Families, Delinquency and Crime What Are Examples Thesis

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Families, Delinquency & Crime

What are examples of socially deviant acts? How can communities combat these deviant acts?

Socially deviant activities are, simply put, activities that 'deviate' from what a particular society at a particular point in historical time considers 'the norm.' Social deviancy is highly dependent upon social constructs, which can change just as social culture changes. For example, until the 1960s, homosexuality was considered to be socially deviant, and even classified as a mental illness. A woman who desired to work as a scientist or a lawyer was considered socially deviant at different points in our nation's history. Selling drugs is normalized within certain American subcultures, but considered socially deviant in mainstream society.

Of course, it might be protested that some acts are universally socially abhorrent, like child molestation, stealing, and assault. But to play devil's advocate, people were married at much younger ages than would be socially acceptable today in ages past. Crimes of theft were once punished by mutilation in some cultures, a punishment which we would consider abhorrent, cruel, and unusual. And violence is acceptable within socially acceptable contemporary contexts, such as a football or boxing matches in America.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Thesis on Families, Delinquency & Crime What Are Examples Assignment

The decision not to engage in socially deviant activities is thus dependant upon community standards. An individual is not necessarily morally bad or good simply because he or she does not choose to engage in certain activities. Being a law-abiding citizen has its roots in a desire to be accepted in a social group, and because membership conveys certain 'rewards.' If a juvenile believes that obeying the law yields great personal dividends, like a good job, acceptance by friends and family, and greater self-esteem, he or she will be less likely to fall into a life of crime and disobey social laws, and seek out a possibly criminal subculture to give meaning and structure to his or her life. Thus, creating a more equitable society that provides tangible rewards for all individuals to succeed is essential. Economic stratification is one of the markers of a socially unstable society.

Q3. Compare the "pre-industrial" family structure with the 21st century family structure

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, the family functioned as a self-sustaining, productive unit. Children worked on the family farm or in the family business. This social model still exists today in many nations, and within many enterprises in the U.S. However in the 21st century, the family functions more to consume than to produce, and is an emotionally rather than economically supportive. Children are valued for their intrinsic worth as people, and for their ability to carry on the genetic legacy of their parents, not for their ability to work.

The relationship between man and wife was often economic in the pre-industrial era, rather than based upon personal fulfillment. The man and woman may have married young, and if the woman died during childbirth, taking in a new wife, however uncomfortable this may have been, was seen as a necessity, to share the division of labor between the man and woman.

The 21st century family is more likely to be mobile than its pre-industrial counterpart. As children are less likely to live close to family members, the family unit is often spread out, geographically. The nuclear unit is common -- children rarely live in a multi-generational context, and even if they must for economic reasons, this situation is seen as temporary, unpleasant, and as placing a great deal of strain upon parents and grandparents. Today's family values privacy and autonomy and choice. Chosen friends, more than family members, support individuals. But on the other hand, children rarely leave home early to marry and find work. Although there are fewer children, the children of 21st century nuclear families sometimes have a more finally and personally dependant relationship with their immediate parents and grandparents, up until and sometimes even after marriage. In the pre-industrial era, girls left home at a young age to be married, while boys (particularly second sons with no land to inherit) left home early to be apprenticed.

Module 2

Q1. Explain your understanding of social control theory and how it relates to juvenile delinquency

Social control theory suggests that social bonding plays an essential function in limiting deviant behavior. Group loyalty is the primary reason that people behave well or behave badly. Controls are transmitted through the internalization of beliefs and behaviors conveyed through social institutions like the church and school. Human desire to deviate from the norm is constrained through external controls like the affective desire not to let someone down (such as a role model or a boss), having a sense of involvement or a stake in preserving the social order (someone with a home and a mortgage is less likely to burn down a city block, for example), and having a long-established connection to a community.

Juvenile delinquents lack this long-standing commitment, may have little sense of a future or stake in preserving the social order (out of depression, despair, and social oppression), and may have few role models or people they feel a need to please. This is especially true if they come from poor schools or broken homes. The breakdown of schools, churches, and families also dilutes the instillation of internal, subconscious social norms on a general societal level.

Q3. Explain your understanding of Baumrind's Typology of Parenting Styles. Which style of parenting most reflects the type of parenting you had as a child? Was it an effective style of parenting? Why or why not?

Baumrind's Typology of Parenting Styles proposes the existence of four different types of parents. The first type, authoritarian parents, are the typical 'because I say so,' parents. They use coercion, punishment, and refer to their power relationship with their children, as a way of governing the family. This is the parent who may tell a child "you can't have pizza because you don't have any money to buy it -- when you get your own money you can have all of the pizza you want." The rejecting and neglecting parent, in contrast, is withdrawn from the child, and shows little interest in the child's decision-making. This parent may be depressed, have other life stressors to cope with, or have psychological issues that make parenting difficult (such as a traumatic childhood).

Permissive parents give children free reign. They are the parents who allow their children to stay up late, hoping that the children will eventually realize that if they don't sleep, they will be tired in the morning. They hope if the child eats too much Halloween candy, the child will learn from the experience of a tummy ache what is right and wrong to consume. An authoritative parent, in contrast, sets reasonable limits, and upholds his or her principles, but treats the child like a sensitive and rational human being. That parent might say: "we can't afford to have pizza every other day -- only once a week," or "you ate so much candy, I can't let you have money for pizza because I don't want you to get sick." The child is also allowed to make reasonable choices (like choosing one dinner a week, or several small pieces of candy to consume every day), which gives him or herself a sense of empowerment. This is the way that I was raised, and I think it made me more responsible and autonomous as an adult.

Module 3

Q3. In your opinion is a "mild spanking" (e.g., using a hand to mildly spank) an appropriate form of punishment for a pre-school child? Why or why not? Explain your logic or beliefs and cite sources.

Spanking is never permissible. Spanking does not teach the child that a behavior is wrong, it only stimulate a response of helplessness and anger in the child. Antisocial behavior and low IQ are correlated with spanking. While this may be a case to some degree of correlation rather than direct causation, at minimum it shows that spanking is no cure for deviancy in a child. "A longitudinal study of 442 boys born in 1972, found that one out of every three boys -- those who have a specific version of a gene -- who was maltreated during childhood will be almost certain to exhibit anti-social or criminal behavior as an adult…a study at the University of New Hampshire, released in 1998-JUL, found that spanking children apparently slows down their intellectual development. A study of 960 children found an average 4 point reduction in IQ among students, from and average IQ of 102 (above average) for children who are not spanked, to an average IQ 98 (below average) for who are" spanked (the anti-spanking position, 2002, Religious Tolerance).

Source: The anti-spanking position. (2002, April 11). Religious Tolerance. Retrieved October 27, 2009. http://www.religioustolerance.org/spankin4.htm

Q4. Explain informal and formal labeling and its relationship to delinquency in adolescents.

Social labeling suggests that labeling an individual creates deviant behavior. For example, if a child is informally labeled as a problem child early in his or her… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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