Sociology Youth Crime

Sociology Youth Crime

Youth crime In youth crime there are patterns and trends in youth crime. The ethnicity is in 2007-8 black young people made up 3% of the general 10-17 population but account for 7% of those coming to attention of the youth justice system. 14% of those received a custodial sentence and almost 1 in 3 given a sentence of long term detention.

But during 2007, 74% of all young people convicted, warned or reprimanded for an offence were male, and there is no indigence that female youth offending is increasing at any faster rate than males Pits (2008) research on gangs shows there are stronger links between young people involvement in crime and living in disadvantage areas than there are with their individual family or educational characteristics. It could be argues that deviance engages in by middle class youths is less likely to be labels by the police or Other agents as worthy Of attention.

The functionalists approaches is a subculture and strain thee, like Morton (1939) argues that the offending committed by young people was the result of a poor fit or a strain between the socially accepted goals of society and the socially approached means of obtaining those desired goals. This leads to deviance, he argues that impossible standards and goals are set onto young people and when they are unable to achieve these goals e. G. Finding a job, doing well in school, then they become disenchanted with society and seek out other alternative (generally deviant) ways of behaving.

In most places which are known to be the poorest towns, certain forms of crime have become the cultural norm , being brought down from one generation to the next as part of a normal oscillation pattern. Successful criminals provided role models for the young, demonstrating both the possibilities of success through crime, and its normality. Sub-cultural theory suggests that certain groups within society form their own distinct subculture that differs from the rest of society. As part of the process of solicitation, certain forms of behavior become the norm from one generation to the next.

There are several examples of sub-cultures within society. For example the sociologist Albert Cohen studied the subculture of working-class boys in education. Women commit less crimes then men because of socialistic they are taught that some things are seen as deviant or even criminal. Boys are allowed toys that make them act deviant. Omen commit less crime because, they have less opportunity, Behavior is more closely monitored and Women often do domestic chores e. E House work, cook food and look after the children.

There are more Opportunities for criminal behavior as More young people (aged 14 – 25 – the peak ages for criminal activity) live in urban areas which provides more opportunities perforce: more shops, offices, businesses, cars, houses etc. Fewer opportunities for serious work-related crimes because young are rarely in positions Of authority. They is More opportunities for work-related crime for elder people. Middle and upper class youth have fewer opportunities for crime because they are more-likely to be in full-time education up to age of 21 / 22 than working class youth.

Working class youth more-likely to be in low-paid, low skill work (or unemployed). Criminal behavior may be used as a source of excitement as well as money. Women will have fewer opportunities to commit crimes if they have a home / children to look after. After age 25 we see a steep drop in criminal activity as people take-on new roles such as wage-earner, parent, spouse etc. The possibility of jail time comes a relatively more-serious matter because of the impact it will have on the perpetrators life and responsibilities.

Given that the vast majority of crime is relatively petty, older people may cease to follow a lifestyle (clubbing… ) that gives them opportunities for these crimes. As people get older they take-on more personal responsibilities (work / career for example) and social responsibilities (children or a partner for example) which makes them consider the effect their behavior might have on people they love / value. Lack of responsibilities might also lead to the opposite happening ore crime being committed because the perpetrator doesn’t have to consider others.

Young people are rarely in a position to commit major work- related crimes (such as computer fraud) because their work roles regularly fairly low-level and do not involve having authority over others. They are more likely to be managed at work rather than beings manager. Marxist picture capitalist society as characterized by class conflict – attempts at domination by the ruling class and resistance by the working class. One of the more important ways in which the ruling class attempts to control people is o use the cultural values of society for their own benefit.

The imposition of ruling class ideas on the rest of society is known as hegemony. The hegemony of the ruling class is greatly aided by the fact that most adults in the UK get locked into the system. They have mortgages, credit cards, family commitments. They may not like things the way they are, but will also be nervous about potentially damaging changes in it. The relative security Of capitalism is better than the feared unknown. Youth, however, are not yet locked into the system, and are relatively free of long-term commitment or accessibility.

Youth are therefore the group with the most freedom to resist the structure of hegemony. From the previous studies, it would seem that the deviance and delinquency are working class male. There have been attempts as to try and explain what it was about working class youths that made them deviant. Where its stressing the rejection of, or replacement of middle class norms sometimes achieved this. Although studies have been carried out into middle class deviance and its hard to explain on why middle class youth should reject goals and lifestyles associated with their own class location.

It is correct that some middle class deviance can be looked up as cultural culture for example, when there is criticism to their institutions like family and marriage, but the same can’t be said Of some Of the activities uncovered by channel (1966) in his investigation into middle class deviance. Sanely had evidence of a large avert of deviance with middle class youths. His informant where, involvement in forgery, breaking and entering, property destruction and arson, equaled and on some occasions exceeded, that of comparable groups of working class youth.

Some finding clearly can not be interpreted in terms of status frustration or a simple rejection of middle class norms. On the other hand, H & moorhens (1964) studies of middle class gangs revealed that there is a regular of theft on items. Here was also the social use of large quantities of alcohol and marijuana. The Moorhens concluded that it might be more useful to look for similarities between groups considered deviant and those seen as non-deviants, rather than to continually look for differences. The sub cultural theory suggests that, the existence of distinct sets of values ND that these values determine behavior.

However, research in the UK has found evidence of such subcultures hard to find. Indeed, the usual result is to illustrate how ordinary most delinquents are. David Matzo, Delinquency and Drift, rejects the idea of a distinct subculture and that this subculture determines behavior. He claims that delinquents are similar to everyone else in their values and indeed display similar feelings of outrage about crime as the majority of the population. Matzo argues that we all hold two levels of values. The values that guide us most of the time are respectable and invitational.

But at times, underlying values of sexuality, greed and aggressiveness emerge. These values are generally held under control – all of us hold them back – but occasionally, all of us get taken over by them. For example, looting, if given the opportunity. Matzo argues that delinquents are simply more likely to behave according to subterranean values in ‘inappropriate’ situations. Matzo suggests that delinquents use a number of techniques of naturalization to explain why their delinquent act is an exception. Yes. What I did was wrong but… Meeting made me do it (denial of responsibility); they deserved it (denial of victim); there is no harm done (denial of injury); doesn’t everybody (condemn the condemners); I had to do it (appeal to a higher loyalty). Matzo uses the concept of drift to explain why only some young people commit crime. Matzo suggests that youth is a period of limbo. Youths feel they lack control over their lives and they want to gain some control over their destiny. Matzo argues that during this period of drift, the constraining bonds of society are loosened, and so adolescents become ore susceptible to suggestions of deviant acts by the peer group.

Committing a delinquent act may then represent an attempt to demonstrate control over their lives, to exercise choice. However, there is no suggestion of a deviant career, the youths are not committed to a life of crime, they can drift in, and perhaps out when they get a job. However, Matzo provides no wider framework of structural and economic circumstances that might explain why it is working class males who seem driven to higher levels of delinquency than anyone else.

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