Dr Emma Agnew – Clinical Psychologist

Dr Emma Agnew, discusses her research into young people and gangs. In this frank and thought provoking analysis, Emma discusses the many young people she has worked with who have had gang involvement. She is particularly interested in the language and narratives frequently used that serve to label young people and provoke many responses from society, but fail to address the underlying causes. Emma discusses the structural violence, committed by the government, that results in racism, poverty and inequality. She draws on the fact that the UK is amongst the wealthiest countries in the world, yet we have such significant levels of inequality. Emma discusses how language creates stereotypes that then prevail through government, to the press, to schools, the police and how the general public view young people. This has significant impact on the young people themselves who are often victims of poverty and how it affects their self esteem, their emotional and psychological well being. Emma concludes with her persecutive that society needs to re-humanise these individuals, remove the labels and start to focus on interventions that look at social, rather than criminal, justice.

Emma Agnew-The School of Life

 Emma is a highly respected Clinical Psychologist, originally from Scotland, who trained and worked in London, before moving to Australia. Her therapeutic work includes running creative therapy workshops in an adolescent psychiatric ward, designing and delivering group and individual therapy in a male prison, and working in a human rights organisation with refugees. Her doctoral research centred around gang members and constructed identities. Emma is interested in how people tell the stories of their lives, how these stories shape their identities, and how these stories are influenced by the media, the government, and popular ideas in society.



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