Anti social behaviour and disability in the UK

NIXON, J., HODGE, N.S., PARR, S., WILLIS, B. and HUNTER, C. (2008). Anti social behaviour and disability in the UK. People, place & policy online, 2 (1), 37-47.

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Over the last ten years, the UK government has made tackling anti-social behaviour (ASB) a priority in its discourses and through the introduction of a wide range of legislative and policy measures. In the development of the new politics of conduct a number of competing discourses have emerged in which binary oppositions are employed to symbolically differentiate the law abiding from the irresponsible. The focus of this paper is on the way in which disabled people, particularly those with mental health conditions are vulnerable to being constructed as victims and perpetrators of ASB. We explore the tensions and contradictions between policy developments in policing conduct and the requirement for housing authorities to take steps to meet disabled people’s needs even if this requires more favourable treatment. Drawing on empirical evidence of the way in anti-social behaviour measures have had a disproportional impact on disabled people the paper reflects on the failure of policy makers to acknowledge the complex material reality in which the anti-social subject can be constituted as both a victim and perpetrator. The use of regulatory mechanisms such as the ASBO we argue, may not only fail to address the underlying causes of problem behaviour but also can have exclusionary effects that exacerbates discrimination.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: disability, discrimination, anti-social behaviour, victims and perpetrators
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research
Identification Number:
Page Range: 37-47
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2009
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 21:31

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