Sociology and Peer Group Pressure Essay

Submitted By sumayanalumansi
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Pages: 4

Crime & Deviance Booklet
Why do young people commit a disproportionate amount of crime in society?

Peer pressure

Young people can experience being under a lot of peer pressure from their peer groups to fit in with the groups expectations of the norms and values. This can be either positive such as joining a new school and being encourage to talk to people you don’t know and may enjoy socializing with or negative such as being in a gang and being forced to steal things to ‘fit it’, but this is typically associated with antisocial or delinquent behaviour in young people. Peer group pressure can occur in a lot of different ways, ranging from subtle hints to physical force. For a lot of young people in society this is one of the main reasons why they commit crime – they want to be like their friends and try to empress them also usually showing the other peers how they are not scared or anything in certain situations this may also include feeling self gratitude from others from gaining status in the peer group and by committing acts of crime or deviance is one way of doing this.


Some sociologists have the idea of peer group pressure being a bit further and have developed the idea that small numbers of young people have norms and values that differ to mainstream society; that can also be referred to as a subculture. Evidence for this can be found in their high levels of antisocial behaviour throughout society due to research that includes their delinquency; this might be seen in gang violence, intimidation and drug misuse. Clearly, if the norms and vales of the subculture do class criminal and deviant acts as wrong, then these are more likely to become typical and normal behaviour for the young involved and are thus another reason for their increased criminality.


Many young people claim that one of the main key reasons as to why they get involved in trouble is because of boredom; having nothing to do and nowhere to go. In these circumstances, crime may occur simply because it is something different for youths to be involved in and to do it’s always a way of adding thrills and excitement into an otherwise dull existence some youths clam. Research does seem to prove that this ‘adrenaline rush’ they get is actually a key reason to explain why young people’s involvement in crime is seen as the course of crime and according to new research by MORI. The survey, commissioned by Nestlé and the Kids Clubs Network, found that among 11-16 year olds, seven in 10 believe a lack of facilities and things to do leads young people to commit crimes. In a survey done a sociologist found out that all of the children surveyed who admitted committing crime cited boredom, peer pressure and being drunk as the reasons for offending. Stealing or threatening someone were the most common offences, when grouped by type, among both groups of children.

Lack of social control at home and in education

Another reason often given for why young people have high rates of…