Crime shows other members of the society what is right and wrong. Social consensus decides how right and wrong is determined. Crime can lead to social change, say functionalists, because the existence of crime proves to the people in the society that the government does not overly control the citizens. Crime can also help the economy of a society by creating jobs for law enforcement officers, psychiatrists, probation officers and the like. However, even in a functionalist society, too much crime can be bad for the group, causing it to lose the standard harmony and eventually causing the society to collapse.
But due to poor educational achievement and low paid manual work they are unable to gain these goals. An example of this is Willis’ 12 lads and their ‘anti-school’ subculture. The strain makes working classes experience ‘status frustration’ due to the lack of power, respect and prestige that they receive and therefore they seek this through illegitimate means such as joyriding. This suggests that criminal gangs develop for more reasons than financial gain. From this it is clear that Albert Cohen agrees with the subculturalist view of crime being a collective activity.
As a result, they engage in reaction formation and reject the middle class world. Since they can’t get status and respect, they all get together and form a gang, and in that way give status and respect to each other. On the other side, Cloward and Ohlen accept Cohen’s views on the structural origins of crime and deviance; however, they criticize Cohen’s cultural explanation of crime. They say that just because the boys’ opportunities are limited it doesn’t mean a boy should become a criminal. According to their theory there are three types of gangs which are: Conflict, Criminal & retreatist.
And of course none of these are good escape routes from poverty and we all believe in the term "poverty causes crime". But it’s not always the poor who commits crime. Mostly the poor or the middle class people will go after crimes to fulfill their temporary desires. For example raping, stealing and sometimes murder too. Since the low class poor people are not usually educated, they often easily “pushed” into the crimes by the high class people.
Labeling theory involving Gangs There is a separation that is prevalent in today’s society between the rich and the poor. People who are born rich are able to commit crimes and avoid the punishment that follows, while the poor must face full punishment of the law and have few if any rights when it comes to formal sanctions of law enforcement. When you think of a gang more than likely, you do not think of a large group of close friends but rather a group of people who are menaces to society who carry guns, sell drugs, and cause havoc and violence in many different types of neighborhood’s. This is why we will investigate in further detail the labels that are placed on gangs using labeling theory and the effects it has on their social interactions. A sociologist by the name of Walter Miller did a study where he interviewed law enforcement personnel and social service professionals who dealt with youth gangs.
A few socialcultural psychologists have told of the role that certain things play in what people do with their lives. For instance discrimination, poverty and unemployment can cause people to resort to criminal activity, because they may think that there is no hope for them as something otherwise. The socialcultural theory is based on the fact that learning is built on the basis of social and cultural pressures, ideals and stresses. Abnormal Psychology 4 Conclusion In summation, there are many points that need to be learned in regards to abnormal psychology. From Hippocrates to current day psychology, things have come a long way from inexperienced physicians drilling holes in people’s heads, to the many different approaches that can be used today.
In nearly every case of gang allegiance, the individual seeks gang membership because he is unable to find these rewards elsewhere. Additionally, there are a variety of cultural factors contributing to gang membership, both within individual communities and society in general. The failure of the police force and judicial system to adequately deter drug trafficking is a primary reason that gangs exist. Poverty, unemployment, fatherless households, and the insidious breakdown of the family structure are all contributing factors to the proliferation of gangs. It is argued in this paper that gang membership is a logical response by young individuals to socio-economic factors beyond their control.
The Effect of the Family Membership in a street gang has an extremely detrimental effect on the lives of the young males who join them. Gang members “engage in more violent crimes and have more police contact than non-gang members” (Craig et al. 54) and are also more likely to engage in binge drinking and the use and sale of other drugs (Hawkins, Hill and Lui 1). Gang members also have a negative impact on their communities because of their proclivity towards crime. There are a lot of factors that can push someone towards gang membership, but the extremely young age of many gang members asks us what role does the young boy’s family play in his path to gang membership?
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the social process theories and how these theories are in relation to determining why individuals commit crimes. The social process theory views committing crimes as being a learned behavior. These learned behaviors are due to the interactions with organizations, institutions, and things that happen within society. Due to society’s lack of control to contain these criminal acts, negative labeling occurs. This labeling is what pushes people into committing crimes (Siegel, 2000).
The very people whose job is to protect society will deceive people to make illegal money. The politicians that society elects are no better than the corrupt police officers when he or she takes payoffs from organized crime group. Television programs have made me think about organized crime groups as only large groups that make big money. The neighborhood gang is an organized crime group that disrupts the neighborhood and has no respect for members of the community. Movies like American Gangster made me more interested in learning about organized crime groups.