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Decisive turning points in life trajectories of violence among young men in the <i>barrios</i> of Caracas: the initiation and biographical reconversion to non-violent lifestyles

Verónica Zubillaga

in Biography and turning points in Europe and America

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9781847428608
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781447307655 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847428608.003.0007
Decisive turning points in life trajectories of violence among young men in the barrios of Caracas: the initiation and biographical reconversion to non-violent lifestyles

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Zubillaga analyzes young men’s movement into and out of violent lifestyles in the Venezuelan city of Caracas. She discusses the usefulness of the concept of “turning points” in the effort to understand, first, the biographical narratives of young men who initiated and sustained a trajectory of violence, and second, the narratives of biographical reconversion related by young men who developed a trajectory of violence, and who managed to re-define their identities, lifestyles, and life projects to repudiate violence. This paper is based on a series of life stories collected between 2000 and 2006 with a range of young people: nine 17 to 27 year olds in the Caracas barrios; fourteen 17 and 18 years detained youths in 2000; and with ten 22 to 30 year olds who had extricated themselves from violent lives. She finds that the emergence of projects with an existential sense, and the presence of other allies—social and familial—prove to be indispensable to confirm and sustain the modification.

Keywords: Turning points; narratives; biography; family; social allies; youth violence; Venezuela

Chapter.  9478 words. 

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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