Going to the bad
The treatment of the young offender
in The British working class in postwar film
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Viewed from the middle-class perspective, relative deprivation, aided and abetted by the mass media, fuels working-class crime. J. G. Bagot's Liverpool study of 1935-36 goes some way to supporting Stephen Humphries' contention that teenage crimes are generally minor and opportunist. This chapter concluded that poverty was not a factor in juvenile crime, their argument being that the proportion of offenders coming from homes where the weekly income was at least £1 per head increased from 2 per cent before the war to 13.2 per cent during the war. This contrasts with studies made in Glasgow and London, which showed adolescent criminals coming from crowded homes and larger families. The social problems of the day, including the increase in crime, are ascribed to the war, which prevented youngsters from becoming properly socialised. The Blue Lamp was released at a time when juvenile crime was a topical issue.


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