Theories Explaining Juvenile Crime Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 1605 words (4.6 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Theories Explaining Juvenile Crime

Many theories, at both the macro and micro level, have been proposed to explain juvenile crime. Some prominent theories include Social Disorganization theory, Differential Social Organization theory, Social Control theory, and Differential Association theory. When determining which theories are more valid, the question must be explored whether people deviate because of what they learn or from how they are controlled? Mercer L. Sullivan’s book, “Getting Paid” Youth Crime and Work in the Inner City clearly suggests that the learning theories both at the macro level, Differential social organization, and micro level, Differential association theory, are the more accurate of the two types of theory.
Two major sociological theories explain youth crime at the macro level. The first is Social Disorganization theory, created in 1969 by Clifford Shaw and Henry McKay. The theory resulted from a study of juvenile delinquency in Chicago using information from 1900 to 1940, which attempts to answer the question of how aspects of the structure of a community contribute to social control. The study found that a community that is unable to achieve common values has a high rate of delinquency. Shaw and McKay looked at the physical appearance of the neighborhoods, the average income of the population, the ethnicity of the neighborhood, the percent of renters versus owners, and how fast the population of the area changed. These factors all contribute to neighborhood delinquency.
The text provides some evidence to support this theory in Table 14, ”Index rankings of reported crimes in police incorporating the neighborhoods.” This chart shows Projectville ranked highest in every category except motor v...

... middle of paper ...

...lton Park. For example, youths in Projectville were paid to burn down a building, while in Hamilton Park the juveniles were arrested for the same crime. In Projectville, even the police will buy stolen goods.
The study discussed in the text clearly shows that crime in Hamilton Park is much lower than in either Projectville or La Barriada. The reasons for this are clearly explained by Sutherland’s two learning theories, his differential social organization theory and his differential association theory. The other theories, Shaw and McKay’s social disorganization and Hirschi’s social control theory, do have some merits, but do not apply as clearly to the neighborhoods in the study. Clearly, Sutherland’s theories of learned behavior and favorable and unfavorable definitions offer clear explanations for the crime in Projectville, La Barriada and Hamilton Park.

Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

This essay is 100% guaranteed.

Title Length Color Rating  
Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Essay - Introduction Does exposure to deviant peers affect whether individuals participate in general delinquency. Peers have an influence on the developing individual where the individual shares definitions favorable to them (Snyder, Dishion, Patterson, 1982). Findings in literature suggest that delinquent youths are involved in a relationship between peers delinquent behavior and a respondent’s own delinquency (Warr, 1996). Shaw and McKay, in 1931, discovered that more than 80% of individuals had deviant peers, and they have a strong tendency to commit delinquent acts in the company of others....   [tags: general delinquency, gender, deviant peers]
:: 9 Works Cited
1863 words
(5.3 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Theories of Crime Essay example - Many theories of crime are macro theories, which are used to explain crime based on a large group of people or society. While macro theories are the predominant type of theory used to explain crime, there are also a variety of “individual”, or micro, factors which are equally important. Two such individual factors s are maternal cigarette smoking (MCS) and cognitive ability, or Intelligence Quotient (IQ). MCS has been shown to negatively impact the neurological development of a fetus, with serious damage to the nervous system....   [tags: Theories of Crime Essays]
:: 7 Works Cited
2092 words
(6 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Proposal to Cut Down Juvenile Crime Essay - The problem of juvenile violence has become one of the most overwhelming problems of our time for Texas and for the United States. The problem is spread throughout the United States. The serious crimes are usually thought to be problems of the urban city, but this is no longer a problem just for the inner city. The problem has spread through the suburban areas of the city in cases just like the first example. Citizens are spending tons of money trying to fight the problem on their own. They purchase everything they can to combat crime....   [tags: Juvenile Crime, social reform, Texas law] 2373 words
(6.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Juvenile Crime and Socio Economic Factors Essay - Crime at any age and in any form is a social problem and should be stopped or curbed at any cost. Crime at a juvenile age is on one hand a crime against property and life, and on the other a crime against humanity. It is a much graver social danger that holds the seed of an evident social disaster implanted into it. Criminologists hold different views regarding the root of juvenile crime and that often leads into quite the argument. Irrespective of those theoretical head on collisions, the presence of socio economic factors behind each juvenile crime committed is almost accepted by all....   [tags: Crime ]
:: 3 Works Cited
1595 words
(4.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Juvenile Crime Prevention in America Essay - Juvenile crime in the United States is ballooning out of control along with adult crimes, and politicians and law enforcement officials don’t seem to be able to do anything about it. Despite tougher sentencing laws, longer probation terms, and all other efforts of lawmakers, the crime and recidivism rates in our country can’t be reduced. The failure of these recent measures along with new research and studies by county juvenile delinquency programs point to the only real cure to the U.S.’s crime problem: prevention programs....   [tags: Juvenile Crime Essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
1869 words
(5.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay about How to Reduce Juvenile Crime - A few fellow students rushed to the corner next to an abandoned truck across the street in front of James Madison high school. I saw a big Hispanic guy with all kinds of tattoos on his arms, neck, and legs turned away from a victim who had been begging, hurting and crawling on the ground. The victim, who I later discovered that he was a decent senior, was beat up. I could see bloods bleeding out of his mouth. He covered one eye, creeping to the pavement and mourning for help but no "dare" to shout....   [tags: Juvenile Crime Essays]
:: 5 Works Cited
2210 words
(6.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Boot Camps and Juvenile Crime Essay - Boot Camps and Juvenile Crime Five years ago, responding to an increase in serious juvenile crime, the state of Maryland initiated one of the nation's largest boot camp programs for teenage criminals. The program, called the Leadership Challenge, quickly became the model for other states. But last week, after reviewing a task force report that documented instances of physical abuse at their camps, Maryland officials appeared on the verge of conceding that the current initiative was a failure. Military-style discipline may work as punishment at juvenile boot camps, but it has not been effective as rehabilitation....   [tags: Juvenile Crime Boot Camps Incarceration Essays] 1134 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Solutions to Juvenile Crime - Solutions to Juvenile Crime Crime is a plague that has haunted American citizens for centuries. The severity of crime has ranged from running a red light to cold blooded murder. Statistics indicate that crime rates have been on the rise in the previous decades, especially juvenile crime. Statistics show that, ‘the number of youths aged 14 and younger who have been charged with homicide has jumped by 43 percent in the past twenty years’ (Kids With No Hope, No Fear, No Rules, And No Life, 2)....   [tags: Crime Juvenile Violence Civil Liberties Essays]
:: 7 Works Cited
2317 words
(6.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Usefulness of Sociological Theories in Explaining Crime and the Control of Crime - The Usefulness of Sociological Theories in Explaining Crime and the Control of Crime This paper seeks to explore the usefulness of Sociological Theories in explaining crime and whether in doing so there arises implications for probation practice. I shall begin by providing a brief explanation for the historical development of criminological thinking, starting with Classicism and moving onto Positivism both which lay the foundations for the development of sociological theories in the 1960’s and 1970’s....   [tags: Papers] 3034 words
(8.7 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Juvenile Crime Essay - Juvenile Crime Juvenile crime rates have nearly doubled in most countries. In the news we keep hearing about youngsters got mixed up in shady affairs and committing petty crimes. Firstly they just steal an apple from the market stands, then rob a small shop, next day we learn about a 17-year-old kid who killed his classmates. People are concerned and rightly so. That's all what we do or maybe give them a harsh punishment. It seems that the problem has only focused on punishment and very little on prevention or intervention....   [tags: Juvenile Crime Essays] 697 words
(2 pages)
Good Essays [preview]