Trouble-Makers and Interactionism. Reconsidering Quarrels in Institutions for Juvenile Delinquents

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The tense relationship between 'troublesome youth' and conventional society does not end with incarceration or institutional treatment. Rather, it is transformed into an abundance of interpersonal conflicts within incarceration and treatment. This article uses an interactionist perspective to critically assess five research approaches that account for these phenomena in various ways: 1) quarrels as personality disorders, 2) quarrels as deviant subcultures, 3) quarrels as objects of social control, 4) quarrels and the micro-politics of trouble, and 5) quarrels and the sociology of youth and children. It is argued that an empirically open interactionism within and across the latter four approaches should be sharpened in order to better grasp the social nature and shifting emergence of quarrels in institutional treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-36
JournalJournal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)


  • interactionism
  • Institution
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • sociology
  • Social control
  • Interpersonal conflict
  • sociologi


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