Browsing Applied social sciences by Journal
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From who… to where? A geographical approach to peer-on-peer sexual abuseChild protection systems in many western countries have developed with the aim of protecting young people from harm within families and by adults. But young people encounter harm in places outside of the home, and by peers. This raises a challenge for practitioners who must now consider new ways to protect young people from harm. In this article I focus on peer-on-peer sexual abuse. I reveal how child protection systems focussed on individuals – who? – fail to account for the places harm happens – where? I bring together two theories - situated agency with contextual safeguarding. These provide a lens to understand how young people navigate unsafe places, and how practitioners understand and respond to the spatially contingent nature of abuse. I present data from meeting observations, focus groups and case reviews to argue that a geographical child protection model would equip practitioners with a preventative approach to protecting young people.
'If you can't beat them, be them!' - everyday experiences and 'performative agency' among undocumented migrant youth in South AfricaThis article explores the challenges and coping strategies of undocumented migrant youth in Cape Town, South Africa. Drawing on a theatre-based case study conducted with a core group of 10 participants the article shows firstly that participants’ lives are affected by emotional, legal and practical challenges such as loneliness, discrimination and fear. Secondly, the article develops the concept of ‘performative agency’ to illustrate how participants cope with and contest their challenges. Specifically, the article shows that the young people's theatrical performances draw on stereotypical notions of vulnerability and victimhood as a means to denounce the discrimination and oppression they experience. In public interactions with others, by contrast, the young migrants use performative agency to emphasise their strengths and positive attributes, thereby enhancing their integration in a hostile environment. The insights provided by this study can help strengthen policy responses to better support undocumented migrant youth in South Africa and elsewhere.
Relocation, relocation, relocation: home and school-moves for children affected extra-familial risks during adolescenceFrom sexual exploitation and serious youth violence, to recruitment into drugs trafficking lines, young people encounter a range of risks in their neighbourhoods. Safeguarding partnerships in England face a practical challenge in addressing these ‘public’ types of significant harm, when using a child protection framework designed to respond to risks within the ‘private’ space of families. In the absence of a safeguarding system equipped to reshape unsafe extra-familial contexts young people are moved away from them. Drawing upon cumulative evidence from 20 case reviews and audits of safeguarding practices in 14 local authorities this paper explores the extent to which such relocations have achieved physical, psychological and relational safety. In doing so it articulates how relocation following public-space risks can disrupt private-space safety and recommends the practice be reviewed to identify the conditions in which it is an appropriate safeguarding mechanism.
Tough girls: gender performance and safety within schoolsThis paper explores the association between the gender rules operating within schools, harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) between pupils and the ways safety is created in these spaces. The ability and responsibility of school institutions to inform gender rules within schools is of particular focus. The paper draws on data from a mixed-methods study exploring HSB in seven secondary schools in England. Findings indicate that gendered rules not only play a role in explaining HSB in schools, they also inform discourses of safety and influence pupils’ attempts to subvert gendered harm. Drawing on research on local space, it is suggested that school institutions can work to maintain or challenge the gendered rules between pupils, and subsequently, limit or provide effective options to create pupil safety. The paper argues that schools have a responsibility to construct safe spaces for pupils by challenging harmful gender norms and behaviour.