A person’s behaviour becomes deviant through the process of social construction, some behaviours considered deviant or criminal in one society may be honourable in another society. The social response towards these behaviours determine the legal status of the behaviour, changes to the legal status are carried out and changed by social policies. (oxfordbibliographies.com, 2016) Sociologists believe that crime is culturally constructed as policies and laws such as smoking in cars around infants has only recently been considered as a deviant behaviour. One explanation of crime is based around the functionalist ideologies. Functionalists such as Durkheim (1947) argue that crime is essential for society to function properly, that it is a normal …show more content…
He claims that status frustration is a factor to the increase in criminal behaviour. The working-class males want to achieve the same success that is valued by society but lack of education and opportunity stops this from happening. Although unlike Strain theory, Cohen claims the working-class males turn to the values and norms of a delinquent subculture such as a gang, as they can achieve success easier. The subcultures place high value on petty criminal acts such as vandalism and theft as these acts help the individuals to gain respect. Since the crimes reward behaviour with more respect than financial gain, it explains why people commit non-utilitarian crimes. (Burke, …show more content…
The subcultural approach can be criticised as it assumes delinquency is socialised into the proletariat. In contrast, this approach gives insight into non-utilitarian crimes such as vandalism. Cohen also explains what functionalist Merton misses about group based crime. Another criticism could be that official crime statistics do not cover unreported crimes so this means that subculturalists base their theories on unrepresentative samples. The Marxist approach believes that crime reflects the inequalities within society. Like functionalism, they believe that crime is unavoidable but believe that it will only be resolved when capitalism is overthrown. Marxists believe that the problems with criminal behaviour lies with the bourgeoisie as they are the ones who create the laws, and these laws only benefit them. (Bown et al,
While this theory can be universal, it mostly applies to urban societies. Most people who live in these urban societies live in poverty and do not have the means to climb the social ladder. As a result they turn to crime.(Simons & Burt, 2011) This theory forces people to ignore the social norms within the society because they end up not caring about the appearance of the neighborhood or if they get in trouble with the law. Similar to social learning theory, people who commit crimes within a disorganized are not able to see how their actions can cause negative consequences.
Furthermore, cultural deviance theory highlights the role of socialization in shaping individuals' behavior. If individuals are socialized within a subculture that values material success above all else, they may be more likely to engage in criminal behavior as a means of achieving these goals. Therefore, cultural deviance theory provides a potential explanation for why some middle-class individuals may engage in white-collar crime. Now using cultural deviance theory what would be one type of a low-class
Strain theory is general is best applied to lower class struggles and doesn’t tend to offer any stable explanations for why white-collar crime exists. However, this theory is slightly addressed with Agnew’s theory which is why the theory was created much broadly than Merton and Durkheim’s. Agnew’s general strain theory presented multiple strain-producing types that can result in the chances of criminal behavior this theory was the most important and influential out of all the theories and countered Merton’s classic theory (Hosier & Hosier). Agnew identified types of general strain as failure to achieve positively valued goals, removal of positive stimuli, and the presentation of negative stimuli (Hosier, Ch. 5 Pt. 2 Lecture) Agnew was progressive in his points that stated there were various forms of strain that caused people to experience negative emotion but still does not account why for why people deal with the consequences of strain differently and now everyone who experiences strain or stress resort to delinquency, and how some individuals are capable of positive coping mechanisms.
Crime and deviance can be found in all cultures in society. It comes in many degrees, and affects us all differently. As the years go by, crime rates have increased, and criminals are becoming craftier. Crime and deviance often occurs due to desperation, conflict, dare, and rebellion. These crimes are often controversial, and spark media and political debate.
Furthermore, as society labels people who have committed a deviant act as ‘criminal’, Schur (1965) suggests that deviant acts such as drug use or any as Schur (1965) labels them as ‘victimless crimes’, should not be dealt with the full force of the law because it can be expensive and counter- productive (Muncie, 2010). On the contrary, Cohen (1973b) questioned who is responsible for labelling an act as deviant then later identified that political movement gain power over social actions and created criminal laws. Muncie (2010) sees crime as a political and ideological construction and that from social construction, laws, policies and social morals are the bases in which society is
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). Strain theory is founded on the idea that the goals of a society and the accepted means of achieving said goal causes strain that can
Deviance and crime is a common characteristic of Canadian society. Deviance is defined as: “recognized violation of cultural norms” (2013, pg.465). While crime is defined as: “recognized violation of society’s formally enacted criminal law” (2013, pg.464). There are some universal similarities about what we as humans consider morally deviant, still, what is regarded as deviant or criminal behavior in Canada may not resonate with other societies. Some behavior “can fall right in between deviant and criminal” (Healy, 2012).
