For this section of the portfolio I will be summarising
three lecture slides in details. The three lectures that I have chosen to
discuss are gangs and grooming in week 11, girls
and gangs in week 12 and finally
serious group violence and joint
enterprise in week 5.
Gangs and grooming
This lecture was
conducted by Brendan Finegan.
Grooming is defined by “when someone builds
an emotional connection with a child to gain their trust for the purposes of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or trafficking”.
Groomers can be any age and any gender. This can be done in many ways such as
online, face to face in person, stranger or even someone they know. Grooming is
also abuse but many children and young people do not understand what has
happened and they have been groomed.
There are several signs of grooming, if a child is
being groomed they may act in a certain way. Examples of this can be having an
older girlfriend/boyfriend, meeting in unusual places, having access to drugs
and alcohol and also being secretive online. However with older children the signs of grooming can easily be
mistaken for ‘normal’ teenage behaviour, but there might be slight change in
personality, behaviour or inappropriate sexual behaviour. Some of the examples
include wetting the bed, self-harm, suicide thoughts, depressed and eating
disorders. These are all signs of
grooming and it can happen to anyone at any-time. Some children may be more at
risk than others, usually children who are in care or disabled as groomers will
exploit their vulnerability.
happens both online and in person, groomers usually disclose their intentions
and may spend a long time gaining a child’s trust and ensure the child that he/she
is safe. Groomers are likely to pretend to be someone else for example lying
about their age to gain trust and build a relationship. Once the trust has been
built, the groomers take power over the child and sometimes they will blackmail
the child, or make them feel ashamed or guilty, to stop them telling anyone
about the abuse. They may also use any means of power or control to make a
child believe they have no choice but to do what they want.
and network sites has become a big platform for groomers to exploit young people
and children. Children and young people spend a lot of time online and parents
do not usually know what they are doing. Groomers use social networking sites
to communicate with children through online messaging. It is easier for the
groomers to hide their identity as it is behind the scenes, they may pretend to
be a child and chat to become friends.
conclude from this lecture, I have learnt what online grooming is and how they
can manipulate children and young people. There are different stages that a
groomer does to gain their trust and build a relationship with the child.
offending (Week 8)
This lecture focuses on gangs and young people, it looks at
different aspects of youth offending and risk factors. Offending from a young
age is common, half of males and a third of females admitted to committing an
offence but most offenders had committed no more than one or two minor offences.
The use of drugs was widespread amongst
young people. One in two males and
one in three females had used drugs at some time in their lives mostly cannabis, consumed at least
once a week by a third of males and a fifth of females
There was some comparison found between offenders and non-offenders
such as low level of parenting, quality of relationship with parents and people
living with two parents less likely to offend than those living with one parent
or in a step-family. There was a slight relationship between offending and
social class. For males, having delinquent siblings and being excluded from
school were also strongly linked to offending, as were low attachments to
family and school for females.
Porteous (2008) mentioned victimisation, young people are
more likely to be a victim than offenders and adults. It was shown that there
is a strong correlation between offending and victimisation.
There are different theories which explain gangs and
Individual positivism is when something within the
individual predisposes them to offend.
Rational choice theory is when the individual chooses to
Control theory includes weak family bonds, individuals who
lack self-control through faulty socialisation.
Sociological positivism is when there is no opportunity, bad
neighbourhood, problems in the social structure cause youth crime (anomie).
Strain theory is related to relative deprivation, the gap
between what young people want and what they can legitimately achieve causes
Learning theories is when the individuals learn to offend;
peer groups teach offending.
Sub cultural theory is when sub
groups develop their own norms and values conducive to youth offending.
Labelling/moral panic theory is
when the individual or groups are labelled and stigmatised which motivates them
to re-offend as part of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Feminist theory views the patriarchal/gendered
society frames young men and women’s choices.
Marxist theory looks at the capitalist
mode of production frames young men and women’s choices.
In conclusion this lecture explained
why young people offend and looked at several risk factors connected to gangs. It
also examined different theortical perspectives however there was some critics
in relation to the theories for example it does not explain group behaviour, it
rather looks at individual reasons.