Discuss the Problems Involved in Defining and Measuring Crime and Deviance Essay

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Discuss the problems involved in defining and measuring crime and deviance. This essay aims to discuss the problems involved in defining crime and deviance and measuring crime. The essay will focus on the similarities of crime and deviance and discuss problems in measuring crime statistic. Crime is defined by an act that breaks the law (oxforddictionary 2013) and deviance is any behaviour that is considered out of the ordinary (oxforddictionary 2013). There are different theories on how crime and deviance are viewed. Functionalist theorists see crime and deviance as necessary due to society being dependent on each group of society to perform actions necessary for survival (Burke.H.R 2009:346). Interactionism theorists believe crime and deviance are judged by society and the severity of the crime and deviant behaviour is judged by how civilization reacts to it (S.Cook 2012). Following on from the Interactionalists theory crime and deviance are relative concepts as they change through time and in different countries. For example women voting used to be illegal, now it is legal in most countries. An example of this with deviance is personal hygiene. Centuries ago, and in under developed countries today, it was considered normal to be dirty and have poor hygiene. This was due to a lack of knowledge and a lack of cleaning facilities. Now it is considered offensive and unusual, therefore deviant. It can be difficult to give a clear definition of deviance as a lot of it depends on people’s values and opinions. What one person views as deviant behaviour another may view as normal. Also deviant behaviour is not always bad; there is good and odd deviant behaviour. This makes it harder to define as classifying behaviour requires taking a moral standpoint and judging. Due to everyone’s different judgements and interpretations it is difficult to define good and bad

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