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Making of a Teenage Service ClassPoverty and Mobility in an American City$
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Ranita Ray

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520292055

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520292055.001.0001

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Dismantling the “At Risk” Discourse

Dismantling the “At Risk” Discourse

(p.221) 9 Dismantling the “At Risk” Discourse
Making of a Teenage Service Class

Ranita Ray

University of California Press

This chapter briefly revisits the structure/agency dilemma before turning to a call to rethink the “at risk” framing of inner-city youth—as potential parents, drug users and dealers, gang members, and perpetrators of violence—that often shapes both public policies and the experiences of the youth. It then frames how to think about service jobs and also provides policy recommendations focusing on what can be done at the local level to facilitate young people’s transition to college and their retention once they are there, arguing for a need to provide sustained support in the face of persistent marginalization.

Keywords:   structure and agency, public policy, sustained support, at risk, inner-city youth, transition to college

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