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Latino Studies

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 576–578 | Cite as

Complicated lives: Girls, parents, drugs and juvenile justice

Vera Lopez, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ, 2017, 225pp., $34.95, ISBN: 978-0813586540 (paperback)
  • Fátima Suárez
Book Review

In Complicated Lives, Vera Lopez highlights the hopes, dreams, and life experiences of girls who are involved in the juvenile justice system. Dominant political discourses often blame families, especially parents, for failing to “control” their daughters, discursively justifying state interventions such as moving girls to group homes, residential treatment centers, or youth correctional facilities. These discourses are also racialized, and families of color are stigmatized as having regressive cultural beliefs that produce female juvenile delinquency. The author contends, however, that in order to fully understand girls’ drug use and delinquency, we must consider how larger sociocultural contexts and structures influence girls, their relationships with their parents, and their eventual involvement in the juvenile justice system. Drawing on interviews with sixty-five Latina and white system-involved girls who grew up in families characterized by parental drug use, parental...

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UCSanta BarbaraUSA

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