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Chapter 6: Different Directions in Theorizing about Youth Crime and Delinquency Labelling Theory Tannenbaum (1938) Argued that children engage in delinquency behavior without knowing that others view it as delinquent or bad • Best adult response is to do nothing • Conflict between a child’s play group and the community that turns play into delinquent behavior • The child becomes the things he is described as being. Lemert (1951) Argued there are two types of deviance: primary and secondary • Primary: the initial act • Secondary: all of the behaviors that a person develops as a result of societal responses to their primary deviance • It is difficult for a secondary deviant to not be a deviant in the eyes of the community if caught for their primary  deviance Becker (1963) Deviance is not inherited in an act, but rather is created by our responses to the act • Ie. Murder and soldiers trained to kill on command • Process of delinquency begins with attaching a label to a person in response to their behavior • Deviance becomes a master status and is attached to every action they take • Once a persons deviance is discovered we reinterpret all of his or her past actions in light of the new information Decarceration: the practice of moving individuals from institutional settings into community facilities and programs Conflict Theory Power is an important role in society and one that must be considered in any attempt to explain criminal or delinquent  behavior Social Order: Refers to assumptions about society as free of disorder Power: The ability of a person or group to force others to do what they wish Liberal Confilct Theory (aka critical criminology) Focused more on law, the application of law, and the administration of justice than on the etiology of criminal behavior • Sellin (1938) o Referred to rules governing a cultural group as “conduct norms” o Since each culture has its own set of norms, heterogeneous societies (more than one culture), will have  more group conflict than homogeneous societies o Dominant group in heterogeneous society will be one with most power & resources o When normative behavior of one group violates dominant group’s normative behavior then  criminalization of the weaker group occurs o Criminalization: The process whereby a person comes to be officially and/or publicly known as  a “criminal” • Turk (1969) • Value conflicts perceived as threatening to those in authority will lead to less powerful groups being  identified as criminal or delinquent Radical Conflict Theory Capitalism is the root cause of crime • Two major classes:  o Bourgeoisie: control the means of production o Proletariat: sell labour to the bourgeoisie • Greenberg (1977) o Young people are at greater risk of being involved in criminal activities because the age structure of  capitalist society forces them into economic dependency • Schwendinger (1979) o Delinquency is created by a drive for the profit on which capitalism depends o Profits increased through technology, therefore young people (less experience) are more likely to be  displaced by technology than old people • Focus on structures and relations of control • Does not assume free will or determinism but a combination • People freely choose to create and reinforce institutional structures that eventually control and dominate  them OPPORTUNITY THEORY Looks at crime as an event connected to situational factors • Criminal Event: An event involving the convergence of a motivated offender, a suitable target or targets,  and the absence of controls • There is not one explanation for crime, but rather that different explanations may be required for different  crimes Routine Activity Theory (Cohen & Felson) Increase in crime rates due to changes in routine activities brought about by structural changes • Three components is required for criminal event: motivated offender, suitable targets, and absence of a  capable guardian • Crime increases when all three of these components remained the same but there was a change in routine  everyday activities • Cook (1980) added by arguing that motivated offenders are also selective in their choice of target (high  payoff with little effort/risk) Rational Choice Theory  Combined all aspects of the criminal event, the offender, their motivation, and situational factors • Argues that offenders rationally assess all info about the potential crime and make a rational choice based on an  assessment of consequences • Individuals may make complex though process on decision about ‘criminal involvement’, either initially, to  continue, or to desist INTEGRATIVE THEORY Theories can be integrated by absorbing similar concepts, by integrating common concepts, or by integrating  propositions in different theories  SOCIAL­LEARNING THEORY Attempts to explain crime and delinquency through notions of imitatiom ▯odeling Differential Association­Reinforcement Theory (Burgess and Akers) A person’s voluntary action, including criminal actions, are conditioned or shaped