Agency and deviance of youth

Agency and deviance of youth

Smirnova A.N.

Cand. Sci. (Sociol.), Senior Lecturer, Department of Social Work, Saint-Petersburg State University, Saint-Petersburg, Russia

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Smirnova A.N. Agency and deviance of youth. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2017. No 6. P. 117-122


Nowadays the issue of agency is an important challenge, which focuses on the development of an active, integrated personality that is capable of managing life situations, and is also adaptive to the changing conditions of social life, yet resistant to manipulative outside influences. For young people, the formation of agency is a crucial process, which mediates the socialization of the younger generation- its socio-economic, political, and legal status; awareness; education; culture; interests; needs; and lifestyles. This paper analyses the process of agency forming and its characteristics, with an emphasis on the risk of deviant youth behaviour. It discusses how problems in the formation of young people’s agency can lead to increasingly “risky” practices in their lives, as well as how involvement in deviant behaviour can make agency difficult to develop. The characteristics of young people’s agency were investigated in empirical research with mix-methodology. The data shows statistically significant distinctions in the agency characteristics of adolescents, who are involved in deviant practices and those who are not. It demonstrates an insufficient formation of agency in deviant adolescents.

agency; adolescents and young people; deviant behaviour


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Content No 6, 2017