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Secondary education & juvenile delinquency

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This thesis is based, upon a three year research project into the experiences of 14-15 year old male working class youth. It highlights, empirically, the areas of school, spare-time activity and ideas about future work as the experiences of major importance. These three areas were studied over a two year period in schools in Sunderland. A variety of research techniques were used. However, the empirical side of the research, is of little importance without the theoretical and methodological ideas that were worked out alongside the empirical research. Within these three areas of experience the thesis tries to show the way in which sociology has imported into its study a series of concepts that are not those of the boys. Thus through the filters of ideas about 'education', 'delinquency' and 'careers' sociology has tried to 'make sense' of working class youth experience. However, these concepts are at such distance from these boys that they can only warp their experiences beyond recognition. The thesis tries to show that in these areas if the sociologist is prepared to listen to the different forms of language of the working class youth then a much more separate world view can be seen. One that perceives education as an attack; the police as people that 'pick on us for doing nowt'; and jobs as things that you end up in. Discipline is not a series of rules but a series of power struggles in school and on the streets. The boys reactions to these power struggles are tactical rather than moral; 'truancy' and’ deviancy' are tactics in this struggle. However, much ‘delinquency’ on a Saturday evening is a series of activities that the boys do not perceive as law breaking. Rather they perceive it as action within their own cultural categories. The interactions between boys working class culture and that of the school and law represents the substance of the theses.



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Editor's comments -  [ The above is the abstract from an original PhD thesis; the final publication in the study for the author in pursuit of a doctorate; such works result in the author being awarded a PhD and the title of Dr. by an appropriately accedited University. PhD's are the culmination of a number of years work by the author supervised by two (normally PhD or MPhil qualified) academics and, with the addition of a further appropriately qualified academic (not normally from the same University) as part of a viva-voce examination team. Successful research work at PhD level is designed to add to the body of knowledge in the study area at some level.

A PhD thesis often forms the foundation for journal articles for the author and leads to further enquiry in the form of what is called post-doctoral research. These works are characterised by comprehensive literature reviews, sometimes traditional yet multiple (and often mixed) methods, interesting if not ground breaking discussions and always directional signs toward further research; they provide for undergraduates not only a model for the possibilities for further study but a gift in terms of references in any given subject areas.

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Our best advice is to reference list internet sourced theses as ‘published’…. ie.; Author, (date). Title (emphasised). Place of publication and (university) publisher. Available from: URL reference. See our example reference below. ]


APA reference for this document


Reference :   Corrigan, P.D. (1973). Secondary education & juvenile delinquency. Doctoral thesis, Durham: Durham University. Available at


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Access this URL (, P.D. (1973). Secondary education & juvenile delinquency. Doctoral thesis, Durham: Durham University.
Last Updated on Monday, 03 September 2012 15:33  

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