This week, the local papers & national media have been awash with reports on boy racers. In particular the way they make pests of themselves by congregating in large numbers and holding drag races, usually late at night. The local city council banned the boy racers (who were in town this weekend in greater numbers to attend a motor show) from areas that they had been a problem before. This included streets around the city and one of the streets in the city that has many car sales yards. Vandalism perpetrated in the car yards had raised an outcry from these businesses. The boy racers then ended up in one of the more exclusive areas of the city which riled the august citizens living in the area by keeping them up for most of the night.
All the commentators seem to be bend on clamping down on boy racers by using the usual law & order strategies. Fines, arrests for non – payment of fines, confiscation of vehicles etc.
Anyway the furore has been an excuse for me to think about other things besides the contents of my thesis along with the need to get my twelve year old car fixed to meet warrant of fitness standards. One of the readings I browsed through last week came to mind, an academic paper by Phil Cohen in the Journal of Education and Work. The paper proposes using the narratives of the various ‘actors’ who participate in ‘labour’ to provide perspectives on the concepts for understanding the ‘knowledge economy’ and other social issues. It contains a telling quote (summarised from page 116) from a young man (age 17) explaining the differences between how he and his father viewed work.
“My old man’s a car mechanic. I’m what they call a boy racer. We both fix cars! He don’t approve of some of the things I get up to, but where am I gonna learn on the job and get kicks at the same time?”