Place, time and stigmatised youthful identities: bad boys in paradise,
Anna Kraack & Jane Kenway (University of South Australia)
Centre for Studies in Literacy, Policy and Learning Cultures, University of South Australia
Forthcoming in Special Issue of Rural Sociology on Rural Youth, 2002
This paper focuses on rural young people in time and space, examining the implications of changes in their location for their youthful identities and reputations-particularly those of young males. It explores how, in a fishing, logging and reluctant tourist town on the coast of New South Wales, Australia, such young people form and perform their identities and gain their status through a 'geometry of multiple differences'. The paper begins with a consideration of how boys in particular use public space as a theatre for certain of their masculine performances. It also shows how such performances contribute to their 'bad' reputations among other members of the community. The paper then contextualises this discussion by explaining how globalising circumstances such as rural restructuring, the movement away from traditional industries and the consequent reshaping of the local world of work contribute to contemporary constructions of rural youth in this town. Indeed it shows how in uncertain times and places 'badness' is a construct steeped in changes of place.