Race, Recognition and Retribution in Contemporary Youth Justice: The Intractability Malleability Thesis (Routledge Critical Studies in Crime, Diversity and Criminal Justice)

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Miller, E. (2021). Race, Recognition and Retribution in Contemporary Youth Justice: The Intractability Malleability Thesis (Routledge Critical Studies in Crime, Diversity and Criminal Justice). London Routledge.
AuthorsMiller, E.
Abstract

The contemporary youth justice (YJ) landscape pulsates with concerns about deviance and punishment amplification. The historic vision to secure society by assuring youth’s developmental needs—whether viewed as egalitarian or utilitarian—slopes unfavourably towards a criminogenic orientation succeeding in undermining the wellbeing of the most vulnerable youth. The disproportionate incarceration of Black, racialized youth, in western states like England and Canada, occupies a central place in these concerns. This book provides an analysis emphasizing that Black youth’s position as the most punished, problematically, simultaneously situates them as the most punishable. This positioning sustains their vulnerability, by organizing a series of problematic binaries informing their recognition in the institutions they navigate and within the broader community: as punished but punishable; as victims and perpetrators—as reluctant deviants, but deviants, nonetheless. The book takes the position that Black youth’s disproportionate incarceration is not a matter of criminal justice alone, but a broader matter of the historic unequal status of Black peoples in western society. Following the tradition of deviance invention scholarship, the book writes race into early modern English and Canadian youth penal reform. To date, race’s place in early penal reform, in England and Canada, remains variously hidden, minimized or erased, within criminological histories. This is despite what the rich scholarship on class and gender reveals about the importance of knowing the historical roots which remain relevant to our contemporary concerns. Against this backdrop, the book originates the intractability/malleability (I/M) thesis. This starts with the proposal that historically race played a uniquely adverse role, relegating Black youth to a status of intractably deviant outsiders, in contrast to the malleability attributed the White, working-class youth. It is remarkable that while the White, working-class youth drew the sort of attention which contributed to their recognition as morally problematic (inevitably fated for delinquency), they were still considered malleable, according to scholarship. This means that they were attributed a transformative potential as future workers and citizens (Trépanier, 2018; Levene, 2012). In engaging the I/M concept, the analysis emphasizes that racism and racialization played a uniquely adverse role, and this continues to have relevance to the contemporary positioning of racialized youth.

KeywordsYouth, Race, Justice, Intractable, Malleable, Punishment, Exclusion, Retribution, Recognition, Critical Race Theory
Year2021
PublisherRoutledge
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Open
Publication dates
Print31 Dec 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted31 Oct 2021
Deposited18 Mar 2022
Place of publicationLondon
EditionFrist
SeriesRoutledge Critical Studies in Crime, Diversity and Criminal Justice
ISBN978-1138488793
1138488798
Web address (URL)http://www.routledge.com/Race-Recognition-and-Retribution-in-Contemporary-Youth-Justice-The-Intractability/Miller/p/book/9781138488793
Additional information

This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Race, Recognition and Retribution in Contemporary Youth Justice on 31/12/2021, available online: http://www.routledge.com/Race-Recognition-and-Retribution-in-Contemp...

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