Why do kids get into trouble on the street?
The last chapter leaves us with an impression that kids enjoyed a certain sort of institution more than others because they could buy a certain amount of freedom in the dance hall, the disco and the football ground. This is true, but needs to be seen against the background of the institution that remains more strongly that of the boys — the street. All other activities in their spare time take place in relationship to the vast amount of time spent hanging about on the street. The difficult thing for all of us ‘outsiders’ to appreciate is that such activity is, in fact, activity, that it forms a series of actions which all of us feel are of no consequence. Indeed, one of the paradoxes of my research was my discovery that the main activity that the kids took part in was ‘doing nothing’, a phrase I had to learn to retranslate from its commonsense meaning. Within our own lives, leisure revolves around concrete action; we must realise that for these boys action has to be understood in entirely different ways.
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