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Culture, Society and Praxis

Document Type

Main Theme / Tema Central

Abstract

This paper addresses the experience of juvenile participation in the Beat Within detention center writing workshops and the resulting publication. I hypothesize that juvenile participation in Beat Within workshops causes a change in behavior and interpersonal understanding of self-identity and culture. Data will be collected through an evaluative ethnography triangulated with ethnographic research at the Beat Within office, the distribution of surveys to correctional officers, and interviews with workshop facilitators. This paper will address the broader questions availing this research question regarding Juvenile Halls and their inhabitants, social perceptions of Deviant youth and public policy, followed by a review of literature on existing creative social programs inside of institutions. Social conceptions of incarcerated youth perpetuate increasingly harsh legislation causing a shift from correctional facilities as rehabilitative centers to primarily punitive institutions and it is vital to assess the social structure inside of which this phenomenon exists. A theoretical discussion will be shaped by Durkheim's study on social deviance and suicide, which led him to the idea that individuals are a reflection of the society in which they live. He also evaluated the effects of the individualist organic society and the prevalence of alienation. In turn, I hypothesize that the breaking down of these barriers should contribute to a change in behavior on behalf of participating juveniles. I also theorize this program to be a contributing factor in the destigmatization of youth as is called for in Shaftoe's theory on labeling as perpetuating deviant behavior through constant negative reinforcement.

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