‘Outline and explain ways in which data about crime is collected’ Crime can be defined as deviant activities that break the law in any particular society. Finding out how much crime takes place isn’t easy, and attempts to measure crime can prove misleading. This doesn’t mean that crime statistics aren’t affective, but it does mean that no single measure can be fully relied upon. Many sociologists see crime statistics as a social construction, as collecting crime data is a result of the cultural expectations of society, and by understanding who commits crime and what sorts of crimes are committed, we can get a clearer picture of why people commit crime in the first place. Different sociologists have presented different theories and concepts to explain what drives a person to commit a crime, and research and statistics give us an idea of the type of crimes committed and the places that they’re most likely to occur.
Do you prosecute that as a hate-crime, just because it might be? One group of people is now getting special treatment under the law. That sounds lot like discrimination to me, which isn't how this country is supposed to work. Whatever happened to equal protection under the law? Further, because most hate-crime legislation puts added effort into prosecuting crimes against certain individuals or groups, what about the same crimes committed against someone who doesn't fit into one of those groups?
It does however explain why some people or actions are described as deviant, and can help in understanding crime and deviance. According to item A labelling has changed the theoretical base for the study of criminals. Becker emphasises the significance of crime being a social construct; an action only becomes criminal or deviant once society has labelled it so, and that crime can be argued to be a social construction. He introduced the concept of a master label, referring to the label which a person is given which overrides all other labels. When a person is labelled as negatively, society tends to tend them as such, and this master label often becomes internalised, and then a self-fulfilling prophecy occurs.
This theory has empirical support. For example Morrison found the underclass are faced with blocked opportunities due to their position in the social structure. Crime is then commuted because of group feelings of resentment and revenge suggesting there is some validity in this theory. Cloward and Ohlin however critical Cohen for failing to recognise different types of crime that emerge out of the legitimate opportunity structure. Cloward and Ohlin's theory differs (as the source states) from Cohen's slightly: They state access to criminal networks shape subculture types.
This then lead for official statistics and the law enforcement to show a bias towards working class boys. This research shows how deviance only exists because people have decided to attach a label, thus the labelling theory is useful in explain how a deviant and criminal behaviour is classed as this. However, it fails to explain why some people certain crime and deviance in the first place before they are labelled. Also, as said in Item a ‘’deviant individuals are labelled when their actions are discovered and provoke reactions from society. However, this reaction will take differing forms, depending on how the nature of the action is perceived.’’ But as well as this, labelling theorists look at the effects and reaction it causes the individual to take.
This assignment will explore the social constructivist approach to defining and measuring of crime and deviance from a functionalist and interactionist perspective with a brief overview of the Marxist perception. It will also consider the statistical approach to measuring crime. In terms of Crime and deviance they are extremely diverse. Crime is defined as any act which breaks the law and is therefore punishable. Most, if not all, acts of crime are categorized as deviant behaviour, for example, murder.
Being a criminal or deviant could be seen to be a social construct and therefore this may mean that you could question what criminal activity is and whether this social construct is even right since it has been constructed by members of the society. The laws of the society have also constructed the norms and values of society and therefore if someone were to go against that they would be seen to be criminal however, this may differ in other parts of the world because what may be criminal and deviant in our society may be seen to be the norm in another. The labelling theory helps us to understand why people commit crimes and why people end up being deviant within the community. One reason may be that this stereotypical view or pre-judgement enables people to self-fulfil their prophecy and therefore creates criminal for example. Someone who comes from poor background and where’s hoodies does not automatically mean that they could be deviant.
Both corruption and abuse of force involve the intricacies of power and politics. Police may use their power to act as though they are above the law, and not required to abide by the same laws that govern the behavior of others. This, in turn, creates a slippery slope that leads to the abuse of police force, either directly or indirectly. Of course, neither of these outcomes benefits society at large; however, officers may develop an opinion that their actions, no matter how heinous, are justified if it leads to a desired outcome of enforcing the
Crime and Justice CJA/204 February 23, 2015 Crime and Justice Crime is a social phenomenon and is defined as any unlawful act by law where society has provided a specific punishment. There are many different acts such as murder, arson, robbery, larceny, motor vehicle theft and burglary. Crime also consists of acts threatening a nation ,practical jokes such as falsely reporting a bomb threat or hate crimes be it religious, gender or racial. These are also described as negatively affected stereotype groups. Negative stereotypes are often resistant to change even in the face of conflicting information (Devine, 1989; Fiske & Neuberg, 1989), and are intimately linked to prejudice and bigotry (Stroebe & Insko, 1989).
Outline and evaluate functionalist explanations of crime and deviance Crime and deviance can be defined as behaviour which breaks the law or goes against society's norms and values. Downes and Rock defined deviance as behavior which may be considered as banned or controlled behavior which is likely to attract disapproval or punishment. Crime is harder to define, however Pease (2002) defined crime and deviance as an action that is deemed so disturbing by citizens or disruptive to society that state intervention is justified. The macro perspective of Functionalism sees society working like the human body, this is described through the organic analogy. The agents of socialization work together to form equilibrium within society.