by rewards and punishment • Differential association: one’s exposure to behavior and norms for learning • Definitions: attitudes or meanings that one attaches to given behavior • Differential Reinforcement: actual anticipated rewards and punishments • Imitation: initial behavior SOCIAL CONTROL AND SOCIAL LEARNING Self­derogation Theory (Kaplan) Focus on self­esteem and combines elements of social­learning theory, control theory, strain theory and labeling theory • We are all motivated to max our self­esteem and that our motivations to conform will be minimized by family,  school and peer interactions that devalue our sense of self • In interactions are self­defacing, social control usually exercised in groups will be ineffective • Young person will become aware of delinquent acts and feel that behavior is self­enhancing, then they will be  attracted to delinquent groups as long as they meet individuals needs for positive self­evaluation Integrated Theory Anomie, combined with social disorganization and inadequate socialization, sets the stage for weak bonds with social  institutions • Weak institutional bonds lead to stronger bonds with delinquent peers where learning deviant behavior is  enhanced Interactional Theory Posits that relationships between delinquent behavior and other variables are not unidirectional, but rather bidirectional • Social class, race and community characteristics affect the social bond and social learning variables • Delinquency has be to learned and reinforced Radical Conflict, Social Control & Social Learning Social control in capitalist society is coercive and is designed to support the class structure • These coercive control patterns are reproduced both at home (physical punishment) and at school (IQ test,  aptitude test & tracking) and they reinforce each other • Parents’ class position is negatively associated with coercion in the workplace and that this enhanced the  development of coercive family control structures SOCIAL CONTROL, STRAIN, AND LIBERAL CONFLICT THEORIES Theory of Differential Oppression View some aspects of social control as oppressive • Oppression: The negative outcome experienced by people due to physical force by an oppressor or structural  arrangements (laws and political policies) that remove or restrict their rights • Oppressed people are made into objects or viewed as things, as a result, they come to view themselves as objects  rather than subject (become passive and accepting rather than active subjects who exercise autonomy) • Women and children are viewed as inferior & lack any power to change their situation • Children oppression is a matter of degree (minimal vs. severe) • Four principles o Adults emphasize order in the home and school and children are forced to abide by the rules of those in  authority o Adults’ perceptions establish children as inferior, subordinate and troublemakers o The imposition of adults’ conceptions of order on children often becomes extreme to the point of  oppression o When coercion and force become abuse or neglect, the child often generalize this abuse of authority to  other adults  • Children will adapt in four ways o Passive acceptance: children who are obedient out of fear behave much like slaves, prison inmates.  Fearful of freedom and learn to hate. Hatred is repressed which makes then susceptible to low self­ esteem, alcoholism & drug addiction o Exercise of illegitimate, coercive power: Child attempts to demonstrate power over adults by engaging  in illicit use of drugs/alcohol, sexual misbehavior o Manipulation of peers: The child tried to gain power through control of their peers. Gives feeling of  empowerment o Retaliation: Children try to strike back at the people and institutions that oppress them (school  vandalism, assault/murder teachers or parents). Some become depressed or commit suicide • Changes will not come from justice system but changes of social structure and existing social arrangements that  will permit adults to see children as equal LIFECOUSE­DEVELOPMENTAL THEORY Children undergo a succession of role and status changes as they grow older • Criminal behavior in the course of life is characterized by transitions (short­term changes) and trajectories (long­ term trends/patterns) • Trajectories and transitions are embedded in social institutions • Sampson & Laub (1993) o Crime is the product of the amount of informal social control associated with life transitions o Emotional and mutual ties increase social and self­control • Social capital theory o People possess varying degrees of useful and valuable social goods o Social Capital: Investments in institutional relationships such as family, work and school o Weak social bonds mean a lack of social capital and that explaining crime involves identifying the  characteristics of social relations that facilitate the development of social capital DEVELOPMENTAL CRIMINOLOGY Borrows concepts of trajectories to delinquency from lifecourse­development theory and seeks to explain offender careers  and how they develop in