Coping with a spoiled self: a grounded theory of the experiences of Asian youth in the criminal justice system in Canada
Despite the increasing concern over Asian delinquency in Canada, there is a paucity of research in this area. This is particularly true regarding Asian youth in the criminal justice system. In light of the lack of research on Asian youth in the criminal justice system, the purpose of this study is to generate a theoretical model in order to understand the experiences of Asian youth in the criminal justice system and provide a usable theory for social workers to work with this population. This goal can be accomplished through the exploration of the main research question: How do Asian youth cope with their experiences in the criminal justice system? Constructivist grounded theory was employed to gather information from 15 research participants through face-to-face individual interview in Calgary, Canada. Data was analyzed as suggested in the analytical procedure of grounded theory with an emphasis on the meaning provided by the research participants. Coping with a spoiled self was identified as the core category. It was discovered that the experiences of Asian youth in the criminal justice system is a process of coping with a discredited identify conferred upon them by society. The result of this study has both confirmed some of our long-held beliefs and dispelled other misconceptions. The result of this study provides further support for the theories that asserted that negative conception of self is one of the key factors for offending, and systemic discrimination against Asian youth exists in the criminal justice system. Contrary to general belief, the process of leaving an Asian youth gang is less difficult than expected; and the research participants are committed to conventional norms of society, regardless of their stage of criminal involvement. Moreover, it is found that it was the Asian parents who took the lead in seeking help outside the family even though they do not speak English. Further, the research participants regarded the qualities of caring, culturally sensitivity and knowledgeable to gang culture are more important than the ethnicity of a social worker. These findings would have implications for theoretical development, social work practice, social work training, and social work research in relation to helping Asian youth in the criminal justice system.
Bibliography: p. 198-219
Kwok, S. (2005). Coping with a spoiled self: a grounded theory of the experiences of Asian youth in the criminal justice system in Canada (Unpublished doctoral thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB. doi:10.11575/PRISM/17291