The Open UniversitySkip to content

Making sense of the melting pot: multiple discourses in youth justice policy

Fergusson, Ross (2007). Making sense of the melting pot: multiple discourses in youth justice policy. Youth Justice, 73(3) pp. 179–194.

Full text available as:
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (158kB)
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


The paper proposes a framework for politically-informed analysis of policy processes, to enhance understanding of the inconsistencies of youth justice policies. It begins from the importance of political discourse and argues that multiple discourses reflect political tensions which produce inconsistency. It focuses on the punitive detention of young people, and the paradoxical disjunctures between policy and practice in the 1980s. A second example concerns young people’s rights. These analyses highlight the importance of theorising differences between the rhetorical, the codificational and the implementational modes of the policy process, particularly with regard to governance, and the power of front-line staff.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2007 The National Association for Youth Justice
ISSN: 1747-6283
Keywords: discourse; policy process; detention; rights
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > History, Religious Studies, Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research (ICCCR)
Harm and Evidence Research Collaborative (HERC)
Item ID: 17819
Depositing User: Ross Fergusson
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2009 08:42
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2017 19:13
Share this page:


Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU