Canal Town Youth: Community Organization and the Development of Adolescent Identity
This book considers how impoverished youth living in a deindustrialized urban neighborhood struggle to make sense of their lives in today's economy. Using participant observation and in-depth interviews with a group of eighteen white middle school girls and boys who walk each day from their multi-ethnic bilingual school to the historically white/Irish community center, the author discovered that the poor white youth are experiencing lives saturated with domestic violence and marked by a strong sense of racism. She also found that the youth position the community center as a space in which they feel a sense of safety, belonging, and importance. But upon closer examination, the community center can also be seen as a literal white "construction site," where the scaffolding that supports and sustains white supremacist ideology is produced and encouraged within children, within the neighborhood, across communities, and across generations.
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