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Inner City Kids

Adolescents Confront Life and Violence in an Urban Community

Alice Mcintyre

Publication Year: 2000

Urban teens of color are often portrayed as welfare mothers, drop outs, drug addicts, and both victims and perpetrators of the many kinds of violence which can characterize life in urban areas. Although urban youth often live in contexts which include poverty, unemployment, and discrimination, they also live with the everydayness of school, friends, sex, television, music, and other elements of teenage lives. Inner City Kids explores how a group of African American, Jamaican, Puerto Rican, and Haitian adolescents make meaning of and respond to living in an inner-city community.

The book focuses on areas of particular concern to the youth, such as violence, educational opportunities, and a decaying and demoralizing urban environment characterized by trash, pollution, and abandoned houses. McIntyre's work with these teens draws upon participatory action research, which seeks to codevelop programs with study participants rather than for them.

Published by: NYU Press

Cover, Copyright and Title Pages


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pp. xi-xii

Some of the young people the reader will meet in this book are considered “at-risk” youth by many educators and psychologists. I think about that often because if the term “at-risk” had been around when I was twelve and thirteen years old, I am sure that I would have been defined in much the same way. ...

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pp. 1-11

I WAS INTRODUCED to the principal of the Blair School,1 an inner-city public school located in the northeast region of the United States, in September 1997. A community activist I had met when I relocated to the area encouraged me to speak with the principal about my ideas of developing a participatory action research (PAR)...

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Chapter 1. Participatory Action Research

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pp. 13-33

PARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH emerged during the 1960s and 1970s as a social, educational, and political movement aimed at transforming the daily realities of people living in developing countries (Fals-Borda and Rahman 1991). Its roots can be traced back to Latin America...

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Chapter 2. Exploring Community

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pp. 34-57

A RECURRING QUESTION in the PAR literature is whether the researcher needs to be approached as a resource by a community or group, or whether she or he can determine that a problem exists within a particular context and initiate a conversation with a group to explore it (see, for...

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Chapter 3. Constructing Meaning about Violence

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pp. 58-92

FOUR TYPES OF VIOLENCE—interpersonal, educational, structural, and environmental—framed the participants’ ongoing discussions about how they experience their lives within their community. Interpersonal violence is the one they experience, engage in, observe, and talk about the most. ...

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Chapter 4. Community Photography: Visual Stories by Inner-City Youth

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pp. 93-122

AS NOTED IN CHAPTER 1, community photography is a tool for investigation that enables people to “reflect on photographs that mirror the everyday social and political realities that influence their lives” (Wang, Wu, Zhan, and Carovano 1998:80). ...

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Chapter 5. Becoming Somebody

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pp. 123-145

IT HAS BEEN WIDELY DOCUMENTED that urban youth who attend inner-city public schools experience gross educational inequities due to lack of funding for urban schools (see, for example, Anyon 1997; Children’s Defense Fund 1999; Council of the Great City Schools 1994; Dar-...

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Chapter 6. Exploring Racism, Whiteness, and Careers with Urban Youth

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pp. 146-166

IN LATE SPRING 1998, Jen and Nicole came to me with an idea for a career exploration program (CEP) they hoped to develop with the participants over the course of a semester. Jen and Nicole were two graduate students in the school psychology program who wanted to ful-...

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Chapter 7. From Dialogue to Action

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pp. 167-195

TO MOVE FROM CONSTRUCTING KNOWLEDGE about our lives and the issues that concern us to mobilizing ourselves to tackle those issues is one of the principal aims of a PAR project. Yet there is no blueprint in PAR for how groups formulate plans for concrete action. ...

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Chapter 8. Making the Road As We Go

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pp. 196-211

AS MENTIONED IN CHAPTER 7, we began the third year of the project with a working lunch at the local McDonald’s. During that lunch, I reminded the participants that we had secured funding for the creation of a photo-text book—a project that we agreed would be a priority for the upcoming year. ...

Appendix A. Transcription Code

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p. 213

Appendix B. Community Resource Inventory—Youth

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pp. 214-216


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pp. 217-220


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pp. 221-233


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pp. 235-242

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About the Author

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p. 243

ALICE McINTYRE, assistant professor and director of the Elementary Education Program in the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions at Fairfield University, is an activist educator and researcher. ...

E-ISBN-13: 9780814723890
E-ISBN-10: 0814723896
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814756355
Print-ISBN-10: 0814756352

Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2000

OCLC Number: 53873388
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Inner City Kids

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Children and violence -- United States.
  • Social work with youth -- United States.
  • Urban youth -- United States -- Attitudes.
  • Inner cities -- United States.
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