• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Should children who commit crimes be seen as responsible for their actions?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

TMA 01 Should children who commit crimes be seen as responsible for their actions? To discuss whether or not it is possible, for a child who has committed a crime, to be held responsible for that crime. It must first be decided at what age a child is able to distinguish between right and wrong. To come to this conclusion, one can make use of three different approaches. The scientific approach, a process of constructing theories with predicted outcomes, these theories are then tested and observed to find out the actual outcomes. These outcomes are then used to access whether or not an 'individual' child has reached a particular level of cognitive competence and moral understanding. Secondly the social constructionist approach believes that the change from childhood to adulthood is when a child has knowledge of right from wrong, and that childhood is influenced or 'constructed' through social processes. Because of this we have to consider the place and time in history a child is from. Deconstruction playing an important role also, helping people see things, they take for granted in everyday life, from a different perspective. Showing them how their everyday lives are constructed. Implying that 'children are a product of human-meaning-making' (Chapter 1, p26). The final approach to be discussed will be that of the applied approach. ...read more.

Middle

These two stages are part of, what Kohlberg calls, the Pre-conventional level. The next level, Conventional, comprises of stage 3 ''I am loyal to you because you care for and love me''. Stage 4 being '' I must be good because the law states that I must''. Moving onto the Principled level with stage 5 being, ''I am good because I do not wish to hurt others', and finally into stage 6 of ''I am going to feel bad if I am not good'' (Chapter 1, p17). While all children are said to pass through these stages, they are all greatly influenced by their culture and upbringing, and have similar morals to the people who have influenced them the most, i.e. their parents or guardians. However, Kohlberg's theory is based on objective, impersonal and ideal grounds, implying that moral judgements are universal (Chapter 1, p16). In contrast the social constructionist approach 'sees different ideas about children and childhood as products of different world views' (Chapter 1, p19). A very good example of that would be of the Japanese belief that children are not individuals, that they are actually extensions of their parents, and should their mother commit suicide, then they, as children, will no longer have an identity and would have an incomplete life. ...read more.

Conclusion

Where, wrongdoings must be punished. The justice model sends children who have committed crimes, to young offenders' institutes where they will have to ''do the time for the crime''. Because concepts of what a child is, vary from culture to culture and from one historical time to another, with children defined by the way they are dressed and treated and with social and cultural norms about what they should and should not do (Chapter 1, p11). Social constructions must be put in their contexts before judgements can be made about right from wrong (Chapter 2, p53). Similarly science can offer a guide to what age a child should have developed the cognitive and moral ability to be able to tell right from wrong, but this is only a guide and it has been proved, as discussed earlier, that it also greatly depends on the child's upbringing with respect to where and when they are brought up. It seems the applied approach, making use of both scientific and social constructionist approaches within the relevant discourse is the best way to decide if a child is to be penalised for their crime. Weighing up whether that particular child, from their particular cultural background has reached the cognitive and moral developmental stage to be able to realise that they have committed a wrong and realise the consequences of their doing. Without the ability to do this, they will not be able to be held responsible for their actions. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Applied Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Applied Sociology essays

  1. The humanistic approach

    Daniel has recently been through a divorce and has been living on his own since. An obvious assumption which can be made from the humanistic approach would be to suggest that since his divorce, Daniel's love and belongingness needs may not be met sufficiently.

  2. American Culture. It is evident that part of the definition of contemporary American ...

    Regional linguistic and cultural diversity Regions are difficult to define exactly, but there is no doubt that there are regional differences within U.S. culture that are based on early migration patterns, historical and current immigration patterns, topography, climate, and religion.

  1. Free essay

    It is morally wrong to allow young children to fight in armed conflicts? Discuss

    Rough and tumble play is characterised as - Laugh, play face, run, jump, hit at and wrestle. This clearly shows the definition between rough and tumble play and aggression. (Montgomery, 2009, P.148) Are child soldier's victims or perpetrators of violence or both?

  2. What factors have contributed to the prolonging of childhood in Britain?

    The manufacturers or farm owners had no rules in which to follow to protect these young children at work and so many were forced to partake in roles which needed physical strength and stamina, roles which were much better suited towards fully developed adults.

  1. Discuss the claim that the best way of life for children today is one ...

    worldwide, 500 million of which attend school (Watkins, p.137). Woodhead describes the situation as follows: "The reality for the majority of the world's children is that they are working at least to some degree, and that they are going to school in some degree."

  2. Describe any one approach to identity. Discuss how this approach can help to explain ...

    A debriefing should be arranged by James to explain the nature of the deceptions used and the research aims after study completion. Any participants identified as having psychological issues arising from the study should be advised where to obtain professional help.

  1. This evaluation study will thoroughly study factors that influence teen pregnancy and parenting on ...

    Russo and Beidel (1994) in their study found that confidence and behavioral issues amongst adolescents is still one of the many topics that engage researchers. The statistics that show the degree to which the peripheral mannerisms are linked or cause by anxiety range from a meager 2% to 21%.

  2. The development of self-awareness and shifts of Locus of self Knowledge: A small-scale investigative ...

    Materias and procedure The material for this study was collected by the course team of ED209 Child Development at Open University and every step has been taken to ensure its compliance with the British Psychological Society?s ethical guidelines for research with human participants.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work