relation to age • Moffit (1993) o Lifecourse­persistent: Type of offender who begins with childhood biting and hitting at around age 4,  and the behavior escalated and continues to such adulthood offences as violent assault, spouse battery,  and abandoned, neglected or abused children o Adolescence­limited: Type of offender who does not have childhood histories of antisocial behavior but  engages in these behaviors only in adolescence, only inconsistently, and only when it is rewarding and/or  profitable to do so. • Explains onset (age and why?), course (persistence and how long, frequent & seriousness) and desistence  (process, sudden or development, reverse onset) THE FEMINIST PERSPECTIVE AND CRITIQUE Biology & Physiology • Lombroso & Ferrero (1895) o Female offender are lower on the evolutionary scale than non­criminal females o Women as a whole are lower on the evolutionary scale than the male population o Women are weaker, more childlike, more maternal & less intelligent; moral sense is inferior o Women criminals were revengeful, jealous, etc. • Freud  (1924) o Argues that female crime and delinquency stemmed from penis envy o Electra complex: repress sexual love for their opposite­sex parent • Thomas (1923) o Much of human behavior is driven by wish fulfillment, which in turn is driven by biological instincts o Women have greater need for love and their need to give and receive love is a source of delinquency for  girls because they use their sex to fulfill more basic needs o Girl problems stem from inadequate families, demoralization, and frustration stemming from social rules  and moral codes • Pollack (1950) o Women are as criminal as men but use their physiology to hide their criminality o Women are deceitful because: they have less physical strength, lack penis and menstruate o Chivalry hypothesis: A belief that crimes rates are lower for women and girls because people are less  likely to view their behavior as criminal SORTING OUT WHAT NEEDS TO BE EXPLAINED Resistance to Care • Care ethics in girls documented in Reitsma­Street’s study • Core commonalities: how the sisters learned to care for themselves and for others, the cost they bore for caring  and how they were policed to conform to expectations about caring • Girls are pressured to care in three ways o Learn to be the major and primary provider of love and nurture o Learn to restrict caring for themselves to look nice and be nice and above all, learn to not make a fuss o Learn to make a boyfriend their primary object of caring • They restrict their interests, neglect their body, and risk poverty and dependence by learning these  • Forfeit physical, psychological, social and material health to caring for others • Girls are policed to learning lessons through techniques of regulations o First level: judgment of reputation o 2 : physical force, or threat from the men and boys in the girls life o 3 : justice system • Delinquency girls more likely to report having fought against prioritizing looking nice or being nice • Act of resistance are interpreted by parents, teachers, and others in authority as signs of disturbance • Judges show more leniency towards girls who show independence NEW DIRECTIONS IN CRIMINOLOGY Cultural Studies Perspective Multidisciplinary approach to studying cultures and how these intersect with behavior • Brown (2005) o Refocusing of the concept of youth culture to the more structural concept of subcultures and their  relationship to parent cultures o Analysis of dominant cultures and struggles between dominant and subordinate cultures • Hall et al (1978) o Youth crisis o Application to youth crime and corresponding beliefs that such crises need to be controlled through  repressive policing, laws, and policies we are led to an understanding of the complex linage between  colonial history, state, youth, urbanization etc. • Cohen (1972) o  Moral panic o media representation of youth crime o youth are demonized in pubic discourse and become symbols of all that is wrong in adult society • Focuses on youth resistance contributes to understanding youth come and justice • Allows us to locate youth crime in the context of youth daily lives and lived experiences • Chapter 7 - Family, School, Peers and the Youth Crime Problem Family Structure • Broken Homes Hypothesis o Children from divorced and single-parent families are more likely to be delinquent o Single parents do not have the support of another adult in the home to assist in child-rearing means a potential for less support and supervision for the child • 3 major effects of divorce on women that may influence their children's behaviour (Mavis Hetherington, 1977) o Single mothers are overburdened from working in the labour force and caring for children o Single mothers experience considerable financial stress in that female-headed household earn less than half the income earned in male-headed households o Single mothers experience social isolation • Have fewer social and emotional supports • Boys from families with a stepfather are more likely