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Rough Justice

Young People in the Shadows


Trevor Gale

Even in an age of economic prosperity, there are young people who live on the edge of western societies and who are held accountable for their every indiscretion, sometimes even for those of others. This book employs a sociological imagination to make connections between the public issues and private troubles of youth living on the street. The narrative is pedagogical in intent, seeking to make sense of seemingly antisocial behavior, understood in the context of broader social, political, and economic concerns. In particular, it speaks to the «helping» professions of education, law, social work, nursing, psychology, and medicine.

«‘Rough Justice’ is both beautiful and important. It is beautiful because of its strong narrative voice that moves us beyond the data and into people’s lives. It is important because of its explication of a social context that advertises itself as democratic while becoming increasingly privatized and self-centered. This is a major commentary on the erosion of ethical public policy and what it means to be responsible for each other.» (Gloria Ladson-Billings, Kellner Family Professor in Urban Education, the University of Wisconsin-Madison)
«‘Rough Justice’ provides an engaging discussion of the issues created by poverty and the increasing gap between the rich and the poor as it affects the lived-experience of the young throughout much of the western world. It supplies teachers and other professionals with the conceptual framework that will enable them to better understand the way in which structural poverty constrains choice and opportunities.» (Walter Feinberg, C. D. Hardie Professor in Philosophy of Education, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign)