Coming Out to Play? Young Women and Violence on the Street

Jenny Pearce, Middlesex University

From interviews with young women this paper documents the resourcefulness of girls (in London) in dealing with routine violence, and their strategic use of public space to reduce the restrictions on their movement imposed at home. Breaking free from overcrowded and sometimes abusive home environments, the research found that girls use streets, estate stairways and landings to gain knowledge of, and participate in, routine violence and disorder. At times they are actively involved but, more often, they learn to avoid or negotiate non-involvement in violence.

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Updated 05/20/2006