Computer Hacking: Just Another Case of Juvenile Delinquency?

  • Yar M
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Recent discussions of computer 'hacking' make explicit reference to the disproportionate involvement of juveniles in this form of computer crime. While criminal justice, computer security, public and popular reflections on hacking seldom refer to formal criminological analyses of youth offending, they nonetheless offer a range of explanations for the over-representation of young people amongst computer hackers. Such accounts of hacking can be seen to converge with criminological analyses, by stressing a range of causal factors related to gender psychology, adolescent moral development, family dysfunction and peer-group and subcultural association. The homologies between 'lay', 'administrative', 'expert', 'popular' and criminological discourses, it is suggested, offer considerable scope for developing a critical, academically-informed, and policy-oriented debate on young people's participation in computer crime.

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  • Majid Yar

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