This is the main question asked in control theories. “Rather than asking the typical criminological question, “What makes people criminal?” these theorists share a conviction that deviant behavior is to be expected. What must be explained, they say, is “why people obey rules” (Williams & McShane, 2010, p. ). What I’ve understood from all of this is that society has placed certain constraints and rules upon each citizen and we are to live our lives according to said rules. When we break or deviate from any rule, no matter how minor it is, then we are committing acts of criminal behavior.
Anomic theory is considered a sociological theory that tries to explain the pattern of crimes through macro level of analysis. Criminals commit crime on the basics that abnormal conditions and their surroundings cause them to have to act on it. There have been assumptions that poor commit more crimes than others. Based on several analysis crime are generally committed based on needs rather than wants. Anomie theory provides an explanation of the concentration of crime.
As well as a negative side that can lead to social disruption. Durkheim (1982 originally 1895) believed that a certain amount of crime was necessary for any society. Durkheim argued that a collective conscience which provides the framework for people to distinguish between acceptable behaviour and unacceptable behaviour was evident in society. However, Durkheim found that there were problems in society when these boundaries become unclear; Durkheim stated that the boundaries change over time. Therefore it is functional for crime to keep the people informed on the boundaries of their society.
The problem for any society is that these boundaries are unclear and change over time. While a certain, limited amount of crime may perform positive functions for society, according to Durkheim, too much crime has negative consequences. His most well known concept was that of 'anomie', which has been widely used in sociology. According to Durkheim, society is based on people sharing common values which form the basis for actions. However, in periods of social change, people may be freed from the social control by collective conscience and start to look after their own self need rather than following social values.
Outline and assess functionalist explanations for crime and deviance (50marks) When regarding crime and deviance, there is on-going debate between Functionalists, Marxists and Interactionists. Functionalism is a structural approach that sees human behaviour as shaped by external factors and is a consensus theory whereby it sees society as built by shares values that maintain order, this has influenced approaches such as Right Realism. Functionalist such as Durkheim and Merton view social structure within society as an explanation of crime and deviance rather than the circumstances of the individual. On the contrary, Interactionists hold an interpretivist approach and believes that the explanation of crime and deviance is due to how we label individuals and how those individuals live up to their self-fulfilling prophecy. Whereas, Marxists believe that capitalism creates potential criminals.
When we consider theories that are most applicable to the idea of a social institution and how they may apply to organized crime or criminal behavior in generally it is important to consider at least two theories. The Rational Choice Theory and the Theory of Differential Association are two theories that attempt to allow us to gain insight as to how social institution can not only be responsible for creating organized crime but also allude to criminal behaviors and allow us to see how individuals can come to a decision to choose their live their life in this fashion. Rational theory believes organized crime groups can make rational decisions when pertaining to crime and the groups know right from wrong and possess free will. The rational theory believes in harsher penalty and quicker approach when it comes with dealing with criminals. The rational theory offenders discover that committing a crime was not worth it.
Assess Functionalist Approaches to the Study of Crime and Deviance Functionalists such as Emile Durkheim, Robert Merton and Albert Cohen all attempt to explain the nature and extent of crime in today’s society. In essence, Functionalists argue that society is based on value consensus and social solidarity which is sustained via socialisation and social control mechanisms within society. Emile Durkheim states that whilst crime is obviously a social negative with the ultimate power to destabilise society, he stands by the claim that crime is inevitable, universal, and integral to a healthy society and even having positive benefits. He claims that crime occurs in society due to two fundamental reasons; firstly, not everyone is effectively socialised to the same norms and values which leads to people being prone to deviation and secondly, due to the diverse lifestyle and subcultures in contemporary society, subcultures act out different norms and values and what members of that subculture regard as normal, mainstream culture may deem it as deviancy. The Functionalist approach to the study of crime states that crime has two positive functions for society.
Abstract This paper will explore and discuss the difference in opinion regarding crime and who should be held accountable for criminal activity. The views of social responsibility and social problems will be examined, along with the perspectives that each holds to justify their belief. Theories such as Determinate Sentencing that holds the value of social responsibility in response to crime, and also the Constructionist theory that places that blame on society as to why a person commits a crime. In the end I believe that Social/Individual responsibility is the most appropriate way to approach crime. Perspectives of Social Problems and Social Responsibility Within criminology there has been multiple theories suggested to explain the numerous motives behind why crime exists in our world.
There is also agreement on an adversary system, procedural due process, and one’s day in court (Zalman, 2008). The most important function of the crime control model is as stated by Packer (1968), ‘the repression of criminal conduct by the criminal process’” “because public safety is essential to personal freedom” (Zalman, 2008, p. 5). The presumption surrounded by this value system is, in American society there will be a breakdown of public order if law enforcement does not keep a tight reign on criminals and their activities, and citizens of this
SOCIAL PROCESS THEORY: LEARNING CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR JA 305-50 31 OCTOBER 2008 Social Process Theory: Learning Criminal Behavior Social process theory is most commonly an attempt to explain how individuals become law violators. Considered a micro-theory, its main focus is on that of social interactions and processes that individuals occur. An interesting aspect of social process theory is that it typically does not approach crime and delinquency as mostly a lower-class problem, but relates crime to all social classes. The learning perspective of the social process theory is formed on the basis that criminal behavior is learned in a social context and that norm-violating behavior is acquired through interaction with others (Brown 320). Edwin H. Sutherland, a renowned criminologist, developed the theory of differential association, where deviance is explained in terms of the individual’s social relationships.