Which is the better explanation that elucidates the question: Are criminals born or made? Research has shown that criminal behaviour tends to run in families, it is likely that biological factors play a fundamental role in criminality. In order for psychologists to discover whether criminal behaviour results in the child’s genes or their surrounding environment, they need the information required by adoption studies. For example, if the criminal’s behaviour duplicates that of their adoptive parents then this could lead to the fact that the criminality is present in the environment. Mednick et al.
In this essay we will assess the usefulness of these functionalist theories, and look at how it helps us explain crime. One functionalist who tried to explain crime is Merton and his strain theory, the strain theory argues that people engage in the deviant behaviour when they are unable to achieve socially approved goals by legitimate means. Merton explanation combines 2 elements; structural factors- society’s unequal opportunity structure, cultural factors- strong emphasis to achieve goals and weak emphasis on using legit means. Merton uses the strain theory to explain some patterns of crime in society, he argues a person’s positioning in society affects the way they adapt or respond to the strain to anomie. Merton gives 5 different types of adaption; Conformity- the individual accepts socially acceptable goal and achieves it through legitimate means, Innovation- Individual accepts the role of success and wealth but uses illegitimate means to achieve them, Ritualism- Individual give up on legitimate goals but still follow strictly to the rules, Retreatism- Individuals reject legitimate goals and means of achieving them e.g drug addicts, the final type is Rebellion- Individuals reject existing goals and means but replace them with new one in desire to bring about revolutionary change.
What are the major approaches that criminologists use to explain crime? Explain each of them. Which approach or approaches would be of greatest practical use to the security manager? Since ancient times, criminologists study various theories of crime in order to place measures that may reduce or eliminate specific crime risks. They are trying to use different approaches to explain crime by different category of theory, such as psychology, biology and sociology.
Within biological and environmental Psychology both fields share varied beliefs as to where criminological behaviour is derived. Is criminal behaviour inherited or is it down to effects of the environment? Biological psychology theorists (BPT) believe that the criminal is born that way whereas environmental psychology theorists (EPT) believe criminal behaviour is learned. There is a range of research studies that support both these arguments. Cesare Lombroso (CL) was a Psychiatrist that believed that criminals had common facial characteristics and that they were “born criminals” which he also referred to as “atavisms”.
Many people believe that crimes are committed because people have mental issues, however that is not the case. Based on the research done by criminologists there are numerous theories as to why crimes happen, such as, biological, sociological and psychological. (Michaelson, Peter, January 10, 2012) The idea that there is a biological connection with crime is fairly recent. This idea started getting more attention back in the 19th century. Before, that individuals were believed to have control over their moods and directional approaches.
“It is a person’s environment that leads them into criminal and deviant behaviour.” This essay will firstly define deviance and crime in sociological terms. It will explore how deviance and crime are defined and who defines them as such. Considering the moral and legal aspects of deviance and crime. Secondly this essay will consider some of the many ideas and perspectives around the reason for and the continuation of crime and deviance in society. As a conclusion this essay will take into consideration whether the perspectives outlined are external or internal in their description of reasons for crime and deviance and try and determine the relevance of the arguments.
In their view, crime is caused by a combination of biological and social factors. o Biological differences between individuals make some people innately more strongly likely to commit crimes than others. E.g. Personality traits such as aggressiveness, extroversion, risk taking, and low impulse control put some people at greater risk of offending. o Wilson and Herrnstein also argue
There are many theories relating to deviance and crime with each theory illustrating a different aspect of the procedure by which people break rules and are classed as deviants or criminals. (New texts pg 138) which highlights the problems in defining crime or deviance. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CRIME AND DEVIANCE Many believe crime and deviance has developed on separate tracks over the years as criminologist serve only for legality, crime and crime-related phenomena. The study of deviance however serves for a wider range of behaviours that are not necessarily illegal for example suicide, alcoholism, homosexuality, mentally disordered behaviours. (Bader et al) The main difference between crime and deviance is deviant behaviour is when a social norm has been broken whereas a crime is where a formal and social norm is broken.
Running head: Psychological Trait Theory Psychological Trait Theory Alyssa Recinos Abstract Psychological trait theorists focus on how characteristics of different individuals interact with their environments, social or otherwise to produce violent events or outcomes. Instead of studying biological factors of crime like how a person interacted with their surroundings in their early developmental stage, they look at the mental processes and look for the association between intelligence, personality, how they learn, and aggressive criminal behavior. Psychological Trait Theory The psychological Trait theory is the second branch of trait theories. It “focuses on the psychological aspects of crime, including the associations among intelligence, personality, learning, and criminal behavior” (Page 119, Criminology The Core). There have been several sociological and criminological theories that stress that most violent criminals are impulsive and have a lack of empathy for others.
But why do we commit crime and why are the crime rates in certain places like Compton, East St. Louis or Detroit so high? The answer is the “Social Structure Theory”, which states that poverty, unemployment and bad social conditions cause criminal activities. The Social Structure Theory contains three schools of thought: social disorganization, strain, and cultural deviance theories.The school of social disorganization states that