Constructing juvenile delinquency: The socio-legal control of young offenders in Israel, 1920-1975

Mimi Ajzenstadt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The discourse of pathology which started to emerge in the earlier period expanded and began to include new ideas and new psychological and sociological explanations were imported to Israel from Europe and the USA. Against the social background, members of the elite groups were concerned at the phenomenon of wayward youth cut off from society, among them young offenders. The pathologization of juvenile delinquency was advanced by the discipline of social welfare which started to emerge in Palestine during the 1930s, mainly through the work of Henrietta Szold who was appointed as the Director of the Vaad Leumi’s Welfare Department. In the dominant expert account for juvenile delinquency only scant voices were heard attempting without success to challenge it. Similarly to the European and North American progressive reformers, professionals in Palestine monopolized the societal responses to juvenile delinquency. Juvenile delinquents in Jerusalem, were described by Dr. Kraus as coming from Moroccan families whose parents were ‘manual laborers, water-drawers, and beggars’.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConstructing Social Work Practices
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780429863790
ISBN (Print)9781138611344
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Arja Jokinen, Kirsi Juhila and Tarja Pösö 1999. All rights reserved.


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