The aim of this thesis has been to study power relations between suburb youth and institutions. Data have been assembled during one year of field work, through participant observation, field notes, interviews, informal conversations, and the study of official reports, investigations and documentation.
In chapter 1, the youth groups are introduced. I describe in what way the informal group gains a basis of experience. Tbrough "territoriality" and "doing nothing", the social group marks its sense of kinship with its own generation and its own social class.
The youth groups of Wemmenborg do not have a free choice of action. The group members are intent on keeping what they have. In this way, they become dependent of institutions and grown-up persons in authority.
In chapter 2, I give an account of how the strategies of the informal group work, as they mark a distinction between "us" and "them". Still, at the same time, these strategies form the process which ties the group even tighter to the authorities rejected. I describe in what way social workers and police officers are used as "negative models", in oder to remove the feeling of being Seduced or tricked into something. Through this strategy, authority becomes invisibly but efficiently legitimated.
Chapter 3 describes the environment which brings forth specific technologies and practices of power. These have their own historical conditions as disciplinary foundations through which the subject is made into an object of knowledge. Due to the proceeding form of "prophylacticrationality", knowledge is accumulated in order to anticipate the genesis of conditions producing social conflict, and in order to balance these conflicts.
In chapter 4, I show how this knowledge and power combine into a practice which is applied to young people. I try to see how the social technologies work and what they bring about.
In chapter 5, I tie together the principal lines in an discussion about power and the situation of young people who are under influence of modernization processes in the post-modem era.
There is a tendency to regard young people as one universal group without making any social distinctions. This tendency generates and legitimates techniques and practises for normalization.
The concept of "resistance" is discussed interpreted both as a "possibility" and as an involuntary submission of power.
Linköping: Linköpings universitet , 1990. , 195 p.
1990-12-17, Sal C2, Hus C, Campus Valla, Linköping Universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)