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Violence, older peers, and the socialization of adolescent boys in disadvantaged neighborhoods

Publication Abstract

Harding, David J. 2009. "Violence, older peers, and the socialization of adolescent boys in disadvantaged neighborhoods." American Sociological Review, 74(3): 445-464.

Most theoretical perspectives on neighborhood effects on youth assume that neighborhood context serves as a source of socialization. The exact sources and processes underlying adolescent socialization in disadvantaged neighborhoods, however, are largely unspecified and unelaborated. This article proposes that cross-cohort socialization by older neighborhood peers is one source of socialization for adolescent boys. Data from the National Educational Longitudinal Survey suggest that adolescents in disadvantaged neighborhoods are more likely to spend time with older individuals. I analyze qualitative interview data from 60 adolescent boys in three neighborhoods in Boston to understand the causes and consequences of these interactions and relationships. Some of the strategies these adolescents employ to cope with violence in disadvantaged neighborhoods promote interaction with older peers, particularly those who are most disadvantaged. Furthermore, such interactions can expose adolescents to local, unconventional, or alternative cultural models.

DOI:10.1177/000312240907400306 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC2776742. (Pub Med Central)

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Country of focus: United States of America.

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