As long as your're resilient you'll succeed: School disaffected adolescents' perspectives on their willingness to engage in high injury-risk graffiti-writing activities
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Psychology and Social Science / Lifespan Resilience Research Group
A lack of sense of school belonging can be a destabilising aspect in disaffected students’ lives, so much so that they will often seek an alternative sense of belonging outside of the school arena. Gaining out-of-school acceptance within the non-conforming, graffiti subculture is dependent upon proving one’s worth through willing engagement in visual acts of high-risk daring. This exemplar study examines the health-risk injuries sustained by eight adolescent crew leaders within the graffiti subculture. The study’s findings reveal four reoccurring sources of graffiti-related injury (ie. tagging hard-to-reach places, fighting rival crews, graffing under the influence, and eluding Police capture). A second finding emanating out of the study is the perception among teenage crew leaders that they needed to be seen to be resilient, in terms of overcoming their graffiti sustained injuries, if they are to succeed in their desire of maintaining their status both within their crew and broader graffiti youth subculture. Finally, the societal need to establish a non-conforming/delinquent bridging pathway to social inclusion is discussed.