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Title: Youth, collective urban violence and security: key findings
Authors: Cardoso, Katia 
Santos, Rita 
Roque, Sílvia 
Moura, Tatiana 
Issue Date: Jul-2011
Publisher: Initiative for Peacebuilding
Project: European Commission 
Serial title, monograph or event: Initiative for Peacebuilding
Place of publication or event: Brussels
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to discuss three main critical challenges which research and policymaking in the feld of collective youth violence in urban contexts face today. This paper argues that we need to shift the focus of research in this area from “problematic” youth to the study of the ways in which violence permeates daily lives and becomes normalised through specifc local social and political conditions. The paper then suggests that, in light of recent theory and empirical research, the relationship between violence and poverty should be re-evaluated. Additionally, and in order to properly address the causes of youth collective violence, this paper argues for a change of focus in the analysis of youth violent mobilisation. The suggested focus rests on the appeal of the symbolic revenues that mark the search for a valued social status and possibilities in contexts of adversity and violence. In fact, symbolic factors associated with the involvement in drugs traffcking and other violent activities and with youths’ contact with frearms are key factors, namely the search for status, power and respect, and attracting recognition from their male and female peers. The adrenaline and danger which youth experience through these activities are highly connected with gender constructions. Finally, this paper supports the progressively accepted evidence in favour of an urgent shift in how to address and prevent youth violence, claiming that repressive policies have hitherto failed to contain violence and to contribute to improving the formulation of preventive policies. This paper is based on data collection and analysis as well as reports from several studies conducted since 2006 in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), San Salvador (El Salvador), Praia (Cape Verde) and Bissau (Guinea-Bissau).
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CES - Vários

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