to report delinquent behaviour than boys from homes with 2 birth parents • Edward Wells and Joseph Rankin (1991) conducted a meta-analysis of the research on the impact of broken homes on delinquency and found: o The relationship between broken homes and delinquency is weak at best o This relationship has been empirically demonstrated consistently for more than 50 years o The relationship is stronger for minor crimes than for serious ones o The extent that there are negative effects on children, these effects are greater for boys than girls • Much of the family structure research did not incorporate comparison group of families that were not divorced o Those that did often relied on official data • Girls from single-mother households were more likely to be arrested and go to court than girls from traditional 2-parent families • Little research has examined the positive effects of single-parenting on children o Strohschein found that behavioural problems of children with highly dysfunctional families was already there before the divorce o Sigfusdottir, Farkas, and Silver (2004) found that arguments and fights on children increased their anger and depression • Depression did not increase delinquency, but anger did Parenting • Dianna Baumrind suggested that the two most important aspects of parenting behaviour are: o The extent to which parents are supportive of their children's needs (parental responsiveness) o The extent to which parents are demanding of appropriate behaviour of their children (parental demandingness) • Authoritative parents o Set standards and have expectations that are consistent with their child's age o Such parents discuss and explain disciplinary matters with their children o Value obedience and conformity o Tend to restrict children's autonomy and to favour the use of punitive disciplinary measures • Indulgent parents o Allow children considerable freedom o Opposed to disciplinary measures o See themselves more as resources for their children than disciplinarians • Indifferent parents o Spend little time with their children o Know little about their children's activities o Tend to put their own needs above those of their children o In extreme cases, they neglect their children o Children most likely to be delinquent than other parenting types •Parenting styles have far more impact on children's behavioural patterns than do family structures or even income levels (NLSCY survey) The Meaning of Family Attachment •This attachments reduces rates of delinquency when it is measured as "affect" or emotional ties, rather than as supervision o Positive emotional attachments tend to be most effective in reducing delinquency •Thornberry et al. (1991) used an 11-item scale to measure parental attachment o E.g. Warmth, liking, feelings of hostility between themselves and their "primary caretaker" •Fathers are particularly disruptive to family life, and that children's "bad "relationships with mothers are frequently due to larger problems in the family setting stemming from the fathers' violence •Adults who have been abused and assaulted in the home have a reduced capacity for supervising and monitoring their children o U. S. National Crime Victimization surveys The "Bad Seed" and Invisible Victims •"Bad" parenting provide ripe fodder for public discussion and moral panic •"Tough love" o Parenting style believed to provide a solution for parents with "problem " children o Authoritarian parenting style possibly fitting into the ineffective/hostile category of the NLSCY surveys o Shifts the blame for social ills from children to parents and back again •Faulty parenting paradigm (Hillian and Reitsma-Street, 2003) o Both children and parents should be held accountable for the misdeeds of the young •Considerable pressure to increase parental responsibility in the legislation was brought by lobby groups and provinces during the Young Offenders Act reform process o Some provinces have legislated parental responsibility by allowing victims of property crime to take civil action against the parents of young offenders o Such policies are likely to put even more youth at risk, intensify their marginalization, increase their parents' difficulty and possibly even criminalize parents who cannot or will not comply •Public discourse and moral panics do not problematize parent violence; they problematize the stranger o Most pervasive form of child and youth victimization, that occurring in the home, is not a subject for public discourse •Tough love also abrogates parental responsibility by shifting a failure of parental responsibility onto children •Blame game problem: parents have rights, but children do not •Public blame accuses parents of abrogating their responsibility to control their children o Tough love and parent abuse give parents a rationale for abrogating their primary responsibility in ensuring these rights •The idea of children participating in decision making in the home was not even considered by many parents of young offenders • Steady stream of economically disadvantaged