Language of the Gun: Youth, Crime, and Public Policy

Language of the Gun: Youth, Crime, and Public Policy

by Bernard E. Harcourt
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0226316084

ISBN-13: 9780226316086

Pub. Date: 02/15/2006

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


Legal and public policies concerning youth gun violence tend to rely heavily on crime reports, survey data, and statistical methods. Rarely is attention given to the young voices belonging to those who carry high-powered semiautomatic handguns. In Language of the Gun, Bernard E. Harcourt recounts in-depth interviews with youths detained at an

Overview


Legal and public policies concerning youth gun violence tend to rely heavily on crime reports, survey data, and statistical methods. Rarely is attention given to the young voices belonging to those who carry high-powered semiautomatic handguns. In Language of the Gun, Bernard E. Harcourt recounts in-depth interviews with youths detained at an all-malecorrectional facility, exploring how they talk about guns and what meanings they ascribe to them in a broader attempt to understand some of the assumptions implicit in current handgun policies. In the process, Harcourt redraws the relationships among empirical research, law, and public policy.

Home to over 150 repeat offenders ranging in age from twelve to seventeen, the Catalina Mountain School is made up of a particular stratum of boys—those who have committed the most offenses but will still be released upon reaching adulthood. In an effort to understand the symbolic and emotional language of guns and gun carrying, Harcourt interviewed dozens of these incarcerated Catalina boys. What do these youths see in guns? What draws them to handguns? Why do some of them carry and others not? For Harcourt, their often surprising answers unveil many of the presuppositions that influence our laws and policies.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226316086
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
02/15/2006
Pages:
264
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Prefaceix
Part 1A Semiotic of the Gun1
1Catalina Mountain School, Tucson, Arizona3
2A Road Map of the Catalina Interviews13
3Symbolic Dimensions and Primary Meanings31
4Three Clusters of Primary Meanings57
5Placing the Clusters in Practice Contexts73
6The Sensual, Moral, and Political Dimensions of Guns94
Part 2Exploring Methodological Sensibilities105
7Sartre and the Phenomenological Gaze111
8Levi-Strauss and the Structural Map125
9Bourdieu and Practice Theory145
10Butler and the Performative157
11Embracing the Paradigm of Dirty Hands167
Part 3Mapping Law and Public Policy175
12A Genealogy of the Youth Gun Field179
13The Landscape of Law and Public Policy193
14Leaps of Faith in Levitt and Bourgois219
15Making Ethical Choices in Law and Public Policy230
Acknowledgments237
AppendixTreatment of Juvenile Records in State Sentencing239
Notes247
References257
Index271

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