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Challenging the reductionism of “evidence-based” youth justice

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journal contribution
posted on 29.06.2021, 09:19 by Stephen Case
The generation of empirical evidence to explain offending by children and young people has been a central driver of criminological and sociological research for more than two centuries. Across the international field of youth justice, empirical research evidence has become an integral means of complementing and extending the knowledge and understanding of offending offered by the official enquiries and data collection of professional stakeholders and an essential tool for informing ‘evidence-based’ policy, practice and ‘effective intervention’. However, it will be argued that the hegemonic empirical evidence-base created by youth justice research over the past two decades has been generated through methodological reductionism - the oversimplification of complexity, the restriction of conceptual lens and the relative exclusion of competing explanatory paradigms and empirical methodologies, which in turn, has reduced the scope and validity of the policy and practice recommendations derived from it.

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • Social and Policy Studies

Published in

Sustainability

Volume

13

Issue

4

Publisher

MDPI

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Author

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by MDPI under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Acceptance date

22/01/2021

Publication date

2021-02-05

Copyright date

2021

eISSN

2071-1050

Language

en

Depositor

Deposit date: 29 June 2021

Article number

1735

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Loughborough Publications

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