AbstractsLaw & Legal Studies

Young boys behind bars: An ethnographic study of violence and care in South Africa

by H. Sauls

Institution: Universiteit van Amsterdam
Year: 2015
Record ID: 1248144
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/11245/1.464735


This thesis is the result of an ethnographic study that delves into the world of boys, who are younger than 16 years old, awaiting trial behind bars in a secure care facility. In this thesis, the reader is introduced to some of these boys. We get to know who these boys are, where they come from, why they were institutionalised and what they endured in their daily lives outside the institution. The core of this thesis describes the social composition of a secure care facility and the daily activities and interactions that take place within its walls. We follow the boys in the trajectories they took inside and outside the criminal justice system and obtaining glimpses of their families, communities and staff with whom they come into contact. How are socio-cultural and legal-political perceptions of violent children reflected in the infrastructural arrangements and regulations of secure care facilities in South Africa? In these facilities, how are the lives of these boys enacted on a daily basis? And how do institutionalised boys perceive themselves inside and outside the institution? These are the three main research questions that steer this study.