These individuals are likely to believe that the better way to reduce crime is to give criminals a harsh punishment. A positivist theory tries to explain that several biological and social factors may lead to criminal behavior. For example, there might be a lack of poverty and education in some places in which could result in a cause of higher crime rates but can be reduced if employment and educational opportunities are being suggested. Last theory is Individual trait, in which suggests that the most distinguishable differences between noncriminal and criminals are physiological and biological. Therefore a suggestion for this would be to limit the interaction between the ones who have the same
Structural functionalism argue that deviant behaviour plays an active constructive role in society by ultimately helping to cohere different populations within a society. The possible solution to social deviance is to carry out social reforms that will have an impact on the social condition that cause crime in the first place. Police need law enforcement procedures that would enable them to catch serious criminals. Many judicial reforms could be carried out that would make the courts more effective. To control criminal deviance, government should guarantee equal opportunity to all individuals increase legitimate opportunities for advance and obtained a good wealth in area when these not exist.
Due to the anomie theories, “crime is a symptom of some members of society not having the tools to achieve what their society defines as success” (Cliff, Desilets). Due to the conflict theories, upper - class people to maintain their status and financial position operates the lower class, which often leads to death. Such exploitation and harm to people are considered a crime capital. In return, structural theories of white collar crimes explain such crimes by the existence of pressure from the society as well as the unequal division of power. Micro – level crimes explain the reasons in individual level.
It is impossible to pinpoint one reason why people partake in deviant behavior. While a person’s own pathology may have some effect on whether a person will commit crime, I think that most acts of deviance are the result of their social environment. Different people react in their own way to different opportunities handed to them. Whether these responses to their environment are either “deviant” or “criminal” is determined by the society they are a part of. While Emile Durkheim discusses the effect of anomie on mental states, Robert K. Merton elaborates on the concept of anomie created by a society where success is based on material goods.
When Auguste Comte coined the term ‘sociology' to refer to a positivistic or scientifically proven approach to study human society and social life, he gave rise to the central idea of the structural functionalist perspective on deviance and conformity (Thompson & Gibbs, 2017). This sociological perspective provides a macro-level analysis that focuses on the structure of society and the roles of social institutions such as government and family, to provide its members with stable patterns of social structures (Goode, 2008). Many people tend to associate negative implications when they come across deviant actions —any behavior such as crime that breaks from commonly accepted norms or expectations— and assume that society would be better off without them. On the contrary, functionalists point out that deviance is a common part of human existence and that some deviance is actually healthy for our society as they can strengthen norms and social unity to name a few (Clinard & Meier,
2.0 The ideas about definition about deviance and crime change over time. The definition of deviance and crime are deviate over time and places which influences by many factors such as economic, social and politic. This influence term of deviance of crime and deviance does not maintain in a fixed period. Krohn, Lizotte & Hall (2009) claim that time main idea for cross-national criminology due to society’s chronological development is fundamental for understanding current macro-level conditions and varieties across country.
TERM PAPER TOPIC: CRIME FACTORS INTRODUCTION A crime is essentially an act forbidden by the law, and considered sufficiently grave to warrant providing penalties for its commission. It does not necessarily follow that such an act is either good or bad; punishment follows for the violation of the law and not necessarily for any moral contravention. Before 1968, most theories of crime were resulted from recommendations given by sociologists, psychologists, political scientists, and criminologists.
As far as crime is concerned, it is defined by the law. Deviance is unexpected behaviour, but not exactly considered criminal. Many consider crime as a social problem – a problem as defined by society, such as homelessness, drug abuse, etc. Others would say crime is a sociological problem – something defined as a problem by sociologists and should be dealt with accordingly by sociologists. This essay attempts to discover the boundaries between these two and ultimately come to an appropriate conclusion.