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By Heath B. Grant

Provide examines the felony socialization of youths through conceptualizing criminal reasoning (how youths cause in regards to the value of ideas and legislation) as a resiliency variable that could mediate the unfavorable affects of hazard elements drawn from the criminological literature on self-reported delinquency. Grant’s research additionally examines the results of felony tradition on socialization via adolescence perceptions of the legitimacy of legislation enforcement. The pattern of over 10,000 Mexican youths engaging in a state-wide software designed to definitely impact perceptions regarding principles and legislation is unheard of within the criminal socialization literature.

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Extra info for Building a Culture of Lawfulness: Law Enforcement, Legal Reasoning, And Deliquency Among Mexican Youth

Sample text

The changeability of law begins to be recognized by stage four, in which laws that are not for the “good of all” because they permit unkindness, or are made by uncharitable persons, can be revised. Only extreme circumstances justify breaking laws or rules (Tapp and Levine, 1977). However, what can be said is that such a corrupt society would prevent individuals from recognizing the larger moral principles and fundamental individual rights perspective required for advancement to postconventional thinking.

Palonsky and Jacobson, 1982: 27) Part of these negative or inconclusive findings between knowledge of the law and attitudes might themselves be related to exposure to unfair or corrupt law enforcement practices as a youth begins to interact with or experience the force of the law first-hand. Jones Brown (2000), in a study of 125 African American males and 25 white males, found that African Americans perceive the police as less legitimate than whites (Jones Brown, 2000: 95). As will be discussed below, such negative perceptions related to legitimacy might themselves prevent advancement in legal reasoning to postconventional levels.

This can likely be attributed to the fact that the peer authority residents were making judgments on the basis of the benefit to the larger community, an orientation characteristic of postconventional thinking. As a result, the normative status of both rules and their enforcement were seen as more acceptable under the participatory form of authority. This sense of community helps the students to become sensitized to the kinds of behavior that might be harmful to fellow residents (Cohn and White, 1990: 95), and creates a social responsibility that is a central ingredient in the needed value shift towards a culture of lawfulness (Godson, 1999), and is supported by the fact that there was less rule violation overall (though not significant) in the peer condition as will be discussed below.

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