How Schools Generate, Inhibit, and Organize Youth Violence

Mercer Sullivan, Rutgers University

While most youth violence occurs outside of school, a large portion does, either directly on school property, or in the immediate vicinity. Thus, while it is true, as school advocates maintain, that schools are generally safer than the streets, it is also true that there is no comparable institutional location for adults in which there is such a concentration of violence and aggression. This paper, drawing on case studies of both ordinary and extraordinary school violence, discusses the social organization of youth violence from the perspective of the different roles that schools play in the everyday lives of adolescents and the routine activities of the communities in which they live. Implications for prevention and control are identified.

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Updated 05/20/2006