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How Does The Juvenile Justice System Define The 'norm' For Mainstream Youth?

1470 words - 6 pages

1.How does the Juvenile Justice system (or the Education System) define the 'norm' for mainstream youth? What does its treatment of young people (as opposed to its treatment of adults) say about our society's concepts of youth?We live in a society in which the 'norm' is enforced by respected professions such as education and the law. This forms cultural knowledge and a perception of subjects such as young people which may not always be fair observations yet the fault does not merely lie in these professions. This assignment will aim to formulate how expectations of the behavior of young people have come to pass and have thus been fostered by institutions such as the Juvenile Justice system. Articulation of the consistency between the treatments of youth versus that of the adult will portray apparent reason and areas whereby another angle could be taken. The paper aspires to portray how youth are perceived in extremes of affection and fear by society.Moira Rayner wrote that 'there is an attitude problem in Australian Society. We have refused to take children seriously' (1990, pp.1); this statement may be found to be true in many senses. In a survey of how the media perceives Children, it was found that children are considered mostly as 'victims' of a cruel world, 'cute kids' and 'little devils' (O'Sullivan, 1998, pp.1). Although half of the typecasting was labeled negative, through the words alone, the image of youth may be distinguished as almost farcical. The problem of juvenile delinquency lies at the hands of ideologies that have been formulated through generations of moral upbringing. We learn how to bring up our children as moral human beings through our parents who, in turn, learnt from their parents, and so the story continues. The law simply sets the limits of legal human behavior by means of both the actions of the average person and centuries of rearing and moral teachings. By the means of upbringing throughout the ages, the law has allocated boundaries which society has generally learnt to abide by and has accepted as the 'norm'. Dictatorship of what is normal is not set out by a specific genre of professions but by society as a whole.When a serious offence is committed as stated by the justice system, often the shock of what the world is coming to is looked upon by the older generation and pondered on as they think back to when they were younger. Shelley posted an opinion on the 'Spank Mag' forum concerning this debate, concluding that '...the world can't be perfect. It's [social mismeandors have] always been around, it always will be.' (2000, pp.1) She distinguished that there have always been mean, violent and depressed young people and that there always will be, after all, it is human nature for things to go wrong, the problem with society's perception is the fact that connection between behavior in the past and that of the future was similarly able to rise to the occasion of unlawful activities, yet not as exact and not publicized...

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