Pathways to delinquency for street children in China: Institutional anomie, resilience and crime

Yu, Y., Gao, Y. and Atkinson-Sheppard, S. 2019. Pathways to delinquency for street children in China: Institutional anomie, resilience and crime. Children and Youth Services Review. 102, pp. 158-168. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.05.012

TitlePathways to delinquency for street children in China: Institutional anomie, resilience and crime
TypeJournal article
AuthorsYu, Y., Gao, Y. and Atkinson-Sheppard, S.
Abstract

Delinquency of street children in China is prevalent, but the etiology of pathways into delinquency among street children in China has yet to be explored. By drawing on in-depth interviews with 40 street children in Kunming,China, this paper investigates the processes that lead street children to become involved in crime. The research
finds that street children's pathways to delinquency occurs via three stages: (1) initial attempts to make a living through conventional activities; (2) involvement in the informal economic activity as a middle solution; and (3) engaging in instrumental crime as a last resort. Delinquent behavior is thus street children's natural adaptation
when access to legitimate survival opportunities are eliminated by institutional exclusion to the formal labor market and because of the government's efforts to tackle child homelessness which often have negative consequences
for children living on the streets. This reflects both anomie/strain theory and resilient perspectives, and this research constructs a model of anomie, resilience and crime. The article concludes by arguing that policy and practical implications for reducing street children crime in China should focus on providing life andwork opportunities and help to raise awareness of street children in China and the mechanisms they use to assist their survival on the streets.

KeywordsStreet children, delinquency, anomie/strain, street children, China
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Journal citation102, pp. 158-168
ISSN0190-7409
Year2019
PublisherElsevier
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.05.012
Publication dates
Published14 May 2019

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