Poverty Stricken Youth Breaking the Law: The North Korean Example

M. Elizabeth Hoffman, Florida State University

A study was done on the behavior of North Korean youth, the illegal acts they commit and the lengths to which they go in order to survive and save their family from starvation. In an environment where a large portion of the population is not only starving but living under a particularly oppressive political regime, deviant behavior, even among normally innocent children, can be necessary for survival.

Official reaction to their breaking the law and the dangers involved was investigated. Within the framework of delinquency theory their behavior was also examined. Comparisons were made with youth in similar life situation in other countries and with "normal" delinquent youth in the U.S.

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Updated 05/20/2006