The rocking chair says tic-tac as he moves back and forth. The rain is pouring down the rusty patches of their roof while he is feeding his mind superfluous fantasies, allowing him to mull over things. Day dreaming is just normal for Aldred. A day without it is never a day at all. He is 18 years old, an incoming forth year high school student. He lives in the lessee areas of a small village. He is the son a launderer and an ex-criminal. His father was in jail for years because of robbery. He hated people. He was a regular visitor of their guidance office.
The common grounds was of bullying classmates, breaking the windows of the classroom, writing in public walls, getting into fists fights. His parents rarely talk to him about his problems and sentiments. Psychologically, personality is a drive system that determines a person’s behavior. Aldred said that part of his personality is his daydreaming. It is where he releases his angst about the cruelties of his life. The downpour of imagination can be lead by a process of rehearsal and creation. The individual is the performer who has no audience but himself (Murphy, 1947).
Asked about what he daydreams about, he said his fantasies are almost the same each time. In this case, he learned gradually to stereotype his fantasies: rich, powerful, witty and smart. Fantasies can be an expression of individuality. Obviously, it has always been his dream to be rich, to be powerful, and to be all knowing. Imagination has been his comfort zone. With this, he developed an extreme source of anti-social behavior from his childhood that had not manifested until his teenage years. Findings show that there is heterogeneity of anti-social behavior.
It is both an emotional and conduct disorder. In effect, the antisocial person is accompanied by consistent social malfunction- he breaks the norms and violates the law (Osgora, 1997) The behavior of Aldred affects many domains of his life. It has caused him emotional disturbance and depression. His anti-social behavior also resulted from his loss of friends inside the school. He gained friends from outside their campus who are member of out-of-school-youth. It has also decreased the effectuality of his social life.
He was limited by his small circle of friends that mostly belonged to his gang. His hatred of his parents became a fire of revenge. He despised them for giving him the life he does not want. This resulted in more dysfunction within his family. In Aldred’s case, there is a muddling of different causes of his anti-social behavior. To say that he is a poor boy is not justifiable. He is definitely insecure. He has no oasis in the desert- he cannot confide to his parents, he cannot run to his immediate friends, he has disgust against society’s norms.
Where else can he go? Everybody is well aware that this life is a battle that one should survive- it is not a bed of roses. Life is full of arrogance, hatreds and fears, but almost everyone too realizes that these are all but normal- life is not perfect. In that way, people maintain a positive perspective on the challenges of life (Lundin, 1969). In Aldred’d case, he was overpowered by his aversive behavior and has tended to escape from adversity through his fantasies. There are many determinants of such behavior.
First, is the attachment of the child to his parents. Aldred has little respect for his parents. Moreover, he has not establish strong ties with them. His parents, especially his father, cannot even secure an education for him since he himself has not had such education. The school as a learning environment is also partly accountable for his condition. It is like a chain, or a vicious cycle. It runs through academic incompetence to poor school performance to disliking of school to rejection of school administration to violation of norms.
Delinquency is not just manifested in the academic performance but also in one’s interpersonal relationship with others. In society as a whole, it can have rigorous effects on the dynamics of society. Delinquents proliferate. Most delinquent acts are done with companions. There is a very strong tendency that delinquent individuals have equally delinquent friends (Hirschi, 1969). Aldred attempted to change when he was 16. He did not go to formal delinquent behavior therapy. He tried to motivate himself by studying well and to do well in class.
He said he realized that his acts are causing suffering to other people, but nobody recognized his efforts to change. Everything is the same, whether he does good or bad. He also tried to court a girl whom he thought would make him change. Unluckily, the girl did not say yes. He also attempted to refrain from going out with his gang friends and tried to stop watching hardcore computer games and movies. He admitted that after a while, all the efforts of changing made him soak into boredom. He went back to his old life, and he even got worse (Stumphauzer, 1973).
The case study of Gardner Murphy presents a subject who is subject to the same situation with Aldred. Both individuals foster acts of delinquency but with different levels and extent. In the case study, the two brothers killed their parents because of their hatred. Aldred’s case is minor for now; he does commit white-lies and similar minor offenses but has not yet been engaged in extreme acts of physical violence. PART B. The paper aims to consider the ambiguity of causes of delinquency. Its goal is to provide a holistic explanation on how and why a person develops anti-social behavior.
The paper will further discuss the relationship of an individual’s imagination to his immediate environment. The researcher will carry this out through participant observation, interview, and case study. There are various perspectives on delinquency. These different theories advocate different ideas. The Strain Theory is an answer to Hobbes question “why men obey the rules of the society? Some of Hobbesians say that it is because of fear that man abides by laws and that if breaking the law will provide man pleasure and profit, then he is likely to break it.
Sociologists argue that there is more to conformity than fear. They believe that man respects society and that they conform to norms. Establishing this, sociologists face dilemmas about why man violates the law. The Strain Theory advocates that a man’s desire to succeed is a reason for not conforming to rules. In desperation in his pursui of success, he does deviant things. Moreover, the Strain theory also asserts that deviancy can only occur mostly among members of the lower classes of society (Murphy, 1947).
The Theory of Cultural Deviance assumes that man by nature is incapable of doing deviant acts. The theory expresses that a man commits anti-social acts based on the standards of the society. In other words, this theory believes that man just conforms to a more powerful sub-culture existing within society. It suggests that delinquency is usually socialized and learned (Reed & Badli, 1973). I favor the latter theory and contend the first one. The Strain theory cannot assure that the values of a man are common among all men.
The theory focuses on frustration and discontentment of the individual, which are hard to define and are psychological constructs which are likely to have subjective meaning. It is also a harsh generalization to say that an individual who aims for success will end up committing violations in pursuit of his goals. Other delinquents do not even have a clear vision of success in their lives. Lastly, delinquency is not confined among members of the lower classes; while there is a relationship between social class and delinquency, this does not imply that crime and maladaptive behavior are solely confined to this class.
References Hirschi, T. (1969). Causes of Delinquency. University of California Press. Lundin, R. V. (1969). Personality: A behavior analysis. University of South Macmillan Limited London. Murphy, G. Personality: A biosocial approach to origins and structures. Harper&Brother Publisher. Reed, J. P. , & Fuad B. (1972). Faces of delinquency. Prentice Hall. Stumphauzer, J. S. (1973). Behavior therapy with delinquency. Charles C. Thomas Publisher. Osgoa, W. (1997). Motivation and delinquency. Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press.