chapter  Two
Delinquency, crime, and violence
ByMark Bracher
Pages 25

Crime and delinquency, including violence, comprise variegated behaviours that are all efforts to maintain identity by enacting certain identity components and/or achieving recognition—by whatever means may be available. Identity maintenance would seem to be a minor or even totally non-existent cause of many social problems, such as teen pregnancy, shoplifting, substance abuse, vandalism, and violent crimes including robbery, assault, rape, and murder. Teenage pregnancy is often thought to be the result of ignorance and carelessness regarding sex; shoplifting and robbery are assumed to be motivated by the desire for material possessions; and vandalism and other violent crimes are attributed to the expression of aggressive and violent character. In addition to using drugs to escape affects that threaten one’s sense of self, individuals also use drugs as a means of producing identity-bearing affective-physiological states. Thus, some individuals use drugs to provide a rush, just as other individuals seek a rush from risk-taking behaviours such as gambling, crime, and extreme sports.