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Title: 'Acting strangely' : the alienation, exclusion and criminalisation of young black people - an ethnographic study
Author: Ofutu, John.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3455 2047
Awarding Body: University of Central England in Birmingham
Current Institution: Birmingham City University
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis looks at the experiences of a number of young black people in England. based on a piece of research conducted in Bristol and London. Using an ethnographic approach, the research aims to generate a deeper understanding of the lived experiences of the research participants, of what it means (for them) to be young and black, and on the fringes of, or involved, in the youth justice system. A review of the available literature suggests that young black people are disproportionately over-represented in crime figures. The review further suggests that racism is at the heart of their disproportionate over-representation. It is the conclusion of most of the literature that young black people constitute one of the most disaffected groups, and are often victims of racism and social exclusion. A total of ninety-two contacts in a number of group settings, spread across the two locations, including twenty individual interviews in one of these locations provides the evidence in this research to support the conclusions found in the literature. The findings from the group contacts and individual interviews suggest that young black people's experiences of racial discrimination start even before formal contact begins with the police - often the gateway into criminalisation. Often, it starts from the school system and this manifests within the dynamics of their relationship with teachers. Both the evidence from the literature and the interview accounts from this research, suggest that once involved in the youth justice system. the discrimination continues at every stagefrom policing to courts and pnson - and this results In their disproportionately hi~h visibility in crime statistics. Despite the gro\\ing research interest in the subject of young black people and their expenences of racism and criminalisation, there remains a gap in kno\\ledge. The evidence suggests that much of what is known is statistical. Of course, statistical knowledge is helpful but it tells us little about the personal. or lived experiences of tllOS~ about whom the statistics exist. This knowledge gap is the justification for this research. The research attempts to explain. from the point of vie\\ of the research participants. and using their own words, what shape racial discrimination against them tak~s. and how it contributes to. and exacerbates their sense of social exclusion. alienation from society and criminalisation. In this sense, the research provides an opportunity to give a voice to young black people and, by so doing. promote good practice in working \\ith them amongst relevant agencies. III
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available