Combating Juvenile delinquency

Write a two to three (2-3) page paper in which you: Identify at least two (2) juvenile delinquency reduction efforts / programs currently in operation in your community. Determine the main sociological theories underlying these interventions that shape your community’s public policy for delinquency prevention. Propose one to two (1–2) ideas that you believe would improve your community’s juvenile delinquency prevention efforts. Justify the response with examples that illustrate your ideas being used successfully in other communities.

Sample Answer


The sociotechnical debate in information systems literature is concerned with the role technology plays in driving human evolution. When discussing this topic, writers often draw from two opposing viewpoints: technological determinism and social determinism. Technological determinists cite technology as a magic bullet in society, acting as a catalyst for all social change. American sociologist and economist, Thorstein Veblen coined the term ‘’technological determinism’’ during the 1920s however, it is widely associated with socioeconomic Marxists who often extensively discuss the implications of technology on human social relations and organisational structure. Critics, however, condemn the notion that ‘’technology’’ is a powerful enough agent to determine human actions and control human destiny, due to the abstract, intangible and quasi-metaphysical nature of the word (SMITH, M. & MARX, L., 1994). This is reminiscent of the social determinist perspective, which, posits that technologies such as the printing press and the internet are merely products of society created for the purpose of not only transporting ideologies across borders but also transforming and shaping beliefs. Simpson (1995) suggests ‘’technology can be viewed as that constellation of knowledge, processes, skills and products whose aim is to control and transform’’.

Technological determinists believe that like science, technology is an autonomous, neutral and apolitical force, with intrinsic characteristics associated with positive and beneficial effects. The words ‘’science’’ and ‘’technology’’ are often used interchangeably. This is because Science is concerned with acquiring knowledge through observation and experimentation in order to explain natural laws and phenomena while technology is concerned with the creation of products or entities in order to resolve problems or simply improve human life. Thus, it is possible to argue that technology is the practical application of science as tacit knowledge and experimentation is required in order to seek explicit knowledge or take certain actions towards certain innovations.

However, social determinists would argue that if technology is in fact, an application of scientific knowledge, then it is not innovative, as scientific knowledge already exists. They also accentuate the interpretive flexibility of technology, which contrasts the objectivity found in science. For example, some may view the printing press as an empowering tool, encouraging freedom of expression whilst others may see it as one of the many means that allow those in power to transmit their ideologies and subtly shape the beliefs of the public.