Monday, November 21, 2011

Juvenile Delinquency Structural Functionalism & Symbolic Interactionism

I would like to talk about Structural Functionalism and Symbolic Interactionism and how both of these theories can be applied to Juvenile Delinquency. For instance, Structural Functionalism looks at behaviors and functions of institutions such as: family, school, religion and even government offices. Structural Functionalism also looks at what is functional and dysfunctional within a social problem therefore, they want to explain why things happen and they also look for who or what is to blame. For Example, the institutions in the case regarding juvenile delinquency would be the family, school, religion, juvenile justice facilities, and even the authorities such as the law, police, judges, case workers and etc. the functional aspect of juvenile delinquency would be that the juvenile justice facilities provide structure and stability which is something everybody needs they also help the kids to get back on the right track again. However, the dysfunctional aspects of juvenile delinquency is the family dynamic which includes broken homes or single parent families, parents who have to pay for food, electricity, gas, water, clothes in other words, parents who are working hard to get the basic neccessities and resources of life to provide for their kids and their families which is functional but yet at the same time has the potential to become a dysfunctional dynamic because then there's no time for structure and stability and kids commit truancy. Wanting to belong and be accepted can also be a functional aspect but that too also has the potential to become and serve a dyfunctional purpose because then there is peer pressure which also contributes to juvenile delinquency. Symbolic Interactionism looks for symbols and meanings within a social problem as well. For example, a Symbolic Interactionist might describe Juvenile Delinquents as "bad, good, innocent, guilty, frustrated, angry, threatening, intimidating, seeking attention, wanting a sense of belonging, seeking acceptance, looking for love, looking for advice and guidance, creative, talented, and artistic"

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