All aboard or all bored: Young people and conflict on public transport

RA Lincoln, Adrienne Gregory

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Negative perceptions, fear and stereotyping mean that young people are often viewed as illegitimate users of public space. This leads to contestation around the rules that govern the use of these spaces and often to the exclusion of youth. Yet the nature of public space has undergone radical transformation in recent decades due to the intensification of consumerism, privatisation and surveillance. One such site of conflict is public transport where questions arise about delineating appropriate behaviours, who makes the formal rules, how are these spaces governed or surveilled and with what outcomes for those involved within such space. This paper explores issues of youth conduct on public transport, with a focus on bus networks. It examines the problems that arise during out-of-school hours when youth activities cluster in time and space; as well as conflict around the older cohort of teens who are reliant on bus transportation to access the night-time economy. Particularly, it canvasses the cyclical nature of the relationship between "deindividuation" and disorder among youth when they appropriate public space in groups and the reinforcement of pre-existing perceptions amongst all involved. This paper will draw upon data from an ongoing multi-method research project conducted in Australia that examines incivility and violence as well as crime reduction strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventThe Association of American Geographers 2014 Annual Meetings - Tampa, United States
Duration: 8 Apr 201412 Apr 2014


ConferenceThe Association of American Geographers 2014 Annual Meetings
Abbreviated titleAAG
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Otheroin fellow geographers, GIS specialists, and environmental scientists for the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers in Tampa, Florida, for the latest in research and applications in geography, sustainability, and GIScience. The AAG Annual Meeting is an interdisciplinary forum open to anyone with an interest in geography and related disciplines. Founded in 1904 as a scientific and educational society, AAG is a growing worldwide network of leading scholars, researchers, professionals, and students. AAG facilitates interdisciplinary networking and collaboration through annual meetings, international workshops, specialty conferences, publications, and research programs. Visit to learn more.
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