Sociology of At-Risk Youth
|Unit(s): 3.0||Level(s): IV||Term(s): Fall||Offered?: Yes|
This course examines the sociology of at-risk youth, including youth delinquency. This course is intended to provide a comprehensive understanding of issues facing at-risk youth in Canada. Particular emphasis will be given to contemporary issues in Canadian youth justice. The course begins with an overview of the social construction of youth deviance and then moves on to legislation and the changing philosophies that shape our official responses to youth crime. We will study important correlates of youth crime, such as the peer group, social disadvantage, and mental health to shed light on the lives of at-risk youth and the link to the youth justice system. We will also examine special populations of at-risk youth, such as girls, Aboriginal youth, and street youth. We will end the course by looking at the official responses to youth deviance and crime. Students are encouraged to critically asses the official responses to youth crime as well as consider implications for legal and social policy. This course also has an academic placement component. Students will be volunteering as tutors and informal mentors to high school students through the “Pathways to Education Program”. This community engaged scholarship component is a unique and valuable opportunity for students to gain deeper insight into the problems facing at-risk youth in their own community. This placement component will also allow students to apply what they are learning in this course. This will be of particular value for those students who are interested in education, welfare, and health. Because the placement component involves a significant time commitment, after the first week of class we will be meeting for only two hours. Information on the “Pathways to Education Program” and details about scheduling will be given in the first week of class. Students are expected to do all required readings, come to all classes, and participate in class discussions. The evaluation components for the course include class participation, midterm, essay, and bi-weekly reading assignments.