It is useful for highlighting why, in the working class, those who cannot achieve in education, they then therefore suffer from status frustration and in this process turn to other people who also cannot achieve in this institution. Thus, explaining why deviance subcultures exist. This theory of status frustration is said to focus too much on utilitarian crime which is committed for material gain, but what it does not say much about is the explanation for why people commit non-utilitarian crimes like vandalism and assault. Cohen realised this and backed up this explanation by talking about alternative status hierarchy. When working class boys find that they cannot perform well in mainstream education, they look at the values of not only the education system, but the values in modern society and turn them upside down, by valuing the opposite.
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.
This happens in many ways, but Merton most pertinently mentions 'innovative' citizens who commit crime to achieve society's goals, 'rebels' who actively reject society's values, causing them to commit crime and a 'retreatist' form of living that often involved law-breaking via drug consumption. This is useful as it not only links crimes such as robbery to the structure of society - implying that impoverished people may 'innovatively' steal the consumer goods that capitalism implies hold social gravitas - but also explains the various different fragments of society who cause different types of crime. One criticism of Merton's theory is that does not explain why people will choose a certain type of crime when faced by the 'strain' of society. Marxists also believe that the crime rate amongst the bourgeoisie is much higher than official statistics show, with much of ‘white-collar’ crime going undetected. Hughes and Langdon investigated this phenomenon and found four fundamental reasons: low visibility; high complexity; difficulty to assign blame and difficulty to ascertain victims.
Criminal Acts and Choices Sandra Garcia Criminal Justice CJA/204 September 14, 2011 Leroy Hendrix, MS Criminals are often categorized or labeled as the bad seeds of society or the rejects and failures. Those are the individuals that make the choice of disobeying the law and decide to live the life of a felon. Those criminal behaviors later on result to becoming habitual and progressive towards severe crimes being committed. However, for every action there is a reason to better understand the mind of a criminal certain theories have been introduced to the criminal justice system to gain knowledge in why people commit crime and what can be done to prevent it from occurring. In this paper choice theories will be identified and how they
The Urban Ecology and Factors that correlates with bias crimes attack A major concern with many researchers on bias crime is the measurement of the behavior itself. Bias crimes, are so often called hate crimes, and are committed against one’s person or property. It is also said that hate crimes are not “because of the perpetrators person al animosity towards individual, but because of that victim’s actual or perceived membership in a particular group” (Weisburd). Meaning, bias crimes are so often committed towards people in a particular group, or social class. The weakness that many researchers fail to point out was the motive for an individual to commit bias assaults and above all the correlation with society.
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. However, these statistics can prove to be misleading as not all crime is reported to or recorded by the police. This can be referred to as the ‘hidden figure’, and it differentiates between the official crime rate and the real rate. Despite this, they do prove to be worthwhile in the fact that they display trends and patterns of crime. Sociologists use three different methods to measure crime; each method provides us with particular information and as in all systems of data collecting, there are strengths and weaknesses to the method.
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.
Because Marxists see the ‘system’ as the cause of crime, much of the focus is on systems of power and control (that is, the police and courts). William Chambliss (1978) argued that there are many things that could be deemed as criminal if the laws where not specified by the ruling class, for example the unfair distribution of wealth which is highlighted by the discrepancy between the substantially wealthy residing in close proximity to the homeless. Chambliss went on to argue that the state passes laws to protect property rather than people, claiming that “the heart of the capitalist state is the protection of private property”. Pearce (1976) further argues that whilst some laws are passed that appear to benefit the working class (for example, health and safety), they actually serve a hidden purpose. Not only does it ensure a healthy and efficient workforce, it increases feelings of loyalty towards employers, thus serving the needs of the owners of the means of production.
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.
Social disorganization creates negative attributes of social control in racial or ethnic groups through normal convention means of unreliable support to enable individuals to resist from committing illegal actions. This type of dysfunctional aspect allows individuals to experience negativity within communities that reduces the desire or motivation factors needed to maintain social organization and conventional (contemporary) characteristics. Social disorganization is created by immoral dedication or partnership from community population