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NCJ Number: 66127 Find in a Library
Title: MYTH OF DELINQUENCY - AN ANATOMY OF JUVENILE NIHILISM
Author(s): E LEYTON
Corporate Author: McClelland and Stewart Inc
Canada
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 220
Sponsoring Agency: McClelland and Stewart Inc
Toronto, Ontario M5G 2E9, Canada
Sale Source: McClelland and Stewart Inc
481 University Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M5G 2E9,
Canada
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: CASE HISTORIES OF EIGHT JUVENILE DELINQUENTS INCARCERATED IN A CANADIAN TRAINING SCHOOL ILLUSTRATE THE INFLUENCE OF SOCIETAL STRUCTURE ON THE BEHAVIOR OF FAMILIES AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SOCIAL ORDER.
Abstract: BASED ON INTERVIEWS WITH DELINQUENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES, CORRECTIONS OFFICERS, SOCIAL WORKERS, AND PSYCHIATRISTS, THE BOOK DETERMINES THAT TROUBLED ADOLESCENTS COMMIT DELINQUENT ACTS IN A DESPERATE ATTEMPT TO TAKE CONTROL OF THEIR LIVES WITH THE PURPOSE OF REINSTATING THEMSELVES WITHIN THE FAMILY. THE IMPETUS FOR THE DISPROPORTIONATE INCARCERATION OF LOWER-CLASS CHILDREN ARISES FROM THE TENSIONS AND CONTRADICTIONS FACING POOR FAMILIES AND THE ABSENCE OF SOCIAL PRESSURES AMONG LOWER-CLASS PARENTS TO REINSTATE THEIR CHILDREN IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN SOCIAL RESPECTABILITY. THE FUNCTION OF SOCIETY IN THIS WORKING CLASS DISEASE IS TO SHIFT BLAME AWAY FROM ITSELF BY BLAMING EITHER THE CHILDREN OR THEIR PARENTS, AND THEN TO POSE AS THE CURER (VIA THE TRAINING SCHOOL SYSTEM) OF DELINQUENCY. BECAUSE SUCH INSTITUTIONS TREAT THE SYMPTOMS OF DISTURBANCE RATHER THAN THE CAUSES, THEIR FAILURE IS INEVITABLE. THE RANDOM AND NIHILISTIC ASSAULTS ON PERSONS AND PROPERTY COMMITTED BY THESE EIGHT DELINQUENTS ARE VIEWED FROM AN ANTHROPOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE. ANTHROPOLOGY HAS LONG ESTABLISHED THAT THE PRIME MOTIVATOR OF HUMANKIND IS THE STRUGGLE FOR ESTEEM. THE POVERTY, HUMILIATION, AND INSECURITY THAT ARE THE LOT OF THE LOWER CLASSES PRECIPITATE THE DELINQUENCY OF SOCIETY, OF THE FAMILY AND OF THE CHILD. BECAUSE TENSIONS AND HUMILIATIONS ARE EMBEDDED IN THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC ORDER, SOCIETY CAN EXPECT FEW OF THE CHILDREN DESCRIBED IN THIS TEXT TO BE HELPED. METHODOLOGICAL NOTES AND A REPORT WITH RECOMMENDATIONS ARE APPENDED. FOOTNOTES AND 28 REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (WJR)
Index Term(s): Cultural influences; Economic influences; Juvenile case studies; Juvenile correctional facilities; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Radical criminology; Self concept; Social classes; Social conditions; Social control theory; Unemployment
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66127

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