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ERIC Number: EJ914729
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 56
ISSN: ISSN-0042-0972
Keeping Faith: Faith Talk by and for Incarcerated Youth
Gardner, Joby
Urban Review: Issues and Ideas in Public Education, v43 n1 p22-42 Mar 2011
In the context of talk about changing their lives, incarcerated young men and their supervisors talk about faith as a force for positive change. Given the historical and contemporary significance of religion as a locus of organizing and collective struggle, I argue that faith represents a potential asset in efforts to assist incarcerated young offenders pursue education, legal work, and sobriety or diminished substance (ab-)use. I draw on growing consensus among scholars of youth development that religious affiliation, and spirituality more generally, are protective and can promote other positive developmental outcomes. I also draw on discursive studies of substance abuse treatment and religious conversion to highlight the ways in which faith talk by and for youth offers avenues for institutionally sanctioned agency and recognized genres of biographical reconstruction. I conclude by suggesting that critically exploring matters of faith and belief in public institutions might usefully inform curricular and programmatic interventions to assist young people avoid recidivism, school failure and substance abuse, and perhaps, find or imagine satisfying and meaningful adult lives.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A