Conclusion A. Compare and Contrast B. Improvements to Analyze C. Summarization of Both Theories Criminologist Attempt to Understand Criminal Behavior by Constructing Theories of Crime The study of criminology is one of the most important parts of the criminal justice field. Criminology is an” integrated approach to the study of the nature, extent, cause, and control of criminal behavior” (Siegel, 2010 ). The main objective of criminology is to find possible causes of crime and deviance; which will help in the decline of crime within society.
Using material from item A and elsewhere, assess the usefulness of functionalist approaches in explaining crime. (21 marks) “Crimes are those actions deemed so disturbing to citizens of disruptive to society as to justify state intervention.” Pease (2002). Crime is any act which breaks the laws of society. For example, murder or rape. Deviance, on the other hand, is behaviour which moves away from conventional norms and values such as burping and farting in public.
The Functionalist approach to the study of crime states that crime has two positive functions for society. Durkheim claims that crime retains boundary maintenance. He states that crime produces a reaction from society, effectively uniting its members in condemnation of the wrongdoer and reinforcing their commitment to the shared norms and values. Secondly, he claims that all acts of social change start with an act of deviance, so in the long run deviant tendencies will give rise to a new culture and morality. For example, the wishing for African-American rights in America included several acts of deviance by breaking several laws yet it paved the way for the Civil Rights Movement.
Criminological Theories of Deviance Kristie Barela American Intercontinental University Criminological Theories of Deviance What are criminological theories? It is understood that criminology is the study of crime, but criminological theories provide us with an explanation of criminal behavior. These theories help one to understand why people commit crime. Social control theory, strain theory, differential association theory, and neutralization theory are just a few examples of sociological theories of crime that will be examined within this paper. Along with a brief description of the criminological theories, an attempt to show how they differ from one another and discussion of one strength and one weakness unique to each theory will be made.
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
This is referred to as “social control” and its intent is to force those living in the communities to act in a way that is in line with the social norms and in accordance to society rules. “Of those various ways that societies and their members try to control behavior, criminal punishment is the most formal, for crime is perhaps the most serious type of behavior over which a society must gain control” (Clear, Cole, Reisig, and Petrosion, 2012, p. 8). This implies that corrections assist our society in determining those behaviors that are considered acceptable. However, as Emil Durkheim suggest, “crime is normal and that punishment performs the important function of spotlighting societal rules and values” (Clear, Cole, Reisig, and Petrosion, 2012, p. 8). I am in agreement of this, because it is obvious that crime will continue to happen, and as a society we must find productive ways of address the issues and dealing with those individuals in violation of established
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.
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. The two most central arguments surrounding criminal activity is whether the crime is the individuals fault, or if it is the fault of the society that they grew up in. These views are termed social responsibility and social problems, and will be discussed in this paper along with their respected perspectives that withhold why their view on criminology is the paramount reason on why criminals commit crimes. The view of social responsibilities approach to crime termed by Schmalleger essentially states that crime is an individual responsibility, and in terms of the criminal, victim, and justice system we all play a role within the social aspect of criminal behavior. Although he feels that this way of looking at crime is not fair to the victim or the justice system, but that the media over the years has influenced this way of thinking, giving the conception that certain conditions surrounding when, where, or how the crime took place may be the factor in why it happened in the first place.
Labelling theory was developed by Howard Becker, and is primarily concerned with societal reaction to crime; thus straying away from the deviant act and instead looking more closely at how and why certain people become defined as deviant. It suggests deviance is not an inherent act, but instead the result of people negatively labelling those that deviate from the norm. Edwin Lemert put forward a typology of deviance, extremely relevant in terms of highlighting labelling theory. He suggested Primary Deviance was a simple deviant act, not as a result of a label, but instead may result in a label. And Secondary Deviance, he suggested, was the idea criminality is a response to being labelled as deviant.
These theories are best illustrated through the application of notorious criminals and their deviant acts. When studied individually, the obvious “cause” of crime can be significantly different from the reason the offender had in mind when breaking the law, and the theories of crime causation begin to decipher these reasons. Crime causation involves several different factors; the influences on an individual during early childhood: experiences like poor parenting, the attempt (conscious and subconscious) to imitate an individual’s peer, the individual’s immersion in poverty, having poor opportunities, living in a community with high crime, the values and lifestyles of promenade members of the community which is admired by the individual, and lastly, an individual’s genetic and biological influences (Frank Schmalleger, 2009, p. 121). Of all the excessive crimes which occurred in the twentieth century, one of the most memorable crimes in the north eastern region of the United States is the case of Richard Kuklinski, as known as, the “Iceman”. According to Crime USA (2008) “Richard Kuklinski was one of the most self confessed contract killers in American History” (Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski, para 1).