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Title: Crime or conformity : strategies of adaptation to school exclusion
Author: Hodgson, Philip
ISNI:       0000 0001 2435 1962
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2001
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During the 1990's the number of young people being permanently excluded from school increased from 2910 (1990-91) to a peak of 12700 (1996-1997). This increase coincided with the resurgence of the debate centring on lawless and delinquent youth. With the publication of Young People and Crime (Graham and Bowling, 1995) and Misspent Youth (Audit Commission, 1996) the role of school exclusion in delinquency causation appears to have become widely accepted within youth justice thinking. Indeed, and despite the limited research evidence available, the common sense assumption that school exclusion inexorably promotes crime received wide support, something which has resulted in the excluded pupil being portrayed as a latter day folk devil. This research seeks to question this taken-for-granted assumption. By drawing upon what can be broadly described as a refutationist approach, the research questions the causal priority of school exclusion in youth crime. Research interviews were conducted with 56 young people who had experience of being excluded from school. Self-report questions revealed that 40 young people had offended of whom 28 had been cautioned or prosecuted for an offence. Despite the high levels of offending present within the sample the research findings suggest that exclusion is not itself a causal factor with 90% (36) of those young people who had offended reporting onset that commenced prior to their first exclusion. Moreover, 50 (89%) of the total number of young people stated that they were no more likely to commit crime since being excluded. Indeed - and rather significantly, for 31 (55.4%) respondents it appeared that due to the imposition of parental sanction, offending was likely to reduce during their exclusion as they were" grounded" for the whole exclusion period. Moreover, interviews with the young people also revealed that in addition to school exclusion a number of other identified "risk" factors were present in the lives of most of the young people within the sample (see for example Farrington, 1996; Youth Justice Board, 2001). The research concludes that whilst the relationship between school exclusion and crime is highly complex it is certainly neither a sufficient nor a necessary condition for a young person to commit crime.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Young people; Teenagers; Delinquent pupils; Delinquency