Community perception of low level anti-social behaviour by young people, and imagining a solution: an exploratory case study

Statham, Elaine (2012) Community perception of low level anti-social behaviour by young people, and imagining a solution: an exploratory case study. Doctoral thesis, Anglia Ruskin University.

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Critics of anti-social behaviour policy (ASB) introduced by New Labour Government since 1997 argue that it is overly punitive, and criminalises what is often sub-criminal or nuisance behaviour. Further criticism is that policy implementation through formal channels has led to the public increasingly relying on formal agencies in the governance of ASB, and becoming less willing to play an active role. The catalyst for my research was two Community Safety Teams aim to reverse this trend. I have developed an innovative approach in the form of a booklet (Let s Talk) based on the under-researched Imagined Intergroup Contact model associated with the Intergroup Contact Theory which underpins Intergenerational Practice. My thesis centres on the piloting of the booklet in two regions in England, and the proposition that Intergenerational approaches can be a useful way of understanding and addressing tensions associated with perceived anti-social behaviour by young people . Drawing broadly on a social constructionist paradigm (Burr, 1995), and using an inductive case study approach, both quantitative and qualitative data were collected via various research tools. The sample included local residents, representatives of community organisations and the Community Safety Teams (CST). Data were coded and analysed using NVivo and SPSS. Theoretical data analysis was underpinned by the Integrated Threat Theory and the Social Cognitive Theory. Compared with other theories associated with Intergenerational Practice, the Integrated Threat Theory gave a more comprehensive explanation for intergenerational tensions. SCT gave new insights into the concept of agency in relation to the governance of ASB. My research identified anti-social behaviour that the CSTs felt did not warrant formal intervention, and the booklet received enthusiastic support from all parties consulted as an alternative, community-based approach. Reasons for a few individuals not wanting to adopt the booklet approach were identified; these included personal factors and social dynamics. My findings provided important knowledge for the future development and use of the booklet. This thesis makes a significant contribution to knowledge. Firstly, it extends the theoretical explanation of intergenerational tensions, and adds insights into the concept of governance and the theoretical underpinnings of Intergenerational Practice. Secondly, it advances implications for practice in relation to fully exploring social dynamics other than intergenerational issues, taking account of potential multigenerational factors, and being aware that preparatory activities to strengthen selfefficacy may be required.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Keywords: anti-social behaviour, governance, intergenerational practice, intergroup contact theory, imagined intergroup contact
Faculty: Theses from Anglia Ruskin University
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 20 May 2014 13:26
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 19:02

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