Youth, Risk, Routine
A New Perspective on Risk-Taking in Young Lives
Young people’s lives continue to be the topic of public scrutiny and recurring ‘moral panics’. Smoking cannabis, speeding, and engaging in street-level fights are depicted as activities based on ‘poor choices’ or simple hedonism, putting young people’s futures at risk. Based on comprehensive, qualitative research with young people in Denmark, this book illustrates how such individualised accounts miss out on the inherently social character of risk-taking activities.
Youth, Risk, Routine introduces a new approach to risk-taking activities as being an integral and routinised part of young people’s everyday life. By applying social theories of practice, this insightful volume presents a framework for understanding the routinised dimensions of young people’s engagement in risk-taking and how this is embedded in, intertwined with, and held in place by other everyday practices. Indeed, through extensive empirical analyses of the rich material at hand, the authors explore how routinisation, coordination, embodiment, and social context are central aspects for understanding how, why, and when young people engage in risk-taking practices.
Youth, Risk, Routine will be of interest to students and scholars in sociology, criminology, and social work as well as wider social science audiences, particularly those interested in exploring the empirical potential of social theories of practice.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Introduction: why study youth and risk?
Chapter 2. Setting the scene: growing up in Denmark
Chapter 3. Looking back: ‘risk’ in the sociology of youth
Chapter 4. Looking ahead: towards a new framework for analysing youth risk-taking as practice
Chapter 5. Being young: risk-taking practices and youth culture
Chapter 6. Coordinating practices: risk-taking and everyday life
Chapter 7. Embodying risk-taking: risk, embodiment, and gender
Chapter 8. Contextualising risk: risk-taking, youth transitions, and processes of social marginalisation
Chapter 9. Conclusion: routines of risk in young lives
Appendix: The two empirical studies
Tea Torbenfeldt Bengtsson is a senior researcher at VIVE – The Danish Center for Social Science Research, Denmark.
Signe Ravn is a lecturer in sociology in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne, Australia.