Mon | Jul 16, 2018

Light on violence | Youth being treated with indifference

Published:Saturday | April 15, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Dr Herbert Gayle, social anthropologist and lecturer, speaking at The Gleaner’s Light On Violence Special Crime Forum on Wednesday at the Medallion Hall Hotel in St Andrew.

According to social anthropologist and lecturer, Dr Herbert Gayle, the most populous group in the Jamaican society, ages 15-34 years, are being treated with indifference by those tasked with leading the country.

Speaking at The Gleaner's Light On Violence Special Crime Forum on Wednesday at the Medallion Hall Hotel in St Andrew, Gayle stated that while the age bracket accounted for almost 30 per cent of the country, the youth do not have a hard-core stake in the opportunity structures which are supposedly created for them.

"If I take any policymaker in Jamaica and ask them 10 questions about that age group, I feel confident they wouldn't be able to pass," said Gayle.

"It's almost like a minority having all of these fancy rules against a majority. The Church is the same thing. They understand children and old people, [but] they don't understand youth."




While voicing his belief that Jamaica is a State of oppression, Gayle added that the issue of ignoring youth isn't exclusive to Jamaica, but is, in fact, a wider Caribbean problem.

Studies have shown that persons aged 15-34 years are usually more energetic and creative than at any other period in life. It is for these reasons Gayle believes youngsters are more susceptible to violence and other social pitfalls if left unaccounted for by society.

"Humans are usually the most aggressive within this age group and it's also the period at which persons tend to act a lot for a brother or a group rather than self. This is the group you take to war to fight, and this is the group being shunned by society," he stressed.