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Master of Arts (M.A.)




Almost from the inception of American sociology, there has been serious work done in the investigation of juvenile delinquency, This can be seen, perhaps, most clearly in the work of the men of the Chicago school, such as W.I. Thomas, Clifford Shaw, Frederick Thrasher, and so on. From the work of Shaw, there arose a serious emphasis upon the interrelationship of the physical environment and delinquency. He tried to show that delinquency was a function of the urban environment. But he, and most of the other workers in the field, was working in an almost completely urban research field. There has been, in fact, little attempt to investigate the field of rural delinquency from the aspect of sociology. As a result of this, the work done by sociologists has been chiefly concerned with that type of delinquency which has been associated with the urban environment.

In recent time, music of the impetus for research in delinquency has passed from the hands of the sociologist into that of the psychologist. This type of research should include the work of men like Fritz Redl, Carl Rogers, and David Abrahamsen.

For these reasons, then, this paper will attempt to do three things. From the very existence of a study on rural delinquency, an attempt will be made to direct attention to the existence of rural delinquency and to reawaken study in the field. Secondly, a typology of delinquency will be delineated which will attempt to link the field of juvenile delinquency with the field of social theory. Finally, certain specific hypotheses about rural delinquency will be drawn from this theoretical framework and will be tested by a specific study in the area involved.



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