Critically discuss the intersectionality of race, gender, age and class in the case study.
Focus of the assignment
TMA 02 is intended to assess your ability to critically apply what you know about the relevant socio-cultural factors of race, gender, age and class, and the ways they intersect with each other, to a particular case study.
it is important that you attempt to cover both the socio-cultural factors of race, gender, age and class and the ways they intersect with each other in the presented case study.
The main command word used in the essay title is ‘critically discuss’. This means that you should not just describe the socio-cultural factors and their intersection, but your essay should also contain critical evaluation of the research and theories introduced. You can achieve that by showing an awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of the research that you introduce in your essay, or by questioning assumptions presented in the material.
It is important to note that the writing should be focused on the case provided (Yusuf), and how the socio-cultural factors may play out and intersect in this case, rather than the socio-cultural factors in general.
Word limit: 1500 words
Yusuf is a 25-year-old Asian male from Bradford. He is currently serving a four-year sentence for robbery with knife injury.
Demographics and family history
Yusuf’s grandparents on both sides came to the UK from Pakistan. He has one brother who is three years older than him. His brother was always considered to be the clever son and Yusuf was considered to be the mischievous son. When Yusuf and his brother were growing up, Yusuf’s father worked on a casual basis as a painter and decorator. He was periodically unable to work due to back problems so had long periods of unemployment. Yusuf’s mother suffered with frequent ill health due to problems relating to depression. She sporadically worked as a cleaner in the primary school which Yusuf and his brother attended. His biological parents divorced when he was 13 years old. Yusuf has had no contact with his biological father since the divorce. There are on record five reports of domestic disturbances between Yusuf’s mother and biological father prior to their separation. Police records suggest that Yusuf’s father had been drinking when the police attended these disturbances.
Yusuf’s mother remarried. His step-father is a white British male who works as a cab driver for Uber. Since Yusuf’s first prison sentence at age 15 (in a young offender institute), he has only had extremely limited contact with his mother and step-father.
Neither Yusuf’s biological parents nor his step-father have a criminal record.
His brother is now a GP and lives in London with his wife and rarely comes back to visit. Yusuf is single and has no children.
Prior to his prison sentence, Yusuf obtained occasional work as a labourer, working cash in hand on a day-rate basis. He admits to having handled stolen goods as a way to get by. Until his prison sentence, Yusuf lived in a bedsit on the tenth floor of a twelve-floor tower block. He did not receive DSS (government benefits) or any housing benefit.
Yusuf only has a few close friends despite being outgoing and socialising in the pub. He is heterosexual and has had frequent sexual relationships with women but these rarely last more than a few nights/dates. Yusuf is not a regular drug user, but prior to being in prison he made occasional recreational use of cocaine at weekends.
Violence and criminal activity
Yusuf’s violence tends to be associated with loss of temper rather than with drug or alcohol use. He has been known to use violence instrumentally in the past. He obtained a number of Governor’s reports when serving his last sentence in prison for violence towards other prisoners and, on one occasion, towards a member of staff in the education block. He therefore obtained a reputation for bullying behaviour. He has undergone anger management training while in prison. Yusuf is known to have been involved in gangs in the past but his current gang-related status is uncertain.
Previous recorded criminal activity
Yusuf has two prior convictions for actual bodily harm (at 15 and 20 years old) and one for robbery (at 24 years old). He has previously served nine months in a young offender institution and six months in a category C prison.
Mental health and education
Yusuf has no known mental health diagnosis as an adult, although as a child he was referred for psychological assessment to an educational psychologist. He was assessed as being moderately dyslexic. Yusuf has three GCSEs in home economics, maths and woodwork. School reports suggest that Yusuf was a frequent truant and displayed early violent behaviour (in playground incidents). He was never formally excluded from school.
Current offence – robbery
Yusuf Khan is currently serving a four-year sentence for robbery in HM Prison Leeds, and is less than one year into his sentence. Yusuf armed himself with a kitchen knife and slashed at the arm of a shop proprietor before stealing the contents of the till and running to a waiting getaway car.
One of the prison psychologists has chatted briefly with Yusuf (for less than ten minutes). He reports that Yusuf is sneering about the role of psychology/therapy and what it might be able to offer him. He is dismissive of any suggestion that he might be suffering from any sort of mental health difficulty.