A Neo-Marxian Critique, Formulation and Test of Juvenile Dispositions as a Function of Social Class
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First, this research challenges the methodological adequacy of previous juvenile disposition studies, particularly their conceptualization and measure of social class. Second, a neo-Marxian theory of juvenile court dispositions is presented. This theory distinguishes between two offense patterns (traditional crimes against person and property and crimes against the moral order, status and victimless offenses) in terms of their relative impact on the social relations of production, subsequently revealing distinct disposition trends. Finally, a multivariate test of two propositions derived from this neo-Marxian theory is provided. The findings support the present neo-Marxian theory of juvenile disposition sentencing concerning the strength of greater social class discriminatory tendencies in the disposition of moral as opposed to traditional offenses.