Socio-Economic Class, School Failure, Juvenile Delinquency, and the Marginalization of Youth: A Theoretical Perspective from Personal Points of View

By:
Dr. Warnie James Richardson,
Dr. Carole Richardson
To add a paper, Login.

Several years ago, as teachers working within a large urban juvenile detention and observation centre, (for the purposes of gathering data for an academic paper), we conducted thirty interviews with professionals in the child-care/correctional field, to determine what, if any, preconceived notions they held with regard to the delinquent population they served. In the interviewing process we asked our colleagues to identify, if they could, characteristics which they believed to be commonly shared by the majority of adolescents involved in delinquent behaviour. In this respect, it is important to note that all thirty tied their definitions and formulated their opinions based on the perception that juvenile delinquents were all of a very specific age and had been formally charged with breaking the law. In short, their thinking in this area was very much shaped by the fact that they were continually viewing "caught" characteristics and "caught" behaviour; information generated within the juvenile justice system itself. Hence, in this paper, we attempt to contrast or in some cases validate personal testimony against empirical research and established theory, arguing that there is a real disservice rendered when incarcerated youth are viewed and treated as a homogenous entity. In essence, we argue that as professionals, we should be prepared to question and challenge perceptions, (or formalized theory for that matter), that offer simplistic explanations to matters that are extremely complex and intricate.


Keywords: Socioeconomic Status, School Failure, At-Risk Youth, Parenting, Expectations, Self-Fulfilling Prophecies, Stereotypes, Criminological Theories, Juvenile Delinquency, Subcultures
Stream: Learning, Education, Training
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in Virtual Presentation English
Paper: Socio-Economic Class, School Failure, Juvenile Delinquency, and the Marginalization of Youth


Dr. Warnie James Richardson

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, Nipissing University
Canada

Dr Richardson is an Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology and Special Education at Nipissing University. Prior to arriving at Nipissing University, in northern Ontario, Canada, Dr Richardson was a Special Education teacher/educational assessor for sixteen years, all in very hard-to-serve educational environments, both in Canada and the Caribbean. His doctoral work, (at the University of Toronto) and most of his writing to date, has focused on the schooling experiences of juvenile delinquents, and the resiliency of marginalized or at-risk youth.

Dr. Carole Richardson

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, Nipissing University
Canada

Carole Richardson is an Assistant Professor of Curriculum Studies in Music Education in the Bachelor of Education program at Nipissing University in northern Ontario, Canada. Professor Richardson has taught music and conducted choirs in both primary and middle schools in Ontario and the Cayman Islands. She also taught for many years in an inner-city school in Toronto. Her current research interests include the effects of past experience on music anxiety in preservice teachers and computer mediated communication. She is in the thesis completion stage of her doctoral programme at the University of Toronto.

Ref: D05P0015