This article analyzes boredom as a central experience of young people confined in secure care. Data are drawn from a two-month ethnographic study in a Danish secure care unit and include both participant observation and interviews with unit residents. Drawing on theories of boredom and young people’s risk-taking, the article demonstrates how boredom is a key experience in daily life in secure care. The institutionalized daily routines and time markers carry little meaning, as the young people are primarily oriented towards their lives on the outside. Boredom is also consequential outside secure care, where “doing nothing” and boredom-avoidance lead to crime as a way of creating excitement. The findings show that boredom is a compelling part of confined young peoples’ experience of secure care, but also prevailing in their daily lives beyond confinement.
Tea Torbenfeldt Bengtsson, SFI
|Publiceret i||Journal of Contemporary Ethnography|