Rough Justice: Considerations on the role of violence, masculinity, and the alienation of young men in communities and peacebuilding processes in Northern Ireland

Ken Harland, Sam McCready

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)
    29 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Statistics reveal that young men from working class communities are over-represented amongst victims of the Northern Ireland Troubles, suicides, crime, school suspensions, expulsions and academic underachievement. Despite a new political context of peacebuilding the relationship between violence and personal safety continues to be critical to marginalised young men’s everyday lives and experiences. Drawing upon primary research from a five year longitudinal study and previous studies carried out by the Centre for Young Men’s Studies, this paper provides a critical analysis of young men born after the 1994 ceasefires capturing their sense of alienation, perceived normality of violence, unwelcomed interactions with paramilitary members and restrictive notions of masculinity. These factors combined with attitudes of suspicion and distrust surrounding the role of the police leaves young men feeling confused about law and youth justice. This paper argues the need for a more relevant school curriculum informed by, and aimed specifically at, engaging young men through a youth work methodology addressing the themes of youth justice, violence and masculinity. The authors acknowledge that whilst addressing the behaviour of certain young men can be very challenging, there is a need for those working with young men to more proactively engage young men through a ‘Balanced Approach’ of collaborative working between formal, informal and non-formal education
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)269-283
    JournalYouth Justice
    Volume14
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014

