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Economic Adversity and Criminal Behaviour: Rethinking Youth Unemployment and Crime


Polk, K and White, RD, Economic Adversity and Criminal Behaviour: Rethinking Youth Unemployment and Crime, The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 32, (3) pp. 284-302. ISSN 0004-8658 (1999) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1177/000486589903200306


This paper argues that in order to understand the impact of youth unemployment on crime it is necessary to specify the particular social location and meaning of contemporary economic adversity. A starting point is an analysis of the collapse of the youth labour market. This has created high levels of youth unemployment, has dramatically worsened the educational situation of those who seek to leave school without high level qualifications, and has had major consequences for the income available to young people. These forms of economic adversity have direct impacts on the social lives of the early school leavers, and create a number of possible friction points with adults, such as conflicts over public space recognisable as the 'mall problem'. We argue that there are particular forms of economic adversity which impact upon specific groups of young people, and these in turn may have consequences in terms of higher levels of recorded youth crime.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:White, RD (Professor Rob White)
ID Code:16434
Year Published:1999
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:Sociology and Social Work
Deposited On:1999-08-01
Last Modified:2001-07-04

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