Juvenile Delinquency : A Sociological Approach

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  • Edition: 8th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-07-09
  • Publisher: Pearson
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Taking a sociological approach, this text discusses delinquency as it relates to and emerges from the youth's family, neighborhood, school, peer group, social class, and overall cultural and social environment.

The authors incorporate contributions from sociologists, psychologists, social workers, criminologists, and other specialists who have sought to understand, explain, control, and prevent juvenile delinquency.

An up to date, comprehensive, and in depth study of juvenile delinquency a major social problem in the United States.

Features :

Teaches students the ways to understand, explain, control, and prevent juvenile delinquency:

-Through comprehensive coverage of conformity, deviance, causes of delinquency, social control, the juvenile justice system, and the application of abstract theories to concrete strategies for dealing with delinquency.

-Cross-cultural focus on juvenile delinquency in other nations such as England, Australia, Israel, Russia, selected countries of South America, and Africa gives a point of comparison for students in the United States.

-Extensive coverage of explanatory theories and the application of those theories to treatment strategies of juvenile delinquency.

Exposes students to the latest scholarship and research on juvenile delinquency:

-Up-to-date scholarship combined with a student-friendly writing style enhances the learning experience.

-Coverage of current and controversial topics such as adolescent marginality, community policing, gun control, hate crimes, increase in female delinquency, the impact of TV violence, boot camps, capital punishment for juveniles, and the legal age of majority.

-Reports and analyses of contemporary school shootings and other violent youth behavior, throughout the text, provide theoretical explanations of cause and suggest preventative measures. The etiology of this phenomenon will be expanded.

-Coverage of thelatest concepts and theories derived from ongoing research by outstanding scholars from multiple disciplines as well as suggestions and examples for applying these theories to treatment and prevention.

-Chapter 8 covers contemporary integrative and feminist theories of delinquency as well as prospects for future and contemporary theory building. Unique among juvenile delinquency texts, this chapter ties together the major theoretical contributions of the past and focuses the reader on the future.

Author Biography

        William E. Thompson was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma and was the first member of his family to receive a high school diploma.  He received his bachelor’s degree from Northeastern State University, a master’s degree from Missouri State University, and earned his Ph.D. in sociology from Oklahoma State University.  Thompson has authored and coauthored more than fifty articles published in professional journals, including dozens reprinted in textbooks and anthologies.  He is the coauthor of Society in Focus:  An Introduction to Sociology (now in its 7th edition), one of the leading textbooks in introductory sociology courses, and Juvenile Delinquency:  A Sociological Approach (in its 8th edition), a leading textbook in the area of delinquency studies.  He also has coauthored an anthology on classic and contemporary readings in juvenile delinquency, a small treatise on sociology and mass media, and is the author of The Glass House, a life-story of his mother’s courageous battle with cancer.


          Thompson began his college teaching career at the University of Tulsa.  He spent the next ten years at Emporia State University, where he served as Chair of the Division of Sociology, Family Sciences, and Anthropology.  Thompson then moved to Texas A&M University-Commerce, where he served five years as Head of the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, and is currently a Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice.  He has also taught for the University of Southern Mississippi in the British Studies Program in London and the Caribbean Studies Program in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.  He also has been an invited Guest Lecturer on Juvenile Crime and the Media at Shanghai Normal University and the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences in China.

In 1993, Thompson received an Outstanding Teaching Award from the Texas Association of College Teachers, and in 1994, he won the Distinguished Faculty Award for Research and Teaching at Texas A&M-Commerce.  In 1996, Thompson was named the Outstanding Alumnus by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Northeastern State University.  In 2009 he received the prestigious “Spirit of Mayo Award” named after Texas A&M University-Commerce’s founder and awarded by the president for outstanding commitment to undergraduate students’ success.

            Dr. Thompson has been married to his wife Marilyn for 37 years.  They have two grown children and one grandchild.  For fun, Thompson plays drums in a rock ‘n roll band and rides his motorcycle.

