Girls and Juvenile Justice

Power, Status, and the Social Construction of Delinquency

Authors: Davis, Carla P.

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About this book

This book offers an ethnographic study of the lives of girls in the juvenile justice system. Based on rich, narrative accounts, the girls at the center of the study are viewed as confronted with the power of simultaneous race, class, and gender hierarchies. Through this framework, we see how the girls navigate this challenge by seeking status in their everyday lives:  in their families; juvenile justice institutions; and neighborhood organizations, including gangs.  Through analyzing the ways that the girls strive for higher social status, this book provokes debate about how policies and programs may be creatively rethought to incorporate this pursuit.  Girls and Juvenile Justice offers a glimpse into the hearts, minds, and souls of adolescent girls.  It will be of great interest for scholars of criminal justice, sociology, women’s studies, and social-psychology.

About the authors

Carla P. Davis is Associate Professor of Sociology at Beloit College, USA. 

Reviews

“Girls and Juvenile Justice makes a major contribution to the study of minority adolescent girls and uses the sociological imagination to explore the effects of the greater societal forces of race and gender on youth in correctional settings. Perhaps the book’s greatest strength can be found in its robust theoretical examination. … The author’s clear description of the processes involved in her research (another major strength of the book) also makes it useful for courses in qualitative research methods.” (Leonard A. Steverson, Symbolic Interaction, April 17, 2019)

“The power in this book comes from the periodic interviews that Davis conducts with the girls—she is able to highlight personal experiences while finding common factors. The excerpts from interview lend the book a level of reality—these are not just participants in a study, these are real people who are affected by the justice system.” (Kelli Steinbuck, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Vol. 47, 2018)


“Girls and Juvenile Justice offers an original and insightful analysis of the distinctive character of female delinquency. Davis shows how family responses to adolescent troubles and resistance to control, rather than crime-like delinquent behavior per se, may move girls from ghetto and barrio families and neighborhoods into the juvenile justice system.  Drawing on rich qualitative interview and observational data, she identifies the perspectives and concerns of incarcerated delinquent girls, tracing their familial and institutional careers as they are brought to juvenile court, adapt to a therapeutically oriented reform school, and are released back to their families and communities.  A sensitive and moving study of critical processes in contemporary responses to troubled adolescents!” (Robert M. Emerson, Professor Emeritus and Research Professor, University of California, Los Angeles, USA)

“The much-needed conversation this book provides has great value in the field of criminology, where a focus on girls and their lives is often absent, excluded, and trivialized. Davis offers her readers insight into and understanding of girls who are in trouble with the law, both before and after incarceration. In this way, she "connects the dots" in female delinquents' pathways to justice involvement and offers a rare glimpse of the complex processes and relationships that encompass their lives.”  (Lisa Pasko, Department of Sociology and Criminology, University of Denver, USA)

“In this fascinating study, Davis provides an insightful account of the lived realities of girls in the juvenile justice system. Drawing on a unique mixture of ethnographic observations and interviews, Davis reveals how young women struggle for dignity amidst near-­constant assaults on their humanity and personhood. She also exposes how girls navigate among state, community, and family institutions – and how, in the process, they use and alter dominant ideals of gender and citizenship. By remaining attentive to how social power operates simultaneously through gender, race, and class, Davis provides a model of intersectional analysis. Full of complexity and nuance, Girls and Juvenile Justice is quite an achievement and a must-­read for social scientists across disciplines.” (Lynne A. Haney, New York University, USA, author of Offending Women)

“In Girls and Juvenile Justice, we hear directly from girls enmeshed in the U.S. juvenile justice system.  Ways that the system criminalizes girls for simply challenging parental authority are clearly documented.  Davis’s important new book shows that the juvenile justice system is still discriminating against girls well into the 21st century.” (Meda Chesney-Lind, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Author of Girls, Delinquency, and Juvenile Justice

“Rich with the voices of adolescent urban girls involved in the justice system and the professionals who work with them, Girls and Juvenile Justice explores both the causes of the behavior that led to this involvement and society’s reaction to that behavior.  In creating this vivid portrait, Davis increases our understanding of the ideas and values that ground both the girls’ choices and the institutional ways of addressing those choices. Davis argues that the girls actually fully accept mainstream values; that current therapeutic approaches ignore the role of the hierarchical structures of class, race/ethnicity and gender in creating their “undesirable” behaviors; and that such approaches, in fact, reinforce those hierarchies. Because her original analysis includes specific recommendations, this book will not only advance the theoretical discussions of scholars, but should also inform the practices of those in various professional roles within the juvenile justice system.”  (Judith Rollins, Professor emerita, Wellesley College, USA, Author of Between Women)&^</p></i></i>

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-42845-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-42844-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $109.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-82678-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Girls and Juvenile Justice
Book Subtitle
Power, Status, and the Social Construction of Delinquency
Authors
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-42845-1
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-42845-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-42844-4
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-82678-3
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VII, 192
Topics