away. This chapter concludes that there is danger in criminal career research – as in studies of youth transition – in prioritising individual-level explanations at the expense of an assessment of the ‘risks’ presented by socio-spatial and historical context.

LanguageEnglish
Title of host publicationPathways and Crime Prevention
Subtitle of host publicationTheory, Policy and Practice
EditorsAlan France, Ross Homel
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Chapter6
Pages110-127
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781134019397
ISBN (Print)9781843926481
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

exclusion
career
youth research
drug
risk assessment
adulthood
offense

Cite this

MacDonald, R. (2007). Social Exclusion, Youth Transitions and Criminal Careers: Five Critical Reflections on ‘Risk’. In A. France, & R. Homel (Eds.), Pathways and Crime Prevention: Theory, Policy and Practice (pp. 110-127). Taylor and Francis. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781843926481
MacDonald, Robert. / Social Exclusion, Youth Transitions and Criminal Careers : Five Critical Reflections on ‘Risk’. Pathways and Crime Prevention: Theory, Policy and Practice. editor / Alan France ; Ross Homel. Taylor and Francis, 2007. pp. 110-127
@inbook{2509980d5f9d493895915168e27d14c4,
title = "Social Exclusion, Youth Transitions and Criminal Careers: Five Critical Reflections on ‘Risk’",
abstract = "This chapter draws upon recent youth research in some of Britain’s poorest neighbourhoods (in Teesside, north-east England). It stresses the importance of a qualitative, biographical and long-term perspective in attempting to understand drug-using and criminal careers (and wider youth transitions) and points to some difficulties in applying – straightforwardly – influential models of risk assessment and prediction to individual biographies. In a context of deep, collective disadvantage, most research participants shared many of the risk factors associated with social exclusion in early adulthood. Yet the majority did not pursue fullblown criminal or drug-using careers and the research struggled to identify background factors that seemed to play a causal role in separating out more ‘delinquent’ transitions from more ‘conventional’ ones. Youth biographies were marked by flux; they did not roll on deterministically to foregone conclusions. Unpredictable ‘critical moments’ turned transitions in unpredictable directions; sometimes towards crime, sometimes away. This chapter concludes that there is danger in criminal career research – as in studies of youth transition – in prioritising individual-level explanations at the expense of an assessment of the ‘risks’ presented by socio-spatial and historical context.",
author = "Robert MacDonald",
year = "2007",
month = "4",
doi = "10.4324/9781843926481",
language = "English",
isbn = "9781843926481",
pages = "110--127",
editor = "France, {Alan } and Homel, {Ross }",
booktitle = "Pathways and Crime Prevention",
publisher = "Taylor and Francis",
address = "United States",

}

MacDonald, R 2007, Social Exclusion, Youth Transitions and Criminal Careers: Five Critical Reflections on ‘Risk’. in A France & R Homel (eds), Pathways and Crime Prevention: Theory, Policy and Practice. Taylor and Francis, pp. 110-127. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781843926481

Social Exclusion, Youth Transitions and Criminal Careers : Five Critical Reflections on ‘Risk’. / MacDonald, Robert.

Pathways and Crime Prevention: Theory, Policy and Practice. ed. / Alan France; Ross Homel. Taylor and Francis, 2007. p. 110-127.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

TY - CHAP

T1 - Social Exclusion, Youth Transitions and Criminal Careers

T2 - Five Critical Reflections on ‘Risk’

AU - MacDonald, Robert

PY - 2007/4

Y1 - 2007/4

N2 - This chapter draws upon recent youth research in some of Britain’s poorest neighbourhoods (in Teesside, north-east England). It stresses the importance of a qualitative, biographical and long-term perspective in attempting to understand drug-using and criminal careers (and wider youth transitions) and points to some difficulties in applying – straightforwardly – influential models of risk assessment and prediction to individual biographies. In a context of deep, collective disadvantage, most research participants shared many of the risk factors associated with social exclusion in early adulthood. Yet the majority did not pursue fullblown criminal or drug-using careers and the research struggled to identify background factors that seemed to play a causal role in separating out more ‘delinquent’ transitions from more ‘conventional’ ones. Youth biographies were marked by flux; they did not roll on deterministically to foregone conclusions. Unpredictable ‘critical moments’ turned transitions in unpredictable directions; sometimes towards crime, sometimes away. This chapter concludes that there is danger in criminal career research – as in studies of youth transition – in prioritising individual-level explanations at the expense of an assessment of the ‘risks’ presented by socio-spatial and historical context.

AB - This chapter draws upon recent youth research in some of Britain’s poorest neighbourhoods (in Teesside, north-east England). It stresses the importance of a qualitative, biographical and long-term perspective in attempting to understand drug-using and criminal careers (and wider youth transitions) and points to some difficulties in applying – straightforwardly – influential models of risk assessment and prediction to individual biographies. In a context of deep, collective disadvantage, most research participants shared many of the risk factors associated with social exclusion in early adulthood. Yet the majority did not pursue fullblown criminal or drug-using careers and the research struggled to identify background factors that seemed to play a causal role in separating out more ‘delinquent’ transitions from more ‘conventional’ ones. Youth biographies were marked by flux; they did not roll on deterministically to foregone conclusions. Unpredictable ‘critical moments’ turned transitions in unpredictable directions; sometimes towards crime, sometimes away. This chapter concludes that there is danger in criminal career research – as in studies of youth transition – in prioritising individual-level explanations at the expense of an assessment of the ‘risks’ presented by socio-spatial and historical context.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84925740526&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.4324/9781843926481

DO - 10.4324/9781843926481

M3 - Chapter

SN - 9781843926481

SP - 110

EP - 127

BT - Pathways and Crime Prevention

A2 - France, Alan

A2 - Homel, Ross

PB - Taylor and Francis

ER -

MacDonald R. Social Exclusion, Youth Transitions and Criminal Careers: Five Critical Reflections on ‘Risk’. In France A, Homel R, editors, Pathways and Crime Prevention: Theory, Policy and Practice. Taylor and Francis. 2007. p. 110-127 https://doi.org/10.4324/9781843926481