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NCJ Number: 194822 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Intergenerational Transmission of Conduct Norms for Drugs, Sexual Exploitation and Violence: A Case Study
Journal: The British Journal of Criminology  Volume:42  Issue:1  Dated:Winter 2002  Pages:1-20
Author(s): Eloise Dunlap; Andrew Golub; Bruce D. Johnson; Damaris Wesley
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute on Drug Abuse
Bethesda, MD 20892-9561
US Dept of Health and Human Services
Rockville, MD 20892-9304
Grant Number: 1R01DA05126-08; 1R01DA09056-07; 1R03DA06413-01
Type: Case Study
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This is a case study of four generations of women who grew up in severely distressed households typical of many in inner-city New York, where drug abuse, sexual exploitation, and violence were the norm.
Abstract: Forty households that represented a range of experiences typical of the inner city were selected for the study. Several similarly situated households in which members were generally disconnected from drug activities were included for comparison. The study followed an omnibus longitudinal ethnography to develop insight into the lives and relationships of the focal subjects and households. Over the course of the study, the subjects experienced important developmental transitions, such as progressing from adolescent to young adult, from mother to grandmother, as well as increases in or desistance from drug use and/or sales. Because the events, behaviors, relationships, and perceptions of individuals in a household were complexly interrelated, the study had an omnibus focus, simultaneously examining a wide variety of social behaviors as well as the belief systems and conduct norms followed in many behavior domains. The collection of observations and their analysis was guided by ethnomethodology, grounded theory, naturalistic behavioralism, and phenomenology. The study findings addressed conduct norms regarding drugs, sexual exploitation, violence, and transient domesticity. The four generations of women who were the focus of the analysis never had much of a chance to enter the mainstream of conventional society. They were socialized to and accepted their situation and made the best of it. Their early protests against their mistreatment went perhaps unheard at the time and certainly unheeded. The conduct norms that prescribed acceptance of sexual exploitation, interpersonal violence, and substance abuse permeated each generation's experience. Even when one of the women enrolled in college, her adherence to street conduct norms (using college loans to finance her drugs, partying, and illegal sales) effectively defeated her major opportunity to break out of the cycle of poverty. The authors advise that addressing the concerns of the inner city involve much more than mere provision of services, be it improved education, policing, or job training and availability. A transformation of severely distressed households in the inner city will also require a cultural change either by revolution or evolution. Most important, it involves hearing the voices of young girls and women in distressed households trying to find warmth and security and trying to establish a sense of self that is oriented toward conventional society while being under hostile conditions within their families. 56 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors
Index Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Children of drug abusers; Family histories; Family structure; New York; Parent-Child Relations; Sexually abused adolescents; United States of America; Violence
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