Deviant Subcultures: Juvenile Delinquency and the Causes and Effects

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Deviant Subcultures: Juvenile Delinquency and the Causes and Effects Andrea Clark
Navarro College

Abstract This paper explores what causes juvenile delinquency through explaining different theories. It explores Feud’s Id, Superego, and Ego to understand the development of the juvenile as well as exploring Merton’s Strain Theory, Cloward and Ohlin, The Chicago School, Albert K. Cohen’s Delinquent boys and the subculture of gangs and commercial growers. It looks into the communities and argues more towards nature and environment of the juvenile than nature. It also looks into the culture of the American dream and how conformities and expectation to set to a certain bar in life. It discovers how the American dream has become a form of social control in our society and how it’s become the definition of our success. Our view of success is a question if it for our benefit or if we find happiness in how our society views us? Why in our society drives deviance and what we can do to solve this issue? This paper concludes through juvenile programs, changing our attitudes in schools and education and having government involvement.

Deviant Subcultures: Juvenile Delinquency and the Causes and Effects From the time we are little we are taught rules of what is right and wrong and to obey to those rules to remain socially acceptable, and of the consequences of not obeying. We are taught to stand out, be successful, creative and to attain an American dream but only under certain guidelines. Humans are built with this sense to find purpose, and society seems to offer the definition of that purpose. We are told our purpose is the American dream; to gain money, cars, houses, stability, respect and power and be successful at it. If we do not attain these certain things either by no means or ill equipped goals we are looked down upon and become non-functional in our society. Each culture is equipped with certain social norms just like America and each one may be entirely different from the next one. So if there is no baseline for what is a “normal” and socially acceptable then why do we conform to it? Conformity sets a bar that could set us up for failure and lead to formal deviance later on especially if untreated during the development years of our lives. If we could prevent juvenile delinquency while children are developing there is a better chance for success. This is why juvenile delinquency and deviance are so important in our criminal justice system. Social deviance, especially through juvenile delinquency, is related to class struggle. By becoming more aware of this problem and addressing it through the school system, people can better understand social deviance among juvenile delinquents. To understand why deviance is present in juvenile delinquents we must understand that juvenile’s brains are still being developed, which holds their human psyche. In order to understand what drives how our feelings and our thoughts are organized we’ll use Feud’s Id, Superego, and Ego. The simplest drive is the id, which is only really concerned with fulfilling its own pleasure and is the irrational and emotional part of the mind. The id is selfish and only wants immediate self-gratification and is often compared to newborn babies. The ego tries to meet the need of the id but understands and takes into account the real world. The ego understands that actions have repercussions and tries to balance out thinking before carrying out decisions/actions. The last is called the super-ego and it’s based upon moral principles instilled there by training these moral/ethical restraints by caregivers. Someone who is healthy will have developed the strongest ego to keep the id and superego in check. An individual, who either cannot control their id, has broken ego, or someone who has an immature super-ego can lead to deviance. Based on this theory, it would seem like the id is inevitable...
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