A Foucauldian exploration of youth at-risk : the adoption and integration of conventional goals and values
This dissertation utilizes a Foucauldian perspective to explore the relationship between at-risk youth and the acceptance and integration of long-term conventional goals and values held by the general population. I posit that orthodox theories, which argue that youth who engage in delinquent behaviors do so because they either reject the goals and values of society, or they realize they have no legitimate means of goal attainment, fail to adequately explain why some youth appear to integrate and strive for these goals. I argue that Foucault's work on power and knowledge, more specifically the use of bio-power and the technologies of normalization, can be used as an explanation for how at-risk youth come to integrate and accept these conventional goals and fully participate in the creation of themselves as "docile bodies". This issue is explored through an analysis of two sets of data collected through the development and implementation of two separate surveys; one given to the general population of youth and the other to at-risk youth. As well, I explore the findings of personal interviews collected with youth incarcerated in Kilburn Hall, a remand centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. What these data show is that, far from rejecting the conventional goals and values of society, at-risk youth appear to integrate both the goals and a strong ideology of personal responsibility for the attainment, or failure to achieve these goals.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)