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NCJ Number: 136135 Find in a Library
Title: Legal Socialization Theory: A Precursor to Comparative Research in the Soviet Union (From Advances in Criminological Theory, Volume 2, P 71-85, 1990, William S Laufer and Freda Adler, eds. -- See NCJ-136131)
Author(s): J O Finckenauer
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Transaction Publishers
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Sale Source: Transaction Publishers
Rutgers-the State University
140 West Ethel Road
Units L-M
Piscataway, NJ 08854
United States of America
Type: Survey (Cross-Cultural)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Legal socialization has been defined as the development of values, attitudes, and behaviors toward the law; it focuses on the individual's standards for making sociolegal judgments and for resolving conflicts, pressing claims, and settling disputes.
Abstract: The theory of legal development is derived primarily from cognitive developmental theory. The role of legal knowledge and legal education is of particular interest in legal socialization because law-related education is a popular technique for enhancing legal socialization. Research evidence testing the link between knowledge and attitudes have found that children's knowledge of the law increases with age, but attitudes toward the law seem to become increasingly negative between childhood and adolescence. Another study indicates that positive orientations toward the law, police, and courts are negatively related to certain self-reported delinquency measures. This suggest that if young people believe in the law and the justice system, they may be less likely to engage in delinquency. Some moral development research has found that juvenile delinquents reason as a lower moral level than nondelinquents. It may be that the extent to which legal socialization involves young people internalizing normative rules, social conventions, and moral codes of society will be related to their likelihood of rule breaking and thus juvenile delinquency. Cross-cultural studies of socialization in the Soviet Union conclude that the Soviet collective-centered system of child rearing, with its emphasis on character education, should produce children who are more conforming and less rebellious and delinquent than American children. Soviet studies also demonstrate that cultural socialization processes have a strong influence on moral judgment; that formal legal instruction in schools is intended to shape the civic views of youth; and that Soviet youth do participate in juvenile crime, drug use, and other deviant behavior. 76 references
Main Term(s): Socialization
Index Term(s): Crime in foreign countries; Criminology theory evaluation; Cultural influences; Juvenile delinquency theory; Public Opinion of Crime; Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)
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