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SOC 222- First Half.docx

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University of Waterloo
SOC 222
Allison Chenier

11 Defining Juvenile Delinquency Thursday January 10 2013 312 PM Comes from multiple sources the individual Youths family school Peer group overall social environment What is meant by the term juvenile delinquencyAs a field of study juvenile delinquency research focuses on two primary areas o The possible internal or external factors that could explain a young persons behaviouro Systemic responses that we employ to prevent and control antisocial behaviour which includes youth crime more justice system Many theoretical explanations for youth crime resulting in the development of a lot of different types of approaches to the prevention and control of youth crimeThe scientific Study of Juvenile Delinquency o Three Aspects of Delinquency Nature what constitutes youth crime and under what conditions Extent frequency of behaviour duration of offending seriousness of the offense Cause both micro and macro include individual social situational or environmental characteristics thrill seeking Boredom Do we treat or punish o Two important conceptsHow is theory defined and what criteria are required to establish causalityHow we define delinquency itself o Theory DefinedA theory is often defined as an interrelated set of concepts that provide an explanation for a given event or a type of behaviourA theory has three purposesExplain a social phenomenonDefine and systematically map out the relationships between the theoretical conceptsIndicate the direction and magnitude of the relationship between these theoretical concepts meant to help us make sense of the world around usTwo types of theoriesMicro theories try to explain why individuals act in certain ways biological or psychological explanationsMacro theories try to explain how larger social and cultural factors can provide a context for human behaviour impact of being a member of the lowerclass o The Characteristics of Utility and Logical ConsistencyUtilityDemonstrates validity how much it is true in the real worldEstablished by testing the concepts the propositions and the relationships that the theory suggests exists with observational or empirical dataEvaluated by how well it explains behaviour in everyday lifeCan this theory be used to help crimeLogical ConsistencyClarityDoes the theory make senseAre the terms easily understood by the lay person New words o Establishing CausalityThree criteria that need to be satisfiedEmpirical AssociationAs association between the two variables peer group and delinquencyTemporal OrderThe cause has to occur before the effect delinquent actElimination of a spurious relationshipCausality is unaffected by the introduction of other factors that precede the cause if it disappears it cant be causalo Definition of DelinquencyWhen we talk about delinquent we refer to someone who has been labeled as such by the juvenile justice system William SandersDefinitions of delinquency are social constructions so our definition is a cultural object and is affected by the time and placeEg Jesse Harding PomeroySexual torture of children and two murders18711874 KEY POINTSSomeone is only delinquent because we have labelled them as suchCrime is serious because we designate it as suchFactors affecting decision making and motives to commit a crime shouldnt alter the definition of delinquency but instead how we respond to it o Short and Nye 1958Using this scale almost everyone is delinquentShows are thinking has changedIs someone who has shoplifted once as delinquent as someone who chronically shopliftsMost youth are law abiding and even if they do they do not carry on into their adult hood Deterrence and Rational Choice Monday January 14 2013 1147 AM 1 The classical theories of deterrence and rational choice are the foundation for explanations of criminal behaviour o Choice theorists believe that youth engage in delinquent behaviour after weighing the consequences and benefits of their actions
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