Social Capital, Resilience and Desistance: The Ability to be a Risk Navigator

Published 17/12/2008
Type Article
Author(s) Thilo Boeck, Jennie Fleming, Hazel Kemshall
Corresponding Authors Thilo Boeck, Department of Applied Social Sciences, De Montfort University

There has been increasing attention to the role of social capital in fostering resilience to risk and challenging life transitions, particularly for young people (Evans, 2002). In the criminological arena recent studies have focused on the role of social capital in facilitating desistance from crime (Farrall, 2002, 2004). Such studies have also emphasised the crucial inter-play between agency and structure (Giddens, 1998), and the concept of the ‘agentic’ individual capable of exercising choices and shaping their futures (Ward and Maruna, 2007). In this article we explore the role of social capital in assisting young people to negotiate key life transitions, and in particular how social capital (or the absence of it) can facilitate or hinder desistance from crime.