Where’s my skateboard?

How are juvenile delinquents portrayed in modern culture? (indeed do we even use the term ‘delinquent’ anymore?) The contemporary media  paints a picture of surly youths hanging around on street corners drinking ‘alcopops’ and wearing hoodies. However, things were obviously quite different back in 1925, when eminient psychologist Sir Cyril Burt used the following illustration in his book ‘The Young Delinquent”:


If you click on the ‘read rest of entry‘ link at the end of this post to look at the rest of the pictures, you’ll discover that back then three piece suits and working mens caps were very ‘street’ for boys, whereas young ladies were smoking on the dancefloor and hanging about on enormous stuffed horses…..

….. terrifying……

All pictures from Burt, C.L. (1925). The young delinquent. London: University of London Press,  with many thanks to Saxon (aged 43 11/12) of the excellent ‘Too Many Pipes’ for the original text.

(Also, talking of delinquents, have you looked at ‘Contemporary Mottled Sheep’ ?)




0 thoughts on “Where’s my skateboard?

  1. Adrian Frost says:

    Actually, I think photo two could be my Dad…..

  2. Well at least they’ve got clothes on, unlike American delinquents. William H Sheldon published ‘Varieties of Delinquent Youth’ in 1949. He photographed his subjects naked. His representative sample was taken from Ivy league universities and may have included George Bush and Hilary Clinton. No evidence of delinquency there then. Personally I’m more concerned about the uncanny resemblance between photo 2 and Tony Hancock. What would Freud say about that?

  3. Adrian Frost says:

    Naked Hilary Pics?
    (well, I suppose that’s upped our search engine hit rates…)

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