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Florida, Cuba & Crime

This analysis will review some socioeconomic differences between the state of Florida and the country of Cuba. The main focus of the analysis will be on how culture influences teen crime, particularly juvenile crime involving gang membership. Juvenile crime is on the increase in both Florida and Cuba. In Florida, 115 murders, 813 sexual batteries, 1,065 armed robberies, 16,263 burglaries and 4,537 auto thefts were committed by juveniles between July 1998 and June 1999, most of them gang-related (Bankhead 1). Cuba, too, has experienced an increase in juvenile crime that is gang-related, typically seen as the effect of the cause – the collapse of the communist bloc which threw Cuban society into serious economic turmoil. The island’s GNP fell by 35% between 1989 and 1993, and then rose by 2.5% in 1995, 7.8% in 1996, and 2.5% in 1997 (Ponte 4). Social problems began to re-emerge as a result of these problems, including prostitution, theft, and gang-related crime.

While in Florida, teenagers experience isolation and alienation from mainstream society who do not adhere to the mechanisms of capitalism, so, too, Cuban juveniles are isolated and rejected if they reject the one-party, government-controlled social institutions (media, judicial system, etc.) of their country. Education enrollment and levels are declining in Cuba which adds to crime among juveniles. In 1995, 12.7% of Cuban youth enrolled in university as compared to the 20.1% who did so in 1985 (Ponte 4). In Florida, lack of educational skills and substance abuse are blamed as causes for increasing juvenile gang-related criminal activity (Bankhead 2). This analysis will discuss how increasing juvenile crime rates in both Florida and Cuba can be explained by the functionalist perspective of sociologist Emile Durkheim and his theory of anomie.

Both Florida and Cuba are experiencing increasing levels of crime, particularly among juveniles who often form gangs. Th...

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Florida, Cuba & Crime. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 11:50, May 22, 2019, from