The Emergence of Deviant Minorities: Social Problems and Social Change

By Robert W. Winslow | Go to book overview

two
YOUTH AS A MINORITY

Youth is a logical place to begin our analysis of deviant minorities, because it is probably the largest of all minority groups, certainly it is the earliest, and its members are subject to as much categorical discrimination as any other minority. Viewing young people as a minority may afford us insights into the phenomena of youthful deviance that no other perspective -- such as anomie, status deprivation, cultural lag, social disorganization, and the like -- can provide.

It is not really difficult to see youth as a group subject to categorical discrimination. Much of this is common knowledge. Eighteen- year-olds are old enough to be forced to fight and die for their country, but in most parts of the country they are not old enough to drink alcohol or, until very recently, to vote. Young people cannot make a civil contract to purchase goods, but they can sign waivers of their constitutional rights when they have been charged with a crime.

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