Test your knowledge of this chapter’s material by determining whether the following statements are true or false. Be sure to compare your answers with the answers on page 30.
1. The definition of juvenile changes with time and geography.
2. Status offenses are low-level crimes that are more often committed by juveniles than adults.
3. The normative conception of delinquency argues the definition of delinquency is an objective fact with which everyone agrees.
4. The cradle-to-prison pipeline refers to the structural and social issues that make it more likely some juveniles will go to prison than others.
5. The sociological imagination argues we must ignore as much of the outside forces as we can in order to focus on the juvenile if we want to understand delinquency.
6. The juvenile justice system was created under the same philosophy of personal responsibility and deterrence that the adult system was created under.
7. The formalization of the juvenile justice system means that juveniles are now treated equally and fairly in the system.
1. Describe all the ways that youth use social media in their everyday lives. How are these experiences with social media similar to interactions that might have occurred before social media existed? How are these experiences different?
2. Give an example of how social media might be used to encourage delinquency. Give an example of how it might be used to discourage delinquency.
Source: Adapted from McPhate, M. (2016, April 18). Teenager Is Accused of Live-Streaming a Friend’s Rape on Periscope. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/19/us/periscope-rape-case-columbus-ohio-video livestreaming.html? _r=0
We can do it today.
As you read the chapters in this book, think about Day’s characterization of juveniles and the causes of juvenile delinquency. Do we still characterize juveniles and juvenile delinquency this way?
1. What are the reasons that youth might offer a false confession to a crime they did not commit? How is it that juveniles might be more susceptible to these confessions than adults?
2. What safeguards could be put in place to ensure that juveniles do not engage in false confessions?
Source: Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth. (2009). Northwestern University School of Law. Retrieved from http://cwcy.org/Default.aspx
In addition to a lack of education, what might be other reasons that the income gap in the United States is increasing instead of decreasing? When coming up with your answers, determine whether you are focusing on characteristics of those in the upper or lower economic groups or on broader, macro concerns, such as institutional characteristics.
Eye on Diversity Exercise: Social Construction and Media Two of the themes in this chapter are the characterization of the juvenile and the social construction of juvenile delinquency. In this
activity, try your hand at investigating how the media portray juveniles and juvenile delinquency.
1. Search the Internet for media pieces on juveniles and/or juvenile delinquency. Is there a difference in how print media presents these topics compared to television news?
2. Using LexisNexis, find five articles on juvenile delinquency. What are the behaviors that are being described in these articles? Do the articles suggest a reason for the delinquent behavior being reported? What are the conceptions of delinquency that the media reports are using? Is one conception used more than others? If so, why might this be the case?
3. Finally, what are the characteristics (categories) of the youth who are being portrayed as delinquent in these articles? Are certain categories overrepresented in the news articles?
1. Explain the conceptions of delinquency. Using each conception of delinquency, explain juvenile gangs and the societal reaction to them.
2. Explain the current well-being of children. What is their economic, physical, and educational well-being? Are they currently better off than they were a decade or two ago?
3. What is the difference between individual and institutional racism, classism, and sexism? Give an example of each.
4. How are intersectionality and the matrix of domination important to our understanding of the impact of race, class, and gender on the experiences of juveniles?
5. What is the sociological imagination? How might it be used to help understand juvenile delinquency?
Chapter Pretest Answers