Elliott Currie, The Road to Whatever: Middle-Class Culture and the Crisis of Adolescence
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Since its birth in the early 1970s, Critical criminology has contributed to a rich interdisciplinary understanding of how various forms of inequality spawned by brutal macro-level forces such as capitalism and patriarchy contribute to a wide range of harms, including woman abuse, racist police practices, corporate crime, and acts of predatory street violence committed by socially and economically disadvantaged youth. However, relatively little critical work has focused on how structural factors such as the shift from a manufacturing to a service-based economy and the rabid neo-conservative assault on limited social services have negatively affected today’s middle-class white youth. This is hardly a trivial oversight, given that these youth are now, as Elliott Currie reminds us in his book The Road to Whatever, at the highest risk of experiencing “some of the most troublesome and deadly of adolescent ills” (p. 2). For example, contrary to popular belief, white youth consume illegal...
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