An analysis of the contemporary delinquency theories

Pure sociology is a theoretical paradigm developed by Donald Black that explains variation in social life with social geometrythat is, locations in social space. Students are expected to be prepared for every class.

McDavid and McCandless, This theory states that all people have the potential to become criminals because modern society presents many opportunities for illegal activity but one has the choice to not engage.

Cloward and Ohlin argue that to understand the different forms that delinquent and ultimately criminal behavior can take, we must consider the different types of illegitimate opportunities available to those who seek a way out of the underclass and where these opportunities lead.

The benefits of this approach include increased clarity and the ability to use mathematics to derive implications of a theory that cannot be arrived at intuitively. Have the presentations engaged the active participation of the audience?

This entry was posted on May 29, at 1: A result of this intensified mother—daughter relationship is that daughters become less inclined to take what they perceive as greater risks of involvement in delinquency.

The retreatist subculture includes adolescents who fail in their efforts in both the legitimate and illegitimate opportunity structures.

What they found were indications of what they assumed to be social disorganization—truancy, tuberculosis, infant mortality, mental disorder, economic dependency, adult crime, and juvenile delinquency.

Juvenile delinquency

For classicists, offenders are motivated by rational self-interestand the importance of free will and personal responsibility is emphasized. These problems are largely inherited from the classical theoretical traditions. The study of juvenile delinquency is important because it provides us with trustworthy and reliable theories that can help with understanding the motives of juveniles.

Some argue that the synchrony of social structure is a methodological perspective rather than an ontological claim. When legitimate and illegitimate opportunity structures are linked in this way, the streets become safe for crime, and reliable upward-mobility routes can emerge for aspiring criminals.

Therefore, while there is a high rate of juvenile delinquency, it is the small percentage of life-course persistent, career criminals that are responsible for most of the violent crimes.

Sykes and Matza argue that the delinquent, much like the white-collar criminal, drifts into a deviant lifestyle through a subtle process of justification. Positivism actually consists of three subdivisions: All of this was being said of the neighborhoods Shaw and McKay studied; it was left to later theories to spell out the meaning of weakened neighborhood bonds or controls for individuals.

Mertonrevived the concept to describe the consequences of a faulty relationship between goals and the legitimate means of attaining them.


This entry considers the most prominent theories of delinquency under the theoretical rubrics noted above. Classical Theory argues that individuals possess a free will to determine their actions. This can lead to child sex tourism, when a sexual predator will go to less developed countries and prey on young boys and girls.

Sociological theory attempts to answer the following three questions: Merton argued that in our society success goals are widely shared, while the means of or opportunities for attaining them are not.

Biological Theories of Crime

This is why habitual juvenile offenders diagnosed with conduct disorder are likely to exhibit signs of antisocial personality disorder early in life and then as they mature. Oral presentation Students must select a topic for the oral presentation together with the professor.

However, Classical and Positivist do not part company in every aspect. Strain theory fails to explain violent crimethe type of youth crime that causes most anxiety to the public.

The significance of this difference in focus will become apparent as we consider the development of the symbolic-interactionist tradition.

Early versions of symbolic-interactionist theories focused on how adolescents acquired these meanings and definitions from others, especially peers; more recently, theorists have focused on the role of official control agencies, especially the police and courts, in imposing these meanings and definitions on adolescents.

For example, he believed that mesomorphs were more likely to commit crimes because they were athletic, as opposed to the physic of an endomorph, a fat person Champion, McDavid and McCandless, He argued that people violate laws only when they define such behavior as acceptable and that there is an explicit connection between people and their ideas that is, definitions.

In The Division of Labor in SocietyDurkheim described anomie as one result of an inequitable division of labour within the society.


This approach uses both micro and macro level analysis. The subsequent paragraph will discuss the biological segment of positivism. How can she prevent the social world itself from carrying out the construction of the object, in a sense, through her, through these unself-conscious operations or operations unaware of themselves of which she is the apparent subject — Pierre Bourdieu, "The Problem of Reflexive Sociology" in An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology [8] Structure and agency[ edit ] Main article: For example, a teacher who believes a certain student to be intellectually gifted may well encourage exceptional academic performance.

Social positivism proposes that socio economic dilemmas such as poverty, illiteracy and subculture affiliations can predispose individuals to a life of crime.May 29,  · Comparison and Analysis: Biological/Biosocial and Classical Theories of Crime This essay will compare and analyze biological/biosocial and classical theories of crime.

An explanation concerning the disparity of these theories and a discussion of crime control practices that classical theory advocates support will ensue. Exploring Crime Analysis 52 The purpose of this chapter is to demonstrate The Role of Theory in Crime Analysis Criminological theories all try to explain aspects of crime or criminal behavior.

Sociological theory

Most Contemporary Criminal Justice 15 (). Exploring Crime Analysis Although all sociological theories of crime contain elements of social conflict, consensus the- ories tend to judge alternative normative systems from the point of view of mainstream val- ues, and they do not call for major restructuring of society.

THE SOCIOLOGICAL APPROACH TO CRIME AND CORRECTION DANIn GiAsR *- The approach to crime which is distinctively sociological assumes that the criminal acquires his interest, ability, and means of self-justification in crime through. Biological theories of crime attempt to explain behaviors contrary to societal expectations through examination of individual characteristics.

These theories are categorized within a paradigm called positivism (also known as determinism), which asserts that behaviors, including law-violating behaviors, are determined by factors largely beyond individual control.

THE CAUSES OF DELINQUENCY Prepared for the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council January, Causes and Theories of Delinquency Causes Theories INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES Physiological problems The theories focused on the individual as the unit of analysis.

The role of social variables was considered to be minimal (Akers

An analysis of the contemporary delinquency theories
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