Architecture and Deviance in Schools - Implications of a Meta-Synthesis of Hotsports in Swedish Schools

Charlotta Thodelius

Abstract


To investigate the function of place in relation to deviance, this article looks at hotspots for three different types of deviant events in Swedish schools: assaults, bullying, and deliberate fire-setting. Drawing upon a qualitative meta-synthesis of ten Swedish reports that address such incidents, the analysis identifies three categories of hotspot that occur in school settings – restrooms, hallways, and student lounges. The study also found that deviant events tend to correlate with specific combinations of socio-spatial patterns and criminogenic elements that in turn are related to the physical design of a space. The study’s findings indicate that the school’s physical structure and built environment play an import role in either facilitating or hindering the likelihood of deviant events occurring. Accordingly, architecture and especially school design can promote prevention strategies by more strongly acknowledging the role of place in risky situations.

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