Strain theory is as sociologic theory that tries to explain why people commit crimes. It explains the likely hood of delinquency in two parts one is the addition of strain in a persons life and the second portion is the persons coping mechanisms to combat the strain that they experience. Another large part of strain theory explains how people measure the positive and negative things that will happen whenever they commit any crime or delinquent act. We know that juveniles are involved in more crime than adults and we can also use strain theory to help explain why this is happening. Being a juvenile comes with many different strains that most adults do not have to face as well as having far less consequence in many cases is they do something wrong or make a mistake.
The origin of social disorganization theory can be traced to the work of Shaw and McKay, who concluded that disorganized areas marked by divergent values and transitional populations produce criminality. Strain theories view crime as resulting from the anger people experience over their inability to achieve legitimate social and economic success. These theories hold that most people share common values and beliefs but the ability to achieve them is differentiated throughout the social structure. The best known strain theory is Merton's, which describes what happens when people have inadequate means to satisfy their needs. Cultural deviance theories hold that a unique value system develops in lower class areas.
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.
The consequences for breaking the contract of law can result in minor to severe punishments. People define crime in many different ways because people have their own perspective of what crime is. Different countries and states have different laws and different and they each have specific consequences for committing various crimes. Severe crimes such as murder, rape, aggravated assault, and robbery most of the time require more severe punishments than crimes such as vandalism, theft, forgery, and embezzlement. Crime has also been defined as deviant behavior that goes against what is
In this essay we will assess the usefulness of these functionalist theories, and look at how it helps us explain crime. One functionalist who tried to explain crime is Merton and his strain theory, the strain theory argues that people engage in the deviant behaviour when they are unable to achieve socially approved goals by legitimate means. Merton explanation combines 2 elements; structural factors- society’s unequal opportunity structure, cultural factors- strong emphasis to achieve goals and weak emphasis on using legit means. Merton uses the strain theory to explain some patterns of crime in society, he argues a person’s positioning in society affects the way they adapt or respond to the strain to anomie. Merton gives 5 different types of adaption; Conformity- the individual accepts socially acceptable goal and achieves it through legitimate means, Innovation- Individual accepts the role of success and wealth but uses illegitimate means to achieve them, Ritualism- Individual give up on legitimate goals but still follow strictly to the rules, Retreatism- Individuals reject legitimate goals and means of achieving them e.g drug addicts, the final type is Rebellion- Individuals reject existing goals and means but replace them with new one in desire to bring about revolutionary change.
The rewards can involve money or even a sense of gratification according to sociologist Jack Katz in the text book Criminal Justice in action when said “’rewards’ of crime may be sensual as well as financial. The inherent Danger, according to Katz, increases the ‘rush’ a criminal experiences on successfully committing a crime” (pg32). Not all Crimes are fun and games. They do have their costs such as probation and jail time this is because it deters the thought process in doing right from wrong. This can be found in the text Criminal Justice in Action when stated “Because crime is seen as the end result of a series of rational choices, policy makers have reasoned that severe
Outline and evaluate institutional aggression Institutional behaviour refers to the violent behaviour which exists within certain institutions or groups; taking place within prisons, schools and healthcare settings. One theory of aggression is the “importation model”. Irwin and Cressey claim that inmates who enter prisons with particular characteristics are more likely to engage in interpersonal violence than other inmates. Research in the US has shown that black inmates compared to white inmates are more likely to be associated with violence. This may be because Black Prisoners often enter from impoverished backgrounds with higher rates of violent crimes; therefore “import “their cultural norms which condone violent behaviour.
Organized Crime Prevention and Control As one author put it, “organized crime has been defined in the relative absence of Knowledge” about its true dimensions (Castle, 2008, p. 139). Albanese (1996) explains crime and possible organized crime in terms of the typologies of positivism, classicism, structural, and ethical explanations. The positive approach explains organized crime as caused by social and economic factors that include: poor neighborhoods and role models, lack of opportunity to achieve the “American Dream,” dysfunctional families, and even genetics. The positivist sees change in the conditions as a means to prevent criminal behavior. Walter Miller’s classic article “Ideology and Criminal Justice Policy” concluded with the observation, “