What Are the Social Causes of Youth Crime? Essay

3294 Words Dec 26th, 2007 14 Pages
Youth crime has always been a concern in societies around the world. People try to determine the causes to which these problems stem from. This topic intrigued me, so I decided to write an essay on the question relating to this topic, "What are the social causes of youth crime?" The theory that I am going to examine and use to answer this question is the labeling theory. This theory is also known as the societal reaction theory. The labeling theory will often examine the offender in the situation. This theory not only examines the offender, but also the victim and the situation as a whole, instead of breaking it down. This theory claims that a "deviant" is only what the society around him/her describes him as. It also goes on to …show more content…
Many theorists tend to focus on the significance of some of the variables: personal resources, power and physical or social attributes of the individual. (Gove, 1970; Becker, 1963: 18, Quinney, 1970: 217; Steffemsmeir and Terry, 1973). Therefore, one of the main principles of labeling theory is that the chances of being officially labeled as a deviant are more greatly subjective to the other variables as opposed to the one rule-breaking variable. An example of this would be a situation where two people of different lifestyles and class commit the same crime. While the higher-class person with a good job and better income would less likely be labeled a deviant, the person of lower class with low or no income would have a higher probability of being classified as a deviant. The other main angle that labeling theorists tend to focus on is what is known as a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is where an individual is officially labeled as a deviant and starts to portray deviant behaviour and rule breaking. Once being labeled, the deviant would then get negative reactions from others around them and that tends to bring out the negative characteristics within them, thus leading to more deviance. Because of the label that these individuals

Related Documents