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Enacting Youthful Violence

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Part of the Perspectives on Children and Young People book series (PCYP,volume 11)

Abstract

The narrative of youth as a period of transition, of becoming, is hegemonic. Central to this narrative is the idea that young people shed their ‘animalistic and uncontrollable’ violent attributes as they graduate into adulthood. I discussed the prevalence of this discourse in previous chapters. The routinized association between young people/youth and gangs, risk-taking, property damage, etc. has been challenged, particularly by academics within youth studies. However, typically the challenge to the association of youth with violence entails arguing that there are comparatively low levels of violence within youth. This chapter takes a different approach to the question of youth violence by closely examining young people’s experiences of violence in youth and paying attention to the violating performative subjectivities made available to young people. Rather than denying young people are violent, I am interested in how they become violent. To challenge the idea that violence is inherent to youth and young people, I look at how young people come to enact violent performativities.

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Acknowledgements

Sections of this chapter were originally published elsewhere. I thank the publisher of the following for permission to reproduce copyright material:

Lohmeyer, B. A. (2018). Youth as an artefact of governing violence: violence to young people shapes violence by young people, Current sociology, 66(7), pp. 1070–1086. Copyright © 2018 SAGE https://doi.org/10.1177/0011392117738040.

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Lohmeyer, B.A. (2020). Enacting Youthful Violence. In: Youth and Violent Performativities. Perspectives on Children and Young People, vol 11. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-5542-8_4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-5542-8_4

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