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By Alan France, Dorothy Bottrell, Derrick Armstrong (auth.)

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Extra resources for A Political Ecology of Youth and Crime

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This, he claims will vary by setting (which is determined by the young person’s personal characteristics and social circumstances) and is shaped by their moral judgements, their understanding of perceived opportunities to satisfy their desires illegally, and perceived provocations or/and self-respect received for acting criminal. In terms of individual action he emphasises a strong relationship between action and the rational decision-making of individuals which is shaped by an individual self-control mechanism and perceptions of sanctions and punishments.

Giddens (1984), for example, argues for the importance of a theory of structuration. This emphasises the mutual dependence of structure and agency where intended human action is closely connected through social practice (Giddens, 1984). In this context, human agents have the ability to make things happen and change their situations. Yet Giddens recognises that there are constraints and forces at work that limit what is possible. The relationship with structure arises in that it is human action (agency) that creates the rules and resources that shape 30 A Political Ecology of Youth and Crime the world we live in.

In this sense it is an expression of our culture, our values and our dispositions that we inherit from our own individual and collective histories (Jenkins, 1992). For example, working-class families’ home rules and cultural practices are adaptations to both ‘the government of social relations of working-class life ... [and] the conditions of working-class life’ (Walkerdine, Lucey and Melody, 2001, p. 119). These practices inform us how to respond to cultural rules, contexts and events especially within our encounters with others across ecological landscapes.

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