parents, mostly mothers, were worn out from trying to keep a family together with meagre resources and from trying to manage children who were out of their control o Once the children become enmeshed in the justice system, they become too big physically to drag back into the house •Must recognise that child and youth victimization is largely invisible in our society, while child and youth criminal activity has a very high profile o Victim status must be "earned" by children and youth, while their status as offenders is "eagerly ascribed" (Brown, 2005) •Must get rid of longstanding Victorian-based views about the role and place of parents and children in the family •Both our views of offenders and victim as well as parental and child roles are reinforced by equally longstanding punitive attitudes towards children and youth IQ Testing • Modern claims that IQ is predictive of school failure and subsequent delinquent behaviour •IQ of non-offenders is some 10 points higher than that of offenders (Wilson and Hernstein, 1985) o Argue that IQ has a direct effect on delinquency in that young people with low intelligence tend to be impulsive, lacking in moral reasoning and inclined to think only in terms of immediate gratification o School failure encourages delinquency for these youth •Hirschi (1969) argues that IQ is related to delinquency indirectly through its effect on grades o IQ affects grades, which in turn affect one's attachment to school o Attachment to school affects one's tolerance of school authority, and tolerance of authority affects one's involvement in delinquency •IQ research fails to address the cultural bias inherent in IQ tests and its negative effects on students from minority groups •IQ tests causes schools to streamline or track students into different types of classes o Studies have shown delinquency to be more strongly correlated with tracking than with gender or social class o Tracking decisions are often made on the basis of race and class School Policy/Organization •Copperman outlined a number of problems associated with schools that are delinquency-producing o School delinquency is created by a lack of teacher authority • Lack of teacher authority is a function of the organization of the school, particularly with respect to school principals • A school cannot teach students in the absence of a strong principal who is able to exercise authority and concentrate on curriculum and teaching o Lack of parental support for school systems and teachers reduces teachers' authority in the classroom • If parents do not support and respect teachers, neither will children • Lack of structure in classrooms translates into teachers' loss of control over students •Schissel (1997) maintains that rigid, punitive, and authoritarian school systems exacerbate youth problems, particularly for individuals who are marginalized, at risk or simply have not had the advantages other have o Advocates more flexibility in schools to meet youth needs o Argues that schools need to develop alternative models of teaching, learning and curriculum to better serve youth who are marginal and "relatively disadvantaged" o School boards also need to adapt to the needs of street youth by providing educational programs that address their remedial needs and acknowledge the realities of street life in physical learning spaces that are accessible to them •Jane Sprott (2004) found that delinquency is related to classroom climate and that the classroom climate is more important at reducing levels of violent behaviour than the school climate o Data on Canadian students from the NLSCY o Emotionally supportive classroom with favourable social relationships for younger students aged 10-13 meant lower levels of violent behaviours among the same you when they were 12-15 years old Friends •Empirically, it has been established that the single most important predictor of "official" delinquency is delinquent friends, that peer group experiences are predictors of the seriousness of delinquency and that youth crime is more a function of "companions" than group behaviour such as gangs • Warr (1993) found that while amount of time spend with family can reduce and even eliminate peer influences on delinquency, attachment to parents had no such direct effect o Attachment to parents affects delinquency indirectly by inhibiting the initial formation of delinquent friendships •Differential association and its variations argue that criminal behaviour is learned through group affiliations, such as delinquent friends, that reinforce non-conforming behaviour •Brownfield and Thompson (1991) add elements of Hirschi's control theory to this argument o Found support for both social-learning and social-control theories o Trust in friends and respect for friends was negatively associated with self-reported delinquency • Boys engaged in crime and delinquency are less likely than non0delinquents to trust or respect their friends Gender Differences •Differentially exposed o There is a gender gap in youth crime rates because girls