Prof. Angela Hermosillo
November 15, 2010
Introduction Can we as a society truly reduce the rate of juvenile crime and violence? “Throughout all time there has been delinquency. It may not have had the delinquency label, but it still existed. Juvenile crime is mentioned as far back as ancient Sumeria and Hammurabi, where laws concerning juvenile offenders first appear in written form” (Rice, 1995, ¶ 3). To this day juvenile delinquency is looked upon as one of the most imperative concerns in crime. A number of studies have been performed concerning delinquency. Countless developments and strategies have presented the
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Sociological theories focus on the structure of society as a contributing factor of criminal behavior. It is thought that by making changes in socialization, there is potential for achievement (Schmalleger, 2009). “Social process approaches focus on the interactions between individuals and society” (Schmalleger, 2009, p. 97). The majority of these theories concern a person’s part in social learning. The idea behind social process is that people learn behaviors, whether good or bad. Theorists believe bad behaviors can be unlearned and replaced with newly learned positive behaviors (Schmalleger, 2009). The theories of conflict perspective are based on the beliefs that crime is a natural outcome of social, political, and economic imbalances. Theorists believe “conflict is fundamental to social life” (Schmalleger, 2009, p. 81). It is thought that in order to eliminate crime, society as a whole needs to change. Nevertheless, emergent perspectives have developed a new outlook on criminal behavior. Emergent perspectives include beliefs from feminist, constitutive, and postmodern criminology. The feminist’s perspective focuses on the importance of gender awareness in relation to crime, while constitutive views feel crime is a social occurrence that has been socially constructed (Schmalleger, 2009). Although these are all beliefs related to the cause of criminal behavior, postmodern criminology has challenged them all.