School Violence The Bi-directional Flow Between Neighborhood and School


In this paper the author explores the interrelationship between school and neighborhood violence through ethnographic data collected over two years in a New York City middle school. The author presents a bi-directional flow of adolescent conflict by analyzing incidents taking place outside the school that initially originated in the school setting and other incidents of conflict occurring in school that initiated in the surrounding neighborhood. The research shows the effect of school and neighborhood structures on adolescent violence, concluding that school violence is clearly contextual. Adolescents do not choose their peers in a vacuum, but instead in their selection of peers they mirror the organizational settings of both their school and neighborhood. This paper also presents some successful measures taken by the school staff to stop the conflict flow by halting street codes of behavior within the school setting and helping the students to peacefully solve their disputes.