The United States is very different from its European counterparts in many ways. Indeed, American “exceptionalism” has been documented in a vast amount of scholarly and popular writings on the western world (e.g. Ross, 1991; Madsen, 1998; Hellerman and Markovits, 2001; Lipset, 1955, 1997, 2000; Wrobel, 1996). This alleged American “exceptionalism” is important to understand in order to interpret differences in the problems of youth crime and victimisation between the US and other western countries, and – in a more narrow sense – American exceptionalism also has direct implications for the methodology, design and execution of the ISRD-2 study (which will be addressed in the section on the methodology). Although comparative research is interested in both similarities and differences (and in many ways, the United States is also very similar to the rest of the western world), we start this brief chapter highlighting some of the aspects that mostly differentiate the United States from its European counterparts.


School District Private School Ninth Grader Immigrant Youth Youth Risk Behaviour Survey 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Anthropology and College of Criminal JusticeNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA

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