Understanding Youth and Crime: Listening to Youth?

Understanding Youth and Crime: Listening to Youth?

Understanding Youth and Crime: Listening to Youth?

Understanding Youth and Crime: Listening to Youth?


Reviewers' comments on the first edition
This is an excellent introductory textbook on youth and crime. It is excellent not only in its analysis of criminological questions about youthful offending, but also because it positions the debate within a wider context of the relationship between young people and society.
Young People Now

The style is lively and readable, and the reader is pointed unobtrusively within the text towards the work of the leading authors in the field a thorough and thoughtful introduction to the subject.
Social Policy

a critical and scholarly summary of the state of research and theorizing around 'youth and crime'; This book provides a useful and challenging overview of the topic for undergraduate students.
The Times Higher Education Supplement

This book is an accessible introduction to the subject of youth and crime. The author explores the social construction of childhood and youth, and looks at the role of the media in creating a strong association of young people with crime and disorder, which sustains processes of marginalization and exclusion and leads to frequent 'panics' about youth crime. The importance of media representations of race and gender in these processes are also explored.

The second edition is substantially revised and updated to take account of new political events and legislative developments, including:

  • A new chapter on the phenomenon of 'cybercrime'
  • A critical examination of recent developments in youth justice policy
  • A new chapter on the impact of globalization on young people, which raises major issues around poverty, war and the commercial exploitation of children.
This is a key text for students in criminology, sociology, social policy, and cultural studies.


I was delighted when I was asked to produce a revised edition of Understanding Youth and Crime. Whilst none of the original questions had gone away, a lot more had emerged. Perhaps most dramatically in the intervening six years has been the increasing centrality and visibility of globalization and cyberspace in the spaces of academia, policy and popular talk. Criminology in particular has been brought rudely up against very large and rather unfamiliar landscapes, and in more than one sense it is currently straining at the edges to accommodate so many new challenges to its traditional (western) ways of seeing 'crime' and 'justice'. No more is this so than in the field of understanding youth and crime.

What happens when we try to somehow change the prism of youth criminology to accommodate cybercrime, global conflict, transborder crimes, children's rights or the impacts of (g)localism on young people's experiences as 'deviants' or 'victims'? From thinking about anything from children as victims of human trafficking, to girls and boys' experiences as combatants in lethal warfare, to young women selling sex on the net, the traditional Anglo-American notion that 'youth and crime' can ever again be all about a view from the (dysfunctional) boys is gone. Diversity has finally been forced on to the conceptual map of criminology simply by the fact that it is impossible to ignore it any longer; and along with it comes a need to recognize youth criminology as a product of colonialism that must inevitably become dispersed and rethought, or fragment altogether. Accordingly, Chapter 1 of this edition has been reframed somewhat to emphasize the implications of the western criminological legacy for nonwestern youth (a theme that will reappear in Chapter 8); whilst Chapter 2 retains its emphasis on a critical evaluation of postwar Anglo-American criminology and identifies some refreshing challenges from 'cultural criminology'.

Also in this edition I have retained the original insistence upon the centrality of young people themselves as the point of youth criminology . . .

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