Violent Youth Culture in Northern Ireland: Young Men, Violence and the Challenges of Peacebuilding.

Ken Harland

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    25 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This paper discusses violent male youth culture in Northern Ireland within the context of a society emerging from a prolonged period of political violence towards peacebuilding. Specifically, the paper focuses on the findings from a qualitative study carried out by the Centre for Young Men’s Studies with 130 marginalized young men aged 13 – 16 from 20 different communities across Northern Ireland addressing themes of violence, conflict and safety. Despite a changing context of peacebuilding, findings reveal that violence and paramilitary influence continue to perpetuate a male youth sub culture epitomized by sectarianism and increasing racist attitudes. Underpinning this is an enduring cycle of suspicion, fear and distrust of others, and a confused state of mind that leaves these young men ‘stuck’ somewhere between the ceasefire mentality of paramilitaries and the ambiguous messages of peacebuilding. This paper concludes by stating the need for more realistic ways to engage and integrate marginalized young men into their communities.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages422-430
    JournalYouth & Society
    Volume43
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2011

    Fingerprint

    youth culture
    violence
    political violence
    mentality
    subculture
    community
    anxiety

    Keywords

    • marginalized young men
    • violence and paramilitaries
    • peacebuilding and youth work

    Cite this

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    title = "Violent Youth Culture in Northern Ireland: Young Men, Violence and the Challenges of Peacebuilding.",
    abstract = "This paper discusses violent male youth culture in Northern Ireland within the context of a society emerging from a prolonged period of political violence towards peacebuilding. Specifically, the paper focuses on the findings from a qualitative study carried out by the Centre for Young Men’s Studies with 130 marginalized young men aged 13 – 16 from 20 different communities across Northern Ireland addressing themes of violence, conflict and safety. Despite a changing context of peacebuilding, findings reveal that violence and paramilitary influence continue to perpetuate a male youth sub culture epitomized by sectarianism and increasing racist attitudes. Underpinning this is an enduring cycle of suspicion, fear and distrust of others, and a confused state of mind that leaves these young men ‘stuck’ somewhere between the ceasefire mentality of paramilitaries and the ambiguous messages of peacebuilding. This paper concludes by stating the need for more realistic ways to engage and integrate marginalized young men into their communities.",
    keywords = "marginalized young men, violence and paramilitaries, peacebuilding and youth work",
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    note = "First printed online 4th October 2010 Reference text: A Shared Future: Policy and Strategic Framework for Good Relations in Northern Ireland (2005) Office of First and Deputy First Minister. Available at http://www.asharedfutureni.gov.uk/gprs.pdf. Accessed 20/9/09 Belfast Telegraph. (5th February, 2008) Majority Want End to Barriers. Report by Vargo, T. US-Ireland Alliance. Available at http://www.us-irelandalliance.org/wmspage.cfm?parm1=779accessed 6/2/0 Feenan, D. (2002) Justice in Conflict: Paramilitary punishment in Ireland. International Journal of the Sociology of Law. 30, 151-72. Flick, U. (2009) An Introduction to Qualitative Research. (4th Ed) London: Sage Harland, K. and McCready, S. (2007) Work with young men. In Flood, M., Gardiner, J.K., Pease, B and Pringle, K. (Eds) International Encyclopaedia Men & Masculinities. Routledge: London Harland, K. (2000) Men and Masculinity: An Ethnographic Study into the Construction of Masculine Identities in Inner City Belfast: PhD submitted to the University of Ulster. University of Ulster Publications. Harland, K. (2002) Everyday Life: developing youth work practice with young men in Northern Ireland around the theme of violence. Working with Young Men Journal. 1, 7-12. Harland, K. (2009) Key issues in promoting mental health: Masculinity and Mental Health. Paper written for the Design for Living partnership: Action Mental Health, The Youth Council for Northern Ireland and The Health Promotion Agency NI. Available at http://www.ycni.org/downloads/misc/Masculinity_Mental_Health.pdf accessed 4/3/2010 Kennedy, L. (2004) Broken bodies, Silenced voices: The paramilitary abuse of children in Northern Ireland. Paper delivered at Save the Children / Queen’s University Belfast. Righting the Wrongs: Northern Ireland and the United Nations Convention on the rights of the Child. 18th. October. Lederach, J.P. (2008) (8th Ed) Building Peace: Sustainable Reconciliation in Divided Societies. Washington DC: US Institute of Peace Press. McAleese, D. (2009) Belfast Telegraph. October 21st. P 8. Muldoon, O., Schmid, K., Downes, C., Kremerr, J. and Trew, K. (2008) The Legacy of the Troubles: Experiences of the Troubles, Mental Health And Social Attitudes. http://www.legacyofthetroubles.qub.ac.uk/LegacyOfThe TroublesFinalReport.pdf (assessed 27th July 2009) Murtagh, B. (2003) Territoriality, research and Policy Making in Northern Ireland. In Hargie, O., & Dickson, D. (Eds) Researching the Troubles: Social Science Perspectives on the Northern Ireland Conflict. P209- 225. London: Mainstream Publishing. Police Service of Northern Ireland (2009) Chief Constable’s Annual report (2008/09). Available at: www.psni.pnn.police.uk Silverman, D. (2008) Doing Qualitative Research (2nd. Ed) London:Sage. Smyth, M. and Hamilton, J. (2003) The Human Costs of the Trouble. In Hargie, O. and Dickson, D. (Eds) Researching the Troubles: Social Science perspectives on the Northern Ireland Conflict. London: Mainstream Publishing. Spence, J.; Devanney, C. and Noonan, K. (2006) Youth Work: Voices of Practice. National Youth Agency Publications: Leicester. Wallensteen, P. (2002) Understanding Conflict Resolution. Thousand Oaks: CA: Sage White, L. (2008) At the Mercy of the Thugs. Belfast Telegraph. 8th April. P13.",
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    Violent Youth Culture in Northern Ireland: Young Men, Violence and the Challenges of Peacebuilding. / Harland, Ken.

    In: Youth & Society, Vol. 43, 04.10.2011, p. 422-430.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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