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Juvenile Delinquency has long been a social problem in the United States.  Juvenile delinquency is the commission of a criminal offense by a minor.  It is considered a social problem because it is a condition which the society deems as a problem.   Criminal offenses, as a whole, are considered a problem in any society because it poses danger to the people in the community.  In 1999, law enforcement officers arrested an estimated 2.5 million juveniles. Approximately 104,000 of these arrests were for violent crimes. The most common offense was larceny-theft.   Juvenile arrest rates for property crimes remained relatively stable between 1980 and 1999. In 1998, for every 100,000 youth in the United States ages 10 through 17, there were 1,751 arrests of juveniles for property offenses (Frontline, 2005).Juvenile delinquency, more than any form of delinquency should be given more attention because of the graver problems it could bring in the future.  As juveniles, they are considered the future of the country and the fact that at a very young age, they are already delinquents means that the probability of being a burden than an asset to the society is very high.  With the statistics mentioned above, the number of incidents reported to law enforcement officers is already quite alarming.  Delinquent act is already a problem our society is facing right now, and the solution to it is yet to be found.  In the meantime, minimizing the number of incidents by minimizing the probable offenders could be a significant step to eradicate the problem.  Moreover, it would not only be beneficial to the society but also the individual juvenile delinquents as well because they are given the chance to have a brighter future.Delinquent behavior can be attributed to several social characteristics of the juvenile delinquent such as gender, social class, place of residence, etc.  Due to such, it is not easy to find a single answer as to what causes delinquent behavior.One of the major sociological theories that could explain the cause of juvenile delinquency is the theory of symbolic interaction.  Symbolic Interactionism as thought of by Herbert Blumer, is the process of interaction in the formation of meanings.  Human beings are best understood in relation to their environment.  The first core principle of meaning states that humans act toward people and things based upon the meanings that they have given to those people or things. Symbolic Interactionism holds the principal of meaning as central in human behavior.  The second core principle is language. Language gives humans a means by which to negotiate meaning through symbols.  It is by engaging in speech acts with others, symbolic interaction, that humans come to identify meaning, or naming, and develop discourse. It is by engaging in speech acts with others, symbolic interaction, that humans come to identify meaning, or naming, and develop discourse.  The third core principle is that of thought. Thought modifies each individual’s interpretation of symbols.  Thought, based-on language, is a mental conversation or dialogue that requires role taking, or imagining different points of view (Nelson, 1998).Juvenile delinquency, as defined earlier is the commission of an offense by a minor. As minors, they are vulnerable to the many influences surrounding them.  In other words, they are easily influenced by the things around them.Juvenile delinquents could be best understood by looking into the kind of environment they grew up in.  As what was mentioned earlier, human act towards people based upon the meanings that they have given upon the given thing or people.  Every community in the society creates their own subculture by the different practices and beliefs they have in that particular area.  And from that subculture, every single person in that community gives meaning to a given thing or person they come to contact with.  This is supported by Blumer’s premise that “symbolic interactionism is derived from or arises out of, the social interaction that one has with one’s fellows (Denzin, 2004, p. 152).Language and thought, comes out of the meaning created in the community where the person interacts with.  The meanings created are manifested through the language and thought of the person.  It is only through the study of the environment of the person involved could some answers be derived.Juvenile delinquency unlike any other social problem, is very difficult to solve because answers to why it is existing is hard identify because of the several factors that could be attributed to its existence.  However, this should not stop social scientists and government bodies from probing into this problem.  Eventually, with continued research, answers could be derived.Symbolic Interactionism is a significant tool to explain the existence of this social problem.  It seeks to interpret the various factors involved that could in one way or another explain the actions of the juvenile delinquents.  With the study of juvenile delinquency, through the theory of symbolic interactionism, it does not present the problems of the juvenile delinquents but also the societal problems present in the community where these individuals interact with.  It is only through the presentation of the real situation of the society that solutions could be found because it is from these situations where problem arise.The curbing of the problem on juvenile delinquency could solve not only the problem of juvenile delinquency but also the problem of the community and the graver problems it could bring.  The fact that juvenile delinquency was brought about by the environment in which the juvenile delinquent came from, means that there is a problem in that particular community that brought about an environment that creates delinquents out of innocent juveniles.

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