Is It “Bad” Kids or “Bad” Places? Where Is All The Violence Originating From? Youth Violence In The City Of Toronto
Ardavan Eizadirad (2016) Is it “bad” kids or “bad” places? Where is all the violence originating from? Youth violence in the City of Toronto, Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, 38:2, 162-188, DOI: 10.1080/10714413.2016.1155956
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The purpose of this paper is to address the issue of youth violence in the City of Toronto through examination of case studies which resulted in sentimental public outrage, and consequentially evoked an institutionalized and systemic response from the government. Examining meta-narratives of various case studies, the process of racialization and its implications and consequences are discussed with particular attention given to critical relationships between race, space, and violence amongst urban environments. The first part of the paper will examine prominent case studies pertaining to youth violence and the problematic nature of meta-narratives and the role they play in perpetuating a racial hierarchy that normalizes and privileges Whiteness and neoliberal ideologies of pathology and individual deficit amongst minoritized and racialized bodies and spaces. The second part of the paper will examine two dominant approaches in dealing with youth violence: tough on crime and its punitive approach versus investments in social programs and communities and its preventive and rehabilitory approach. The third and last part of the paper will discuss the important role of Critical Pedagogy and Anti-Racism as action-oriented strategies, frameworks, and practices in decolonizing communities and assisting in greater understanding of the conditions that lead to the root causes of youth violence. Emphasis is placed upon working towards social justice and equity through creation of sustainable, self-governing communities and their collective mobilization in solidarity against systemic oppression.