Problem

Youth violence


Experimental visualization of narrower problems
Other Names:
Teenage violence
Culture of youth violence
Nature:
A culture of violence is emerging amongst the young. They are unemployed or underemployed and believe they have no skills. Seeing the riches of society in shops and through advertisement, members of the culture recognize they are neither producers nor consumers. Expected to respond obediently to a volatile labour market in flexible ways, they nonetheless seek something tough and enduring.

A culture of machismo is a form of resistance and an assertion of their most irreducible characteristics. They are bored, yet reject make work schemes, job training schemes and calls for national service because all of these accomplish nothing. Rejecting materialism they set other goals and standards of behaviour. They define themselves through appearance, haircuts, clothes and stance, and not through anything they create or make in the world. Aware of the inadequacy of the role open to them as consumers, the crimes they commit are not of theft but of collective, often violent, activity. Politics is equally meaningless. The political left is just another less efficient administration. Their lives are empty of meaning and having known no other way of living they are unable to say what is missing.

Incidence:
In the USA between 1983 and 1987 arrests of those under 18 for murder jumped 22.2%, for aggravated assault 18.6% and for rape 14.6%. At the same time, the total number of teenagers declined 2%.

In Britain, juvenile crime rose at a rate of 12,000 crimes a year between 1987 and 1995, which is 3 times faster than the rate of increase from 1979-1986, and 4 times faster than the rate of increase from 1950 to 1979. Low income in the home is associated in the current culture with being a loser, and this hopeless attitude is being blamed for the upsurge in violence.

In June 1999, in a peaceful neighborhood of Upper Nazareth, Israel, a group of six teenage boys set on 15-year-old Yevgeny Yakobovitch, pounding him with brass knuckles, slitting his throat with kitchen knives and then, as he tried to crawl for help, bashing in his skull with an aluminum baseball bat. Equally troubling is the attackers' subsequent behavior. Most went home to bed as if nothing had happened. Rounded up within hours, five of the youths confessed with stories that corroborated one another, breaking down in tears and re-enacting the attack for police.

Throughout North America, about half of the murders in a typical year involve victims or assailants eighteen years of age or younger. By the 1990's, firearms were being used in three-fourths of teen homicides in the United States (Peled, Jaffe, et al, 1995). It is estimated that 100,000 children bring guns to school every day and 12% of children claim they carry a gun for protection (Peled, Jaffe, et al, 1995).

Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
03.05.2001 – 00:00 CEST