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Juvenile delinquency and the public sphere: exploring local and national discourses in England, c.1940-1969

Bradley, Kate (2012) Juvenile delinquency and the public sphere: exploring local and national discourses in England, c.1940-1969. Social History, 37 (1). pp. 19-35. ISSN 0307-1022. (doi:10.1080/03071022.2011.651582) (KAR id:29376)

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Official statistics would appear to show that there has been a dramatic and sustained rise in crime by the young since the Second World War. Youth crime became a consistent and potent theme in public discourse at the same time. This article explores the role of discourse around juvenile delinquency in England between 1940 and 1969, looking first at governmental responses to and national press reportage of youth crime. It then uses a case study of the East End of London to explore the ways in which the local press approached the matter, along with the recollections of those who grew up in the area at the time. It concludes that discourse at a national level tackled juvenile delinquency as an abstract, theoretical entity, often detached from the daily experience of youthful misbehaviour. In sharp contrast, the local East London newspapers were not preoccupied with concerns over a decline in the behaviour of young people in the area, and autobiographical accounts likewise suggest much continuity. The article argues that, if we want to understand changes in the behaviour of young people over time, the focus should on experiences on the ground.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/03071022.2011.651582
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV9069 Juvenile delinquency
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Kate Bradley
Date Deposited: 01 May 2012 10:14 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:07 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Bradley, Kate:
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