Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo


  • Lorenz Huck
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_71


Just as “childhood” (Ariès, 1962), “youth” is at least in some aspects a social construction: It takes specific social conditions to release young people from work for a certain period of time, allowing and obliging them to educate themselves (Gillis, 1975).

Wherever and whenever “youth” as a separate phase of life exists, problematizing juvenile behavior seems to be a common theme. Ancient Egypt Papyri testify to teachers’ concerns about their pupils’ tendency to love beer more than books, and Senecas dictum “Juvenile vitium regere non posse impetum” (“It is the fault of youth that it cannot govern its own impulses”) shows that similar concerns were raised in ancient Rome.

In modern societies, young people are without dispute consistently overrepresented in criminal statistics (Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1990, p. 124). There are, however, two conflicting tendencies in dealing with juvenile misconduct: On the one hand, there is a widespread readiness in the general public to...

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent ScholarBerlinGermany