and boys have different exposure to criminogenic conditions o Morash (1986) argues that one reason for lower rates of self-reported crime among girls is that their friends are less likely to be delinquent than are friends of boys o Sutherland's theory of differential association is a differentially exposed hypothesis o Mears, Ploeger and Warr (1998) found that boys are significantly more likely to have delinquent friends than girls, but that this exposure to delinquent peers was more mitigated by moral evaluations for girls than boys •Differential affected o There is a gender gap in youth crime rates because boys and girls are affected differently by criminogenic conditions o Fitzgerald (2003) found in her analysis of NLSCY data that girls are affected differently by family than are boys Explaining Gang Membership •Gordon (1995, 2001) found that psychological and interpersonal reason were offered by most for involvement in youth gangs o On the psychological side: • "Pull" factors, such as the opportunity for material rewards not readily available through conventional means, and psychological rewards stemming from friendship networks, such as relief of boredom and a sense of independence and autonomy from the adult world • "Push" factors include negative school experiences and extremely problematic home lives o Maintains that for many, gang membership was a "haven" in an otherwise "heartless world" •Tanner and Wortley (2002) found that Toronto youth gang members were seldom able to provide specific reason for their initial involvement with gangs o Many said that their gang started as a group of friends from the neighbourhood and school who hang out together o Other said their home environment and school experiences drove them to the streets o Some cited a need for protection from other youth or gangs o Benefits for gang membership were status and respect, jobs and money, friendship and a way to make money that would allow them to start up a legitimate, legal business •Theories on masculinities and differences among men (Connell, Messerschmidt) o Young men create different cultural ideas of dominance, control and independence (hegemonic masculinity) based on their class and race position in the social structure o Young minority males in economically impoverished communities choose public and private displays of aggressive masculinity (intimidation and gang violence) as a source of status and respect because they are typically denied masculine status in the educational and occupational spheres Girls and Gangs •Early gang research is male-centred • Girl gang members are typically portrayed as maladjusted tomboys or sexual chattel, who in either case, are no more than mere appendages to boy members of the gang • Studies indicate that: o Girls often form gangs after being abandoned by their children's fathers and/or after living in abusive and controlling relationships with boyfriends, partners or parents/guardians o While girl gang members are disproportionally from dysfunctional families, the strongest predicative variable among this group was having a girlfriend, boyfriend or sibling in a gang o Gang membership provides a source of support for girls, sometimes financial, but mostly familial and emotional o Many girl gangs are attached to male gangs or are mixed male/female (male-dominated), but just as many girl gangs engage in independent activity • Joe and Chesney-Lind (1993) identified 4 common themes that cross gender and ethnic lines: o Gangs provide a social outlet o Gangs serve as an alternative family o Gangs help members to deal with family problems and family violence o Gang activities compensate for impoverished community life • Whenever girls step outside of academic achievement or "domestic docility", they are defined as being a threat and as being violent o Perceived in public discourse as "behaving like boys" o Alder and Worrall Chapter 8: First Contact: Police and Diversionary Measures POLICE CONTACT AND DECISION MAKING Discretion: Decision making power that police and other criminal justice personnel have to make decisions with minimal  legal requirements Police can choose from a number of courses 1. Issue a warning (formal or informal) about behavior and let them go 2. Arrest and hold the youth in police custody (guardians may be notified) 3. Take to the police station for questioning before releasing them 4. Write up a report before release 5. Charge with offence 6. Release with conditions Surveillance: Mechanisms and processes by which the state keeps track of people an monitors their behavior • Surveillance of youth high compared to adults • Most criminal cases involving young offenders handled informally • YOA result in dramatic increase in the formal charging of young offenders Legal Factors Affecting Police Discretion Legal factors refer to legal requirements or things generally considered relevant r pertinent in criminal justice matters • Seriousness of an offence and prior arrest records influence 
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