There are many theories that suggest that crime is constructed socially, or is a product of the society in which the crime is committed. One such theory, proposed by Robert Merton, is known as strain theory. While strain theory is a useful model for explaining how societal values can drive people to commit crimes, it has several flaws and does not focus on how laws are made and how this contributes to the formation of crime. While Merton suggests that laws are created from consensus within a society, it will be argued that strain theory can also support the idea that laws are a “product of conflict” (Hagan 5).
Each individual differs from another, yet human beings have manufactured the idea of race and separate sub-cultures in order to create a system that benefits the construction of explanations for numerous social anomalies. Although, each person has a particular set of ideals, morals, and experiences, the desire to create a profile for the abundance of criminal activity has allowed a group of elites to create the concept of sub-cultures that endorse violence. As a result certain ethnical groups are portrayed as being marked by a sub-culture of anarchy and poverty. Robert D. Crutchfield, a professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Washington, explores the manifestation and the philosophy that is incorporated in order to justify why certain races are believed to harbor pro-crime norms and values.
Stafford and Warr discussed Reconceptualizing Deterrence Theory. This theory was more so concerned with experience of punishment, and punishment avoidance. Staff and War theory argues that individuals have both indirect and direct experience with punishment as well. Examples these four factors are; direct also call specific deterrence with punishment would be when and individual is punished for robbing a bank and they indeed robbed the bank. Indirect experience with punishment, is also called general deterrence is when an individual is aware of others who are punished for the crime they have committed. Next would be specific deterrence which is also called direct experience with punishment. This type of punishment is when an individual has
Crime rates provide an insight about the society and the deviance going in and around it. There has been a steady decline in crime rates since the year 1990 in North America. The significance of the study of declining rates of crime is essential to criminology as it highlights the efforts done by people to reduce crime and make the society safer for all civilians. It is also a clear depiction of the changing morals and values revolving in the society. Although there are a number of reasons for the decline in crime rate, some of which are complicated. This paper will analyze some of those reasons. It has been noticed that immigration has played an integral role in reducing crime rates since 1990. The arrival of immigrants decreases the crime
Sociological theories suggest that a lack of equal opportunities, neighborhood disarray, and the social environment is the leading cause for crime causation (Hall, n.d.). The sociological theory has a larger impact on the poor and disproportioned. According to the sociological theory crime is due to the environment an individual is subjected too. This is especially true in communities where the crime rate is high. In communities that are inundated with gangs, violence, drugs and murder, juveniles are more likely associate with gangs and violence if it is always visible within their community. James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling support this notion, they came up a theory called the broken window theory:
Deviance has many functions in society. Although deviance violates social norms, without it, we would not have rules, so it helps form, guide, and shape society’s norms and goals. Social norms are different from culture to culture. Norms that may be acceptable in one culture may be frowned upon in another. Emile Durkheim quotes that “deviance and deviant behavior is an integral part of all healthy societies (Adler, 2014, p74).” The Mafia and organized crime would be an example of deviance in society. Differential Association Theory and Social Structure sheds light on how individuals learn to become criminals, the conditions in social structures that lead to deviant behavior, and how both are similar.
In order to understand Cloward and Ohlin’s Theory of Differential Opportunity we must go back to its roots and by that I mean a brief look at Merton’s Anomie Theory which was its starting point. Merton stated that all societies have values, goals people must achieve and that in the USj the main goal is to have financial success and so all Americans have as top aim being rich. Besides values, all societies have norms, social rules that are the means of achieving the goals. Sometimes, people have the goals and the means, other times they don’t have one or both of them, and so Merton identifies different modes of adaptation to that social pressure: conformity, when people have the values and the means; ritualism, having the norms but not having the values; innovation, having the values but not the means; retrealism, not having either the norms or the values; and rebellion, rejecting both the norms and the values and trying to exchange them into other ones they find more suitable. The most important one for crime is the innovation, when people have the values, they want to succeed, want to become rich and fulfill the American Dream, but don’t have the means to get to that, have barriers and lack of possibilities that won’t let them achieve the goals they and all American society wants. This disjunction between goals and means causes the anomie, the breakdown of norms, the social disorganization and deviance referred by Durkheim. Not having legitimate ways of becoming rich and
his paper will address Life Course theory by Robert J. Sampson and John H. Laub. This is a collective level theory which explains reasons that lead to the decrease in crime rates as people age. This decrease in criminality is due to informal and formal social control placed on the individual. The core argument, however, is that informal social bonds pose as the biggest influence as to whether or not someone will commit a crime. Their proposition is that crime and deviance is the result of the weakening/breaking of one’s social bonds. Strong social bonds is an unfavorable factor to crime just like weak social bonds poses as a favorable factor to crime.
Durkheim would say, if you look at the offender and their social world, they might have had done this to achieve an obligation of a social role such as, construction manager. So, in that managers social world they have certain obligations placed on them to fulfill, and that may seem immoral to someone not in that collective consciousness. Durkheim would say we are not innately moral in anyway, but only act morally because of social obligations placed on us. Another reason why a construction manager may be involved in slave labor could be explained by Durkheim’s explanation of human nature. Durkheim believed that not far beneath the surface of the above mentioned social moral self is an innate desire to destroy a functioning social order in
Both theories described, Strain Theory and Rational Choice Theory, explain crime in terms of social environments, which include society, family, the workplace, communities and peer groups. A large number of criminological theories have been developed through sociological investigation. These theories have generally stated a fact or belief that criminal behavior is a normal response of biologically and psychologically actions due to a particular kind of social circumstance (Mannheim, 2016). Strain theory and Rational Choice theory are sociological theories that attempt to explain criminal behavior and why criminals act the way they do and each theory has its own basis to explain why individuals commit crimes. Whatever the theory may be, the
Many people would assume the police are there for our protection, nevertheless, there job is to protect the state. Some police officer that disobey the laws they are supposed to uphold. Some critics would believe that the people who fight back against police officers are the problem instead of the hidden racism. Police brutality has been affecting many people throughout history, which has become a social problem. Nevertheless, many people would state that the police are only doing their job, yet they are not being held accountable for their actions. Many minorities have become victims of racial profiling by the police. Durkheim’s theory of societal development of organizations help create a society that was being further alienated creating
Crime is defined as an action which evokes dissent and constitutes an offence in society. Crime can take a number of forms which have been conceptualized by a number of sociologists. The purpose of this essay is to analyze the function of crime regarding its contribution towards social stability.
There is no universal theory to explain criminal activity, but trait theories attempt to explain the biology and psychology behind criminal behaviour. Sigmund Freud, an early 20th century psychiatrist, created the psychodynamic theory which is now used to explain delinquent activity in some situations (Siegel, et al., 2013, p. 102). Freud’s theory breaks the human personality into three parts: the id is born with a person and drives their need for life sustaining essentials and instant satisfaction, the ego is developed in early childhood and helps balance the id to keep one’s actions within the social norm, and the superego develops based on the personality and values of the people someone surrounds themselves with (p. 102). The psychodynamic
Theories focus on the action of the crime and criminal behavior rather than criminal justice aspect. Crime control is the main focus on theories whereas, the justice sector is being ignoring since it involves asking the question “why?” to the crime control policies set forth as well as the organizations implementing these policies. Three principle concerns are set forth on the how we study the field of criminology and criminal justice. Theoretical research on the why behind criminal justice is underdeveloped and illegitimate. Unfortunately, criminal justice research has been considered non-educating since it does not meet the requirement of proposing a universal theory. Also, any theories found that involve the public sphere are deemed as being pointless and ideology. Need for different research and theoretical tactics in understanding the nature crime behaviors rather than crime control policies.