Table of Contents

Conformity, Deviance, and Juvenile Delinquency
Introduction: The Sociological Perspective and Focus on Juvenile Delinquency
Juvenile Delinquency: The Act, the Actor, and the Audience
What Is Juvenile Delinquency?
An Integrated Definition of Delinquency
A Sociological Approach to Delinquency
The Sociological Perspective
The Social Nature of Humans
Sources of Norms
Folkways, Mores, and Laws
Normative Behavior: Conformity
Deviant Behavior: Nonconformity
Negative Aspects of Deviance
Positive Aspects of Deviance
Juvenile Delinquency
Dimensions of Juvenile Delinquency
Juvenile Delinquency Data
tOfficial Sources of Delinquency Information
The Composite Delinquent Profile: Typical or Stereotypical?
Unofficial Sources of Delinquency Information
The Magnitude and Trends of Juvenile Delinquency
Addendum: A Balanced Perspective on Youth
Causes of Juvenile Delinquency
Introduction: Theory and the Etiology of Juvenile Delinquency
Classical, Biological and Psychogenic Explanations of Juvenile Delinquency
The Link between Biology and Behavior: Myths and Folklore
The Classical School of Criminological Thought
The Positive School of Criminology
Twentieth-Century Constitutional Typologies
The Continuing Search for the Biological Connection
Sociobiological Explanations
The Psychogenic Approach and the Medical Model
The Discovery of the Unconscious
The Formation of Personality
Freudian Theory as an Explanation of Crime and Delinquency
The Medical Model: Delinquent Acts as Symptoms
Conduct Disorders and Risk/Needs Assessment
Other Psychogenic Explanations of Juvenile Delinquency
Sociological Explanations of Juvenile Delinquency: Social Strain and Cultural Transmission Theories
Social Strain Theories
Agnew's General Strain Theory
Cultural Transmission Theories
Sociological Explanations of Juvenile Delinquency: Social Learning and Social Control Theories
Social Learning Theories
Social Control Theories
Sociological Explanations of Juvenile Delinquency: Labeling and Radical/Conflict Theories
Labeling Theories
Radical Theories
Sociological Explanations of Juvenile
Delinquency andthe Ongoing Process of Integrative Theory Building
Short-run Hedonism: Delinquency is fun
Maturation and Life Course Theories
Making Decisions for Delinquency: Rational Choice Theory
The Punishment Response: Deterrence Theory
Explaining Female Delinquency
Back to the Future: The Prospects and Direction for New Theory Building
Juvenile Delinquency in a Social Context
Introduction: Collective Behavior and Social Groupings
The Family and Juvenile Delinquency
The Changing Role of the Family
Increasing Importance of the Nuclear Family and the Creation of Adolescenc
The Family as an Agent of Socialization
Working Mothers and Juvenile Delinquency
Other Family Variables and Juvenile Delinquency
Single-Parent Families and Delinquency
The Family and Delinquency Prevention
Schools and Delinquency
The School as an Arena
Schools and the Socialization Process
Juvenile Delinquency and the School Experience
Schools as a Screening Device
Schools as Combat Zone
School as Bureaucracy
Schools and Delinquency Prevention
The Youth Subculture and Delinquency
Culture, Subcultures, and Countercultures
The Creation of a Youth Subculture
Role of the Youth Subculture
Distinctive Elements of the Youth Subculture
The Youth Subculture and Juvenile Delinquency
Youth Countercultures and Delinquency
The Youth Subculture and Delinquency Prevention
Juvenile Gangs and Delinquency
The Solitary Delinquent
Group Delinquency
Dyads and Triads
Play Groups
Juvenile Gangs
Contemporary Youth Gangs in the United States
Motives for Gang Membership
Gang Organization
Composition of Gang Membership
Gang Violence
Explanatory Theories of Gang Formation and Behavior: A Summary and Synthesis
Applied Theory: Social Control and the Juvenile Justice System
Introduction: Elements of Social Control
Juveniles and the Police
Juvenile Encounters with Police
Policing Juveniles
Police Discretion in Handling Juveniles
Police and Due Process
Police, Community Policing, and Delinquency Prevention
Juvenile Courts
Historical Background of the Juvenile Court
The Child Savers Movement
The Juvenile Court
Juvenile Courts and Due Process
Juvenile Court Procedures
The Role of Attorneys in Juvenile Court
Criticisms of the Juvenile Court
The Multifaceted Juvenile Court
The Future of the Juvenile Court
Juvenile Corrections
Social Control and Deterrence Theory
Voluntary Social Control
Informal Social Control
Formal Social Control
Capital Punishment for Juveniles and Roper v
Deinstitutionalization, Community Corrections, and Diversion
Evaluation of Deinstitutionalization, Community Corrections, and Diversion
Applied Theory: Strategies for Dealing with Juvenile Delinquency
Introduction: Approaching Treatment and Prevention in a Social Context
Treatment and Prevention Strategies
Treatment Ideology and Delinquency Treatment Programs
Prevention Ideology and Delinquency Prevention Programs
Sociological Approaches to Delinquency Treatment and Prevention
Mobilizing the Community to Prevent Delinquency
Evaluation of Delinquency Treatment and Prevention Strategies
Rethinking the Delinquency Problem
The Social Nature of Juvenile Delinquency
Eliminating the Marginal Status of Juveniles
Standardization or Elimination of Juvenile Codes
Decriminalization of Status Offenses
Revision of the Juvenile Court
Modification of Juvenile Corrections
Strengthening the Family
Changing the Educational System
Redefining Juvenile Delinquency
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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