Exploring the Unknown

Exploring the Unknown
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Sunday, June 17, 2018

Student Reviews of Julian Tanner's Teenage Troubles: Youth and Deviance in Canada 4th Edition (2015)

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Teenage Troubles by the author Julian Tanner (2015) reflects upon various topics regarding youth deviance. Chapters covered interesting subjects such as youth from minority groups, gangs, female deviancy, and inequalities in the educational system. Chapter 4 was well divided between the groups that experience the most discrimination. Arguments made were very thought-provoking such as the rise of discrimination towards immigrants after the 9/11 attack. People relate the attack in New York with immigrants even if they had nothing to do with it; it now creates fear in people. The same goes with aboriginals and African-Americans; people relate their behavior with negative stereotypical images. Therefore, this chapter was very influential in relating how stereotypes guide our judgement towards others. On the other hand, chapter 5 was difficult to read and understand. Some terms were not defined to help the reader comprehend the argument being made. For example, the idea of school counterculture wasn’t defined until two chapters after the wording was introduced and so I had to go back and read from the beginning. In another account, when the author was speaking about the Columbine killers, Tanner talked about the Jocks again though that concept was forgotten about pages ago. It thus felt misplaced. I did like how chapters 6, 7, and 8 were connected. Chapter 6 slowly introduced us to crime on the street and among the youth, then chapter 7 focused into gangs and gangs from different minority groups, and finally chapter 8 went into female deviancy and gangs. The division made a great base of knowledge regarding crime to help us better understand the impact and causes of gang membership. The author also used other sources to back up her information to make it more credible; such as Campbell, Stanley, and the Daily Mail. Case studies and data from various sources helped clarify the extent of differences and similarities in criminal activities between different minority groups. I also enjoyed that the book was written recently and based on recent data which demonstrates what young offenders deal with in the current generation. Altogether, the book was truly interesting and brought about good arguments in which influenced you to reflect upon your own behaviour and opinions.

- Stephanie Cramp


The book is interesting to read, it helps to understand several issues regarding youth problems in Canada. The chapters are focuses on specific topics. However, I found that sometimes it is difficult to focus on the reading of the chapters at some points because the author always refers herself back to the previous chapters to make a connection, which leads us to go back on the chapter to keep in mind the ideas that are discussed. That makes me loose myself in the reading sometimes. It is not necessarily bad, but it would be better to focus on some specifics concepts within the chapters. Furthermore, this book is pertinent and it is an interesting reading for sociologists and students. It is interesting for the reading in other areas, such as criminology, and maybe for psychological course, such as youth development that would help to understand the thinking of youth, and their involvement. I would also refer this book to someone else for personal learning. 
- Angelika Homere

I found Chapter 7, Young Gangs and Guns in Canada, very educational. Although everyone has an opinion about the dangers and consequence of gang violence, in fact very little is known about gangs in Canada. I find it interesting that what we know about gangs comes from American research and literature as well as historical documentation from other countries. Since society and media always focus on the crimes committed by gangs, I was surprised to learn that gang members actually play an important legitimate role in their communities. I thought that this idea was just the media glamorizing gang membership in cinema/TV. I did not know that some gangs finance recreational programs and care for the elderly in the community. Prior to reading this chapter I was also unaware of the multiple reasons that influence kids to join gangs. Tanner covers how and why gangs are formed very clearly. I was disappointed to learn that very little research has been done on gang prevalence in Canada. I think that this area will have to become priority for future study. Now that I know that most gang memberships are composed of different racial and ethnic groups, I question whether there will be an increase in gangs due to the recent abundance of illegal immigrants into Canada. Although Tanner states that new Canadian immigrants are not over represented in Vancouver street gangs, I suspect this may change in the future for other major city gangs in Toronto and Montreal where these illegal immigrants are residing. I appreciated that Tanner cited answers from actual gang members about why they joined gangs.  This made the information even more realistic. It was also interesting to learn that the acquisition of illegal guns in Canada originates from the U.S. In future discussions on the impact of gun violence in the U.S., I will remember to include that the abundance of legal guns in the U.S. actually supplies Canada’s illegal gun trade because these weapons are smuggled into Canada. With respect to the textbook as a whole for this course, I think it was appropriate and informative. The chapters are well divided into various subjects of importance to the study of youth deviance. The examples are clear and relevant. It is easy to read and very interesting. My only suggestion is that a new edition should be published every two years so that the information is always up to date and current. 
- Chelsea St-Pierre

The book Teenage Troubles: Youth and Deviance in Canada by Julian Tanner (2015) centers on sociological issues with relation to young individuals. However, I will be focusing on chapter six called ‘Making a living Street Youth, Crime, and Other Money –Making Strategies’ where the author writes about the ways in which young offenders make money in order to survive. Topics such as theft, drugs dealing, prostitution and squeegees are touched with depth since these are all ways of making money for young desperate teens. He also discussed about the different factors leading young people to resort to these criminal ways of making a living. Including, family issues, homelessness and so called ‘‘throw away children’ which he describes as being children who aren’t welcome home anymore and thus have to resort only to themselves to survive in the streets. (Tanner, 2015) Hence overall the author did an excellent job in investigating issues surrounding both youth delinquency, money making strategies as well as exposing the difficult reality of many children. 
- Oriana Ainmelk Zarate

I found this textbook very informative and it reflected the course content. What was particularly nice about this textbook was its focus on studies here in Canada as well as abroad. I can see myself referring back to it in the future for other classes.  I did find some chapters slightly repetitive but by repeating certain concepts it helps solidify them in my mind. The cases they used in the textbook were interesting and shed a light on the experience of youth in Canada. 
- Nicole Josey

About The Students


My students studied Sociology at Bishop's University located in Quebec, Canada. Student Reviews of Julian Tanner's Teenage Troubles: Youth and Deviance in Canada 4th Edition (2015) was completed as part of an assignment for SOC209 Young Offenders in the Department of Sociology.

About SOC209 Young Offenders


The subject of young offenders in Canada and abroad is addressed using both contemporary critical theory and empirical evidence. The topics covered include the treatment of youth in Canada by the justice system, enforcement agencies, and their social realities. Variables of class, social inequality, gender and ethnicity contribute to the examination of the relationships of youth to criminal trends and behaviours patterns. This course draws from a multi-disciplinary approach including social and cultural anthropology, anthrozoology, sociology, world geography and psychology. This course is designed on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) strategies. Thus, students will be expected to actively participate in class discussions and engage with course material via Teachable Moments.

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