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Hooligans, vandals and the community: a study of social reaction to juvenile delinquency

Cohen, Stanley (1969) Hooligans, vandals and the community: a study of social reaction to juvenile delinquency. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The thesis consists of three studies on various ways in which society reacts to juvenile delinquency. It is introduced with an account of recent developments in the sociology of deviance which have drawn attention to the nature and effect of the societal reaction to deviance. These developments, termed the "transactional perspective", are put in the context of a "sceptical" reaction against more conventional ways of conceptualizing deviance. The implications of this new perspective for theory and research are indicated. The first study is on vandalism, and starts by attempting to unravel the different definitions of this behaviour as a form of rule-breaking and deviance. It goes on to consider the processes through which vandalism becomes defined as a social problem and then discusses the main images and stereotypes through which society tries to conceptualize this form of delinquency. It finally considers the organized approaches to the prevention and control of vandalism. The second study is a survey of the views about delinquency - its nature, causes and control - and allied topics, held by a selected sample of official and unofficial control agents in a London Borough "Northview". The relevance of these views to understanding the social control of delinquency is considered. The final study is of various types of response to the Mods and Rockers phenomenon. Using mass media and observational sources, an analysis is made of how this form of deviance was reported and conceptualized. The emergent images of the behaviour are related to the ways in which society attempted to control it. The effects of these reactions on the form and development of the phenomenon are suggested.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 1969 Stanley Cohen
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Sets: Departments > Sociology
Collections > LSE History of Thought theses
Supervisor: Morris, Terence

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