Preface by Paul Willis
This reader begins a conversation about the many aspects of critical youth studies. Chapters in this volume consider essential issues such as class, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, cultural capital, and schooling in creating a dialogue about and a conversation with youth. In a society that continues to devalue, demonize, and pathologize young women and men, leading names in the academy and youth communities argue that traditional studies of youth do not consider young people themselves. Engaging with today’s young adults in formal and informal pedagogical settings as an act of respect, social justice, and transgression creates a critical pedagogical path in which to establish a meaningful twenty-first century critical youth studies.
26 “He Seemed Like Such a Nice Guy”: Youth, Intimate Partner Violence, and the Media
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On December 15th, 2011, I glanced at the morning news on television. I saw a scenario unfolding whereby in the middle of the night, one car rammed another car just outside of Claresholm, a small Canadian prairie town. A violent shooting spree had ensued. It sounded as though it had been a targeted attack. The obligatory tarps were covering the bodies of several young people who had been shot to death. I thought to myself, “Gang stuff. Gang violence. Weird. Weird how it has now spread out to the rural areas.” I live in Calgary, Canada’s fourth largest city, a city of one million people in the province of Alberta. I had thought gang violence was generally contained to big cities like Calgary. The thought of this level of gang violence in the rural town of Claresholm, 110 kilometers south of Calgary was disturbing but, in all honesty, I did not give it much more thought at the time. As it turned out, this was not gang violence. Later that day, the story unfolded that a young man had stalked a car with four young people in it, including his ex-girlfriend, from their hometown, Lethbridge, to Claresholm. The young man was a jealous ex-boyfriend of one of the young women in the other car. He rammed their car with his car, causing the driver to stop, get out of the car, and see what was going on. The ex-boyfriend shot all four of the young people who were in their...
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