Young men become skinheads following their friends' example

Sociologists believe that teenagers succumb to peer pressure to form aggressive groups

Pravda/October 12, 2004

A group of scientists from the Russian Academy of Education conducted an opinion poll among 1,500 teenage students of Moscow schools. As a result of the research, the scientists prepared a report titled "The issues of tolerance in the adolescent subculture. Vladimir Sobkin, the director of the center for sociology of education, doctor of psychological sciences commented on the results of the work.

"Almost every third boy refers himself to informal groups, although the percentage is very low among girls - 12.7%. Males and females demonstrate different attitudes to the issue. Girls are originally oriented at being tolerant, whereas boys exercise protective purposes. On average, every fifth teenager refers himself or herself to this or that youth group. Forty percent of people in punk and rapper groups say that they are rather active within their groups. However, less than one-fourth of skinheads can boast of such activities.

"It is hard to say, why teenagers are so attracted to group extremism. Of course, one may explain the phenomenon with poverty-caused aggression. As a matter of fact, there can be a lot of reasons found. Some individuals follow their friends' example and become skinheads too, others like to fight and release their energy and someone is attracted to ideology.

"The entire adolescent environment is rather aggressive; various groups permanently come into clashes with each other. Teenagers also set up antifascist groups, which is an expression of their healthy attitude to social problems. Young people with antifascist sentiments believe that skinheads are strong and brave only in groups.

"Teenagers often borrow ideologies from the adult world and reflect their ideas in a more truthful way. Grown-ups always weigh all opportunities and evaluate all circumstances before answering a provocative question; they try to look into the mind of their conversation partner. Children are used to speaking the truth.

"Adults often criticize the young generation. It has become fashionable now to say that young people are deprived of their spirituality. On the other hand, what moral accomplishments can be found with people in their forties? They say that young people are mercantile and enterprising, although there is nothing bad about it at all."

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