Youth Violence in Latin America

Youth Violence in Latin America

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Criminal violence has come dramatically to the forefront in contemporary Latin America, to the extent that it is widely considered the critical social concern of the present. Youth are among the principal victims but also the primary perpetrators of this new panorama of brutality. At the same time, the phenomenon remains profoundly misunderstood, as sensationalist myths and stereotypes abound. Through the juxtaposition of wide-ranging, cutting-edge studies focusing specifically on youth gangs and the dynamics of juvenile justice, this volume provides a balanced and systematic comparative overview of the reality of present-day Latin American youth violence.

Gareth A. Jones is Senior Lecturer in Development Geography at the London School of Economics and co-editor of The Journal of Latin American Studies. His research interests concern access to land for the urban poor and the cultural politics of landscape meanings in Mexico. He has just completed a three year project on the identities of street involved youth entitled ‘Being in Public’: The multiple childhoods of Mexican ‘street’ children which is presently being written up into a book.

Dennis Rodgers is Senior Research Fellow in the Brooks World Poverty Institute at the University of Manchester, UK, and Visiting Senior Fellow with the Crisis States Research Centre at the London School of Economics. He is a social anthropologist by training, and works on issues of urban development issues in Nicaragua and Argentina. He has carried out extensive participant observation fieldwork on youth gang violence in a Managua slum, as well as organizational ethnography within both municipal government and social movements in Buenos Aires, both of which have resulted in a range of articles and book chapters. He is currently completing a monograph provisionally entitled Gang Rule: Violence and Social Order in Post-Revolutionary Nicaragua.

“These studies, in an original and comparative framework, offer creative and inspiring approaches to understanding youth violence, opening the way for new perspectives to address the needs and rights of the youth in Latin America and all over the world.”–Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, Independent Expert of the UN Secretary-General for the global study on violence against children and Author of the World Report on Violence against Children (2006)

“This ground-breaking volume on youth violence in Latin America is holistic and balanced in scope, and contributes definitively to a complex and often contentious debate. It is highly recommended for researchers and policy makers alike.”–Caroline Moser, Professor of Urban Development, Global Urban Research Centre, University of Manchester, UK

“This collection offers a timely and path-breaking perspective on one of the most contested issues in Latin America today: crime, violence, and insecurity…Highly accessible and very readable, this work brings much needed nuance and perspective into the debate on youth violence, gang life, and interventions aimed at dealing with or solving this problem.”–Kees Koonings, Associate Professor of Development Studies and Latin American Studies, Utrecht University – The Netherlands

Preface: Wagner’s testimony * Youth Violence in Latin America: an overview and agenda for research–Dennis Rodgers and Gareth A. Jones * Living in the Shadow of Death: Gangs, Violence, and Social Order in Nicaragua, 1996-2002–Dennis Rodgers * Security at Stake: Dealing with Violence and Public (In)security in a Popular Neighborhood in Guadalajara, Mexico–Monique Sonnevelt * Good Times and Bad Blood: Violence, Solidarity and Social Organization on Dominican Streets–Jon Wolseth * “Gaining Respect”: The Logic of Violence among Young Men in the Barrios of Caracas, Venezuela–Verónica Zubillaga * Piloting Experimental Methods in Youth Gang Research: A Camping Expedition with Rival Manchas in Ayacucho, Peru–Cordula Strocka * The Dilemmas of Politically Sensitive Medicalized Approaches to Reducing Youth Violence in Pelotas, Brazil–Dominique Béhague * Understanding the Logic of Nicaraguan Juvenile Justice–José Luis Rocha Gómez * Deadly Symbiosis? The PCC, the State, and the Institutionalization of violence in São Paulo, Brazil–Graham Denyer Willis * Mean Streets: Youth, Violence and Daily Life in Mexico City–Héctor Castillo Berthier and Gareth A Jones * Policing Youth in Latin America–Mark Ungar

Additional information

Weight 1 oz
Dimensions 1 × 6 × 9 in