Harvard Educational Review
  1. Spring 2016 Issue »

    “Hitting the Streets”

    Youth Street Involvement as Adaptive Well-Being

    TARA M. BROWN
    Youth involved in illegal street activities such as drug trafficking and violence are at high risk for school failure and other negative outcomes. Research often seeks to identify what is “wrong” with them, what makes them different from “normal” youth, but relatively few studies focus on variations in how youth engage in and make meaning of street activity as embedded within the contexts of their lives. In this article, Tara Brown examines how eighteen young adults in a predominantly Latina/o urban community experienced and understood their involvement in street activities. She draws on interview data from a participatory action research project that studied how and why participants were involved in street activities while they were attending K–12 schools. Framing street activities as adaptive responses aimed at well-being, she examines participants’ involvement in relationship to their life circumstances, needs, and desires within the context of street life and proposes how youth may be similarly and differently oriented toward street activity. Ultimately, Brown argues that more complex understandings of youths’ street involvement require deeper knowledge about its adaptive and varied nature, which can benefit educational researchers and practitioners in more effectively supporting these young people in achieving long-term well-being. 

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    Tara M. Brown is an assistant professor of education at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she studies effects and experiences of disciplinary exclusion and high school noncompletion among youth and young adults in low-income, urban communities. Her work has appeared in journals such as Urban Education, Youth and Society, and the Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice. Her most recent participatory action research (PAR) project, “Uncredentialed: Young Adults Living without a Secondary Credential,” has received mention in several media outlets as being an exemplary “Street PAR” project and is featured in a current issue of Terp, the University of Maryland’s alumni magazine.
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    Spring 2016 Issue

    Abstracts

    The Visible Hand
    Markets, Politics, and Regulation in Post-Katrina New Orleans
    HURIYA JABBAR
    (Re)Imagining Black Boyhood
    Toward a Critical Framework for Educational Research
    MICHAEL J. DUMAS and JOSEPH DERRICK NELSON
    “Hitting the Streets”
    Youth Street Involvement as Adaptive Well-Being
    TARA M. BROWN
    College Pride, Native Pride
    A Portrait of a Culturally Grounded Precollege Access Program for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Students
    ADRIENNE J. KEENE
    La unión hace la fuerza
    Community Organizing in Adult Education for Immigrants
    RUSSELL H. CARLOCK JR.

    Book Notes

    (Un)Learning Disability
    AnnMarie D. Baines