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Beyond Badges of Honour: Young People's Perceptions of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders

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Publication details

JournalPeople, Place & Policy online
DatePublished - 2011
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)294-312
Original languageEnglish


Although ‘Anti-Social Behaviour Orders’ (ASBOs) are likely be dropped by the Coalition government, young people considered to behave ‘anti-socially’ will continue to be disciplined using alternative legal measures and sanctions (Home Office, 2011). Despite the high profile public debate around ASBOs, independent empirical research into the perceptions of young people who have been served with them has remained limited. This article reports from a small-scale study which investigated how young people with ASBOs experience them. Contrary to populist notions, participants took them very seriously, revealing themselves as involved in an ongoing process of compliance and defiance with the terms of their orders. I argue that there is a need to move beyond dichotomous presentations of young people with ASBOs as either ‘vulnerable victims’ or ‘dangerous wrong-doers’, towards a more nuanced appreciation of the complex way in which transition to adulthood, vulnerability, transgression and ambivalence are woven together in their lives.

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