Juvenile Crime: A Functionalists Belief
Crime is when someone does something that someone with power deems wrong. If you are poor the more you are penalized for your crime. The reason for is because you do not have the access to acquire the socialized want, a want of invisibility, due to the access of funds or power you may have. This can cause anomie, a feeling of being adrift. Then when society; the people of your community, judges, police officers, and teachers, label you as a criminal you are more likely to believe and conform to that label.
There is a social want for invisibility and if adolescents can not achieve this want there is more awareness of what you do wrong. In “The Saints and the Roughnecks” "Differential of the two gangs resulted in part because one gang was infinitely more visible than the other. This differential visibility was a direct function of the economic standing of the families."(Chambliss pg 29) The roughnecks did not have the means for invisibility, so they congregated in high traffic areas. Where there time wasting was noticed by the law enforcement, teachers, and other members of the community. This caused sporadic harassment from police officers and loitering charges against them. The saints were able to hide their time wasting; by hanging out in buildings on the edge of town.
Historically, children have been presumed to lack the criminal intent to commit willful crimes. (Kornblum & Julian pg.126) But when you are young and have not achieved societies goals, society and can label you as a criminal because of your visibility and financial standing. Then as you have been labeled as such you tend to conform to your labeling. Committing crimes such as selling drugs, and that can lead to addiction. Teens sell drugs because they are in less risk of incarceration and its an easy way to gain financial stability. That they lack to gain the resources to achieve societies wants.