Troublemakers Rebellious Youth in an Affluent Society

Troublemakers Rebellious Youth in an Affluent Society

Troublemakers Rebellious Youth in an Affluent Society

Troublemakers Rebellious Youth in an Affluent Society

Excerpt

This new preface to the American reader should perhaps start with some personal explanation. Troublemakers is put forward as a study of juvenile delinquency by a layman in penal matters--my previous writings had been largely on political themes--but based on very many personal interviews and discussions in a number of countries, some with noted experts in their subjects. It is also a book whose final shape was due to the circumstances of its composition, for what began as a study of certain kinds of disturbed adolescents turned largely into one of the society that gave them birth. My original and more limited intention had been to write about juvenile delinquency chiefly in the light of current penal thinking. Yet the more I went into the subject of the contemporary troubles of youth, the more I felt they could be understood only in the wider context of the great changes transforming our society (behind the Iron Curtain, too). Conversely, though juvenile delinquency is only a marginal problem, its study seemed to me to throw a very special light on these social changes. It is in an attempt to illustrate these two themes that Troublemakers is presented to the reader.

Troublemakers is also in the first place a study of juvenile delinquency in Britain. While this may appear a small problem to American readers, I believe that its analysis should not be without interest to them, especially since even so conservative a society as that of the British Isles is today changing rapidly and becoming more like that of the United States. At any rate, just as I have tried to show this British problem in its social setting, so for its proper evaluation I have found it necessary to go further afield. In the second half of this book, therefore, juvenile delinquency in Britain is compared and contrasted with the same phenomenon in the more bourgeois countries of Continental Europe, in the United States, and in a different setting in the Soviet Union. The chapters on trends in the United States should therefore be read as a comparative British view of a rather disturbing American problem--as a picture of how this problem looks when viewed (I hope, with some understanding) from across the Atlantic.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.