Essay on Juvenile deliquency

This essay has a total of 1335 words and 5 pages.

juvenile deliquency

Over the years, countless efforts have been made to find a comprehensive explanation for
delinquency. The results of these efforts have offered possible reasons as being both
biological and social. It is still debatable as to what forces have the greatest influence
on youth crime, but it is undoubted that several factors clearly make an impact. The
direct relationships a child has with concrete social elements, like his family and
friends, are likely to give some intimation of his involvement in crime. However, it must
be noted that there are more abstract contexts for socialization that also exist as
potential explanations for a child's behavior. The most prominent of these less specific
forces are the media, community, and religion. It has been argued extensively that these
three elements represent a major source of delinquency in the U.S. today. Everyone has at
one time or another heard accusations against television, for instance, and how it has
such degenerating capabilities in relation to young minds. Equally common are the various
public proclamations about the lack of brotherhood among citizens of this country. These
complaints are nothing new to our society; before television was vilified, it was radio,
and before radio it was comic books. In short, these problems merely exist as different
manifestations of an age-old concern. Another, seemingly less obvious, aspect of this
argument deals with the role of religion in society. In paralleling it to delinquency, for
all its power and influence, religion is much more perplexing than the media or sense of
community. For one, religion exists on many different levels and is extremely difficult to
define in a fashion suitable to the debate. In addition, the fact that religion is such a
controversial and sensitive subject only complicates the pursuit of characterizing and
understanding it. These obstacles notwithstanding, the multifaceted effects of religion on
crime have been argued for centuries. They will likely continue, as people observe that
religion influences the behavior of people, serves as a set of values for society, and
correlates with delinquency in several ways. The relationship between crime and religion
has been explored for many years, with only a handful of theorists drawing any direct
conclusions. Among few others, three of the most influential social philosophers of the
past 200 years, Marx, Durkheim, and Weber, have all commented on the importance of
religion to this issue. Marx believed that religion existed to give people a false hope
for the future and to keep them motivated during the present. In accomplishing this,
religion also deterred people from crime by making them concentrate on their social roles,
while ignoring the oppression of stratified economic systems. Durkheim asserted that
"social order could be maintained only if people had common beliefs in something greater
than themselves" (Jensen and Rojek 309). He saw religion as very interconnected with
social values as it contributed to a loss of strong communal bonds between the tenants of
Western society. As people begin to believe more in themselves and less in a higher power,
Durkheim argued, they become less committed to an interdependent society and highly prone
to selfish acts of lawlessness. Weber, another distinguished sociologist, attributed
social deviance to religious factors as well. He believed that "religious institutions
were intertwined with other institutions," contributing to both progressive and regressive
social development (Jensen and Rojek 309). These three attempted to explain the social
importance of religion, while only scratching the surface of its relationship to crime.
Although they fail to adequately expand on the subject, the ideas of these influential
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