Sutherland believed the propensity for criminality is neither genetic nor fated. Instead, Edwin’s theory holds that external factors have a substantial influence over an individual's behavior (Scarpitti, 2009). Edwin appreciated that even though certain crimes happen more in minority populations, not everyone of that community are criminals. This is also true with more prosperous groups. Edwin wanted to go past the “black and white” walls and explain the elements that influence criminal behavior.
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. Deviance according to Jary and Jary in the Dictionary of Sociology (2000) is any social behaviour that departs from that regarded as normal or socially acceptable in a society or social context. Deviance will include criminal behaviour; but it's scope is far wider than just criminal behaviour. Deviant behaviour is not necessary criminal - according to the legal code of a given society, culture or country. Crime is defined as an infraction of criminal law.
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.
Are official statistics a reliable source of information about crime in Britain? Official criminal statistics are defined as “Statistical data compiled by the police and the courts and routinely published by governments as indices of the extent of crime” (Munchie, 2001, p194). “The working class, the young males, and members of some ethnic minorities are all more likely to commit crimes than the middle class, the elderly, females and whites – according to official statistics”. (Haralambos and Holborn, 2004, p338). In assessing the question “Are official statistics a reliable source of information about crime in Britain?” several factors will be considered: including how the statistics are collected, the divide between males and females in crime statistics, the over representation of ethnic minorities and any problems in looking at the true extent of crime using statistics as an indicator for this.
The statistics can give us an understanding as to the levels of these crimes and as to why or where they are most likely to occur. However because not all crimes which are reported, are actually recorded, the true extent to crime can never be revealed through official statistics or otherwise. Positivists believe that official statistics are indeed very useful to the understanding of social problems. They believe that because official statistics look at such a large proportion of the population that it allows us to make comparisons over time and make comparisons between different societies. They can allow generalisations to be made and over time they can have some affect on laws within society.
In it’s simplest definition, victimology is the study of the victim or victims of a particular offender (Wallace & Roberson 2011: 3). However, two other definitions expound deeper into victimology: (1) victimology is the study of crime victims and the psychological effects of being a victim (Def, Random House Dictionary, 2011), and (2) victimology is the study of the ways in which the behavior of crime victims may have or have not contributed to their victimization (Def, Merriam-Webster, 2011). The early works about victims were first written by criminologist, as early as the mid 1700’s. The term victimology was coined by Beniamin Mendelsohn in 1974 (Dussich, 2000). Several criminologist (Hentig, Mendelsohn and Ellenberger) examined victim-offender interactions and stressed reciprocal influences and role reversals.
Word count : 1700 Criminal victimization and rational theories The classical approach to explain crime has always revolved around examining the personal motivations of offenders for committing crime. However, in the recent past decades researchers have focused not only on offender incentive, but also on the lifestyles and activities of those at risk of being victimized. The following article explores different risk determinants, rational choice and social control theories in an attempt to establish both victim and offender's crime circumstances. Cohen, Kluegel and Land present the opportunity model of predatory victimization perspective as a basic explanatory model for criminal victimization. In order to comprehend why race, age and income have the potential to affect criminal victimization, the authors portray five main risk factors which are: exposure, guardianship, proximity to potential offenders, attractiveness of targets and definitional properties of specific crimes.
Describing crime and deviance is varied across different cultures; history; social situations and place. It will look at the bodies that measure crime and look at the reasons why they are not accurate. There are several differences between crime and deviance, deviance is a violation of the social norms whereas crime is a violation of the laws of the land. Society has no power for deviance but the government can punish with crime. Much behaviour that was seen as deviant in the past has today become a criminal offence, as with crime behaviour seen as criminal is now seen as deviant.
Criminological studies tend to be gender biased and focus largely on crimes of the powerless (street crimes). Feminism and crimes of the powerful are just some of the concerns with relations to criminology. The presence of law- making, law- breaking, and law enforcing in criminology as well as crimes of the powerful will be further discussed in the following essay. Criminology as a science As an applied social science, criminology studies crime and its control through empirical research. This research forms the foundation for understanding, explanation, prediction, prevention and criminal justice policy.
Despite this, Positivists see official crime statistics as a reliable indicator of crime patterns. Positivists seek the causes of crime and over time can compare social groups and look for patterns in crime. The groups that are most likely to be convicted are young males, some ethnic minorities, inner city dwellers and working class. As not all crime is reported however, the statistics do not give a true picture. (Hallam et al.