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Shuren, I. (1974). Varieties of Delinquent Experience. Bernard Rosenberg and Harry Silverstein. Waltman, Mass.: Blaisdell Publishing Company, 1969. 165 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 61(1):152-154.

(1974). Psychoanalytic Review, 61(1):152-154

Varieties of Delinquent Experience. Bernard Rosenberg and Harry Silverstein. Waltman, Mass.: Blaisdell Publishing Company, 1969. 165 pp.

Review by:
Irving Shuren

The coauthors, sociologists at the City College of New York, question the standard theories and techniques for studying delinquents, in particular the premise that poverty causes delinquency. Stressing the importance of viewing the psychological reality of each individual delinquent, they find. “Similar objective conditions shared by our youthful respondents … are interpreted by them in quite different ways” (p. 20). Hence the varieties of delinquent experience.

The authors have chosen three different groups to study located in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and New York City. The unit of study in each city was the “social block,” a small community not as large as a neighborhood but in which the residents shared a “sense of belonging and of allegiance to others and of safety and security in familiar surroundings” (p. 22).

Selection of the study blocks depended upon a fundamental economic factor. Each area could be described from census tract and protest observations as predominantly poverty stricken. (p.

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