The social construction of deviant behavior in homeless and runaway youth: Implications for practice

  • Miles B
  • Okamoto S
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Abstract

This study examined the social construction of deviance in a sample of homeless and/or runaway youth in metropolitan Phoenix. In depth semi-structured interviews with 14 youth were conducted, and the data were transcribed and analyzed using a qualitative research computer program. The findings from the study point to an emerging theory, which suggests that ambiguous local policies relevant to homeless youth (e.g., trespassing, loitering) resulted in their selective enforcement by local security and police. Respondents described the ways that they adapted their behaviors to the environmental stressors resulting from these policies. Implications for practice are discussed. Adapted from the source document.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Deviance
  • Homeless youth
  • Qualitative research
  • Social construction

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Authors

  • Bart W. Miles

  • Scott K. Okamoto

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