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Is Delinquency a major factor in youth culture, what theory best explains delinquency?

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Introduction

Is Delinquency a major factor in youth culture, what theory best explains delinquency? When discussing delinquency all aspects have to be taken into account, such as gender, ethnicity and class. It is important to also assess the situation of delinquency within the public, how the mass media reacts to it and also how this has a knock on effect onto other people's views of delinquents. With the general subject of delinquents we have to look at how they are structured by gender, ethnicity and class. Delinquents generally tend to derive from the male sector of the population, Bob Coles writes: "Of those offenders who are identified by the courts or the police, four out of five (80%) are male and almost half (47%) of the offences are committed by those under the age of 21. As far as the police and the courts are concerned, therefore, crime is predominantly an issue to do with young men." This is proven by general statistics provided by the Home Office. There has however been some friction between parties over delinquency being a male dominated topic. With contradicting evidence, some suggesting that delinquency is very male dominated to it being relatively closely shared with the female sex. However the main fact that delinquency is not female dominated has come under scrutiny, Heidersohn suggesting that there may be greater surveillance that females have to endure and that there is a lack of opportunity to commit crime, blaming the increase of "ladettes" and of involvement in crime to the loosening of power over females. So with this we can generally see that if delinquency is a major factor in youth culture then it really concerns males more than females in general. ...read more.

Middle

The newspapers told stories of horrific terror, chaos and large scale rioting. Clacton was pictured in the media as being at the mercy of the gangs that roamed within it. Although these images became more familiar as time went on, this in no way represented the first 'meeting' of mods and rockers. Cohen argues that the reason why the mods and rockers took on this heavily delinquent behaviour was because of the moral panic that was created around their meetings, and so subsequently they began to behave in a delinquent way. This points to the possibility that delinquency is not a major factor within youth culture, but a major factor within the media about youth culture, and so youth cultures find themselves adapting to fit in with this view of youth cultures. Studies into the nature of delinquency were also conducted by the Chicago school, which refers to what was the first large-scale and lasting Anglo-American sociology department, opened in 1892 and based at the University of Chicago. Over the years people at the Chicago school have come up with the idea that there is a system to delinquency, calling it the 'ecological perspective' or 'urban ecology', borrowing the idea of ecology in that plants, animals and other lifeforms exist together, and that some crops grow better when nearer to others, and some insects develop in habitats where others die. This idea stayed within the thinking of Functionalists and their ideas and beliefs in sociology. This idea was taken by a student of the Chicago school Robert Park, and used to come up with the concentric ring model, stating that the city could be understood as a series of concentric circles or zones, a theory which is also used by geographers. ...read more.

Conclusion

in a bid to either divert attention from other matters if you are to believe Marxists, or simply because adults today forget the blemishes of their past, and firmly believe that things are worse now, and want to set out to prove it. However today most youth subcultures do not need violence or breaking trends to be part of a crowd. Today many youth cultures are built around trends, fashions and interests. In correspondence to the amount of youth subcultures there are there are not really any major delinquent groups, where there are considered to be some then these are usually exposed, made examples of and over publicised, resulting in delinquency frequenting the headlines, for those groups that do contain delinquency it is a major part of it. Even minor things to youths do have to be taken into account as delinquency such as under age drinking and minor drugs, these are still delinquent activities. But also delinquency is also part of youth subculture, it is not the focal point of it but a part of life, small offences that do not result in any harm apart to themselves are a part of their youth. Things such as the aforementioned. It is all up to them as to what they do with their lives, it is far more widespread and diverse across certain classes than it was, it is now spreading into middle and upper class and not only through working class. Within my personal group of friends we concentrate on forgetting most of life's problems and enjoy each other's company, if you like a release rather than conforming to what the group does. But we still participate in what we feel minor delinquency, it is still evident. ...read more.

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