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Люди и общество.doc
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Reading Activity

Task 1. Scan and analyse the guide of what you can do from the ages of 10 to 21 in Britain.

What a teenager can do in britain

Age 10: Be convicted of a crime. If convicted of homicide be detained “during Her Majesty’s pleasure”.

Age 12: Buy a pet.

Age 13: Get a part-time job but not for more than two hours on a school day or a Sunday.

Age 14: Go into a pub but not buy or drink alcohol there. Own an unassembled air gun.

Age 15: Open a Girobank account with a guarantor.

Age 16: Leave school. Work full-time. Marry with parental consent. Ride a moped. Join the armed forces with parental consent (boys). Drink cider, beer or wine with meal in pub or restaurant. If you leave home the law is

unlikely to enforce your return.

Age 17: Drive most vehicles. Buy or hire any firearm and ammunition.

Join the armed forces with parental consent (girls).

Age 18: Vote.

Be dealt with by adult criminal courts. Make a will. Own a house, apply for a mortgage. Apply for a passport. Open a bank account without a parent’s signature.

Join the forces without parental consent. Donate your body to science.

Age 21: Be an MP. Drive a heavy goods vehicle.

Task 2. Skim an additional text “On a fast road with no map”(p.141) and say what legal rights a teenager has and if they give helpful guidelines for a youngster’s life.

Post-reading Activity

Task 1. Are these sentences true or false according to the information you read.

  • Teenagers have strong feelings about their rights.

  • At the age of 17 you can fight in a war but not vote.

  • At 17 one can’t be tattooed.

  • At 16 one can’t work full-time.

  • The legal frame work is inconsistent and ambiguous.

Task 2. What do you think.

  1. When is child no longer a child?

  2. Do adults in general and parents in particular always know best?

  3. Do Belarusian adolescents have similar legal rights as their British peers?

  4. Why should teenagers’ legal rights be discussed and thought through?

  5. What really annoys you in legal rights you have (haven’t)?

Task 3. Make a similar guide to the teenagers of Belarus.

TEXT 3

Pre-reading Activity

Task 1. a) Look up the meaning of the following words and learn them.

Abyss (n), astute (a), augmentation (n), cripple (v), curb (v), evanescence (n), minor (n), retribution (n), shatter (v), staggering (a), stern (a), strive (v), subsequently (adv), hinge on (v), warrant (n)

b) Give your own sentences with these words.

c) Explain the meaning of these phrases: drug doom; crime boom.

Task 2. Answer the following questions.

  1. Can you define the term–delinquency?

  2. Are you aware of juvenile delinquency problem in Belarus?

  3. What are the causes of this phenomenon?

  4. What solutions do you find realistic?

Reading Activity

Task 1. (!) Read the article bellow and think of a caption to it.

The society of the Republic of Belarus has a pile-up of problems that require a great deal of efforts to be solved. Juvenile delinquency is one of the urgent problems of Belarus. As any social phenomenon it has its own peculiarities, causes and ways of solution.

The problem of juvenile delinquency in today's Belarus includes a lot of "subproblems". The most important of them are: street vio­lence, drug abuse, and involvement of minors in the organized crime. A whole bunch of articles on mugging by teenagers appears in press today. About 60 percent of all assaults on the streets involve minors. The dangerous increase of the rate of this crime committed by the teenagers may lead to the establishment of relations among people based on regular and fierce display of power.

Drug abuse is another serious problem to be dealt with without delay. About 50 % of all drugs sold today in Belarus are con­sumed by teenagers. Last years Belarus has plunged into the abyss of the "drug doom." Subsequently, it resulted in a significant increase of all other crimes, one of the most dangerous of which is organized crime.

It is widely known that Mafia recruits its members among teenag­ers engaged in street or neighbourhood gangs. To shatter or at least to deal a staggering blow to this anti-social network crippling the young generation is also one of the tasks for the local police to fulfill. .

The main cause of the crime boom and, consequently, of the considerable increase in juvenile delinquency rate are the changes taking place in the societies of all former Soviet republics. The collapse of the socialistic system in the country resulted in the evanescence of the social and moral values, which has the integral part of general indoctrination of children from early childhood.

Social instability that ensued was the logical outcome of such an evanescence of values. It was logical because people had no more worthwhile values to strive to achieve except for money and no moral restrictions in accumulating as much wealth as possible.

The destruction of the former soviet economic system and its consequences (e.g. miserable living standards, staggering unemploy­ment rate, etc.) are the superior factors to contribute to the augmen­tation in juvenile delinquency rate. Miserable salaries offered to the teenager employees resulted in the emergence of the belief among youngsters that the really big money can be made only in criminal world. Facing such a large-scale problem the society has to devise the appropriate ways of its solution, otherwise the very existence of it will be threatened.

The first and the most important condition to bring juvenile de­linquency within certain limits is the development of the sound econ­omy and the improvement of the life standard as the consequence. This is sure to enable the emergence of firm social values and the belief that big money can be earned without breaking the law.

The direct measures should also be taken to curb the alarming growth of juvenile delinquency rate. The law should be made as flexible as possible to be adjusted to every case, so that retribution is not regarded by a delinquent as something stupid and unjust. Besides, the court and jail system should be perfected so they would not turn a young offender into a professional and astute criminal.

Evidently, the problem of juvenile delinquency is one of the most topical for the Republic of Belarus of modern days. Its essence has deep social roots and that is why it hinges on every of us to change situation for the better. Hence, we are going to be responsible for both the successful solution of this problem and for the miserable failure of it. Overall, considering juvenile delinquency has both so­cial and economic backgrounds, the key to diminishing its rate is a complex of measures that will be effective only if taken together.

The problem is scrutinized, the ways of its solutions are drafted, so let the every effort be done to raze this ugly and disgusting social phenomenon.

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