Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Regoli, Robert M., and John D. Hewitt: Differential Oppression Theory
Robert M. Regoli
Differential oppression theory, originally published by Robert M. Regoli and John D. Hewitt in Delinquency in Society in 1991, contends that children have little power to influence their social world. They have almost no choice regarding with whom they associate and, have limited resources available to influence others or to support themselves independently of adults. In comparison to adults, children are relatively powerless and are expected to submit to the power and authority of adults. When this power is used to deny children self-determination and impede them from developing a sense of competence and self-efficacy, it becomes oppression (Finkelhor, 2008). All children are oppressed. The oppression of children falls on a continuum, ranging from simple demands for obedience to rules designed for the convenience of adults to physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Differential oppression theory states that the involvement of children in crime is best understood as adaptive reaction to ...