    Bibliographical note

    Reference text: Ashe F, (2012) Gendering War and Peace: Militarized Masculinities in Northern Ireland. Men and
    Masculinities, 15 (3): 230-248
    Ashe F. and Harland K (2014) Troubling Masculinities: Changing patterns of violent masculinities in a society
    emerging from political conflict. Journal of Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. 37 (9) DOI: 10.1080/1057610X.2014.931210
    Barwick B (2004) Young Males: Strengths-Based Male-Focused Approaches. Ministry of Youth Development: New Zealand.
    Blacker H (2010) Relationships, friendship and youth. In Jeffs T and Smith M K Youth Work
    Practice. Palgrave: 15-30.
    Connell R W, and Messerschmidt J W (2005) Hegemonic Masculinity: Rethinking the
    Concept. Gender and Society, 19, (6): 829-859
    Crawford D, (2003) Becoming a Man. The views and experiences of some second-
    generation males Electronic Journal of Sociology ISSN 11983655
    Department of Education (2011) GCSE Headline Statistics 2010 / 2011. Available at:
    http://www.deni.gov.uk/index/80-curriculum-and-assessment/115-curriculum-and-assessmentqualifications- pg/gcse_headline_statistics_2011-2.htm Accessed 20/12/2013
    Department of Education (2011) Suspension Statistics 2010 / 2011. Available at:
    http://www.deni.gov.uk/suspension_statistics_2010-11_22.6kb.pdf
    Dragiewitcz M. (2008) In Renzetti, C.M. and Edleson, J.L. (2008)(Eds.) Encyclopaedia of Interpersonal Violence Thousand Oaks CA: Sage: 1-2
    Drake D H, Fergusson R and Briggs D B (2014 Hearing new voices: Re-viewing Youth
    Justice Policy through Practitioners’ Relationships with Young People. Youth Justice.
    Vol. 14(1): 22–39
    Feenan D, (2002) Justice in conflict: Paramilitary punishment in Ireland. International
    Journal of the Sociology of Law, 30: 151-172.
    Goodman R, (1997) The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire: A Research Note. Journal
    of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 38: 581-586.
    Gormley-Heenan C, and Monaghan R (2012) Political Reverberations: Northern Ireland's
    conflict, peace process and paramilitaries, Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression, 4 (1): 1-3,
    Harland K (2000) Men and Masculinity: The construction of masculine identities in inner city
    Belfast PHD Thesis University of Ulster
    Harland, K. (2001) ‘The Challenges and Potential of developing a more effective Youth Work Curriculum with
    young men. Child Care in Practice Journal Vol. 7, No 4
    Harland K, and Morgan S (2003) ‘Work with Young Men in Northern Ireland – An Advocacy
    Approach' Youth & Policy: Vol. 81: 74-85
    Harland K, McCready S and Beattie K (2005) Young men and the squeeze of masculinity. Centre for Young Men’s Studies.
    http://www.socsci.ulster.ac.uk/sociology/research/y%20publications/cyms_op1.pdf
    Harland K, (2011) Violent Youth Culture in Northern Ireland: Young Men, Violence and the
    Challenges of Peacebuilding. Youth & Society. 43 (2): 422 - 430.
    Harland K, and McCready S (2010) ‘Stuck’ between ceasefires and peacebuilding: Finding
    positive responses to young men’s experiences of violence, and personal safety. Queen’s University, Journal of Shared Spaces. Community Relations Council publications. (10)
    Harland K and McCready S (2012) Taking Boys Seriously: A longitudinal study into
    adolescent boys’ school-life experiences in Northern Ireland Department of Education
    and Department of Justice and Centre for Young Men`s Studies Publication. http://www.socsci.ulster.ac.uk/sociology/research/young.html
    Harland K and McCready S (2013) Youth Work as Education. Curriculum Development News.
    Curriculum Development Unit, Belfast. http://www.youthworkni.org.uk/publications/?assetdet40=17211&categoryesctl156292=433 11-13
    Harland K, and Morgan T (2010) Undervalued or Misunderstood: Youth Work and its
    contribution to Lifelong Learning. Journal of Child and Youth Care Work. 23: 201-214
    Harris A and Allen T (2011) Young people’s views of multi-agency working. British
    Educational Research Journal 37(3): 405–419.
    Haydon D, McAlister S and Scraton P (2012), Young People, Conflict and Regulation. The
    Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 51: 503–520
    Illich I (1971) Deschooling Society. London: Calder and Boyers.
    Kelly L, (2012) Representing and Preventing Youth Crime and Disorder: Intended and
    Unintended Consequences of Targeted Youth Programmes in England Youth Justice 12: 101
    Kilpatrick, C. (2013) We Cannot Turn Our Backs On Savagery. The Belfast Telegraph, 19th November: 4.
    Kimmel M, Hearn J and Connell R W (2005) Handbook of Studies on Men & Masculinities.
    London: Sage.
    Ledwith M (2011) Community Development: A Critical Approach. The Policy Press
    Lloyd T (2009) Stuck in the Middle (some young men’s attitudes and experience of Violence,
    Conflict and Safety) Centre for Young Men’s Studies Publication. University of Ulster.
    Lomas T (2014) Masculinity, meditation and mental health. Palgrave.
    Lusher D, and Robins G (2010). Hegemonic and Other Masculinities in Local Social Contexts. Men and Masculinities 11. (4): 387-423.
    Millennium Cohort Study Third Survey: A User's Guide to Initial Findings (2008). Centre for
    Longitudinal Studies.
    Moller M, (2007) 'Exploiting Patterns: A Critique of Hegemonic Masculinity', Journal of
    Gender Studies 16 (3): 263 - 276.
    McAlister S Scraton P and Haydon D (2009) Childhood in Transition: Experiencing
    Marginalisation and Conflict in Northern Ireland. Belfast: QUB, Save the Children, Prince’s Trust.
    McCready S Harland K and Beattie K (2006) Violent Victims? Young men as perpetrators and
    victims of violent crime. Research Update 1. Centre for Young Men’s Studies Publications. University of Ulster.
    Nolan P (2014) Northern Ireland Policing Report. Community Relations Council. (3): 37
    Rajmil L, Herdman M De Sanmamed M J F Detmar S., Bruil J Ravens-Sieberer U Bullinger M
    Simeoni M C and Auquier P (2004) Generic health-related quality of life instruments in children and adolescents: a qualitative analysis of content. Journal of Adolescent Health. 8:37–45.
    Renzetti C M and Edelson J L (eds) (2008) Encyclopaedia of Interpersonal Violence.
    California: Sage
    Review of Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland, December (2011) Transforming Your
    Care 89.
    Robertson S (2007). Understanding Men and Health. Buckingham: Open University Press
    Scowcroft E (2012) Suicide Statistics Report 2012: Data for 2008-2010, Samaritans, February
    Smith H (2010) Engaging in Conversation. In Jeffs T and Smith M K Youth Work Practice.
    Palgrave. 31-40.
    Spence J and Devanney C (2006) Youth Work: Voices of Practice. The National Youth Agency
    Topping J and Byrne J (2012) Paramilitary punishments in Belfast: policing beneath the
    peace. Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression. 4 (1): 41-59.
    Young K (2006) The Art of Youth Work. Russell House.
    Review of the Youth Justice System in Northern Ireland (2011)
    http://www.dojni.gov.uk/index/publications/publication-categories/pubs-criminal- justice/review-of-youth-justice---large-print-version-of-report.pdf 22-23
    Zaykowski H, (2013) Reporting Physical Assault: How Experiences With Violence Influence
    Adolescents' Response to Victimization. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice. 11 (1):
    44-59.

    Keywords

    • work with young men
    • violence
    • paramilitaries
    • masculinity
    • peacebuilding
    • youth work methodology

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Rough Justice: Considerations on the role of violence, masculinity, and the alienation of young men in communities and peacebuilding processes in Northern Ireland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this