This research examines how social issues facing youth crime and prevention are represented and outlines the solutions presented by community programs in Surrey, British Columbia. The media acts as a powerful force, responsible for widely communicating and shaping the construction of identities and social issues for public consumption (Jiwani, 2006). This research analyzes how discursive practices situate and connect students in Surrey to wider societal narratives about youth. Through a media discourse and website analysis of an education department called Surrey Safe Schools, I argue that the media and policy are responsive to one another. Particularly, when it comes to discussions of youth violence in Surrey through the similar use of discourses of responsibility and empowerment. Simultaneously, non-profits and youth programs are a part of an industry like no other. As a result, I argue that community programs like Safe Schools use distinct racialized narratives, also deployed by the media, to justify their existence. Finally, through interviews with youth workers this thesis simultaneously highlights how these programs act as critical spaces in which staff are actively questioning the intentionality behind their initiatives to mentor and engage young people in Surrey.
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Thesis advisor: Crey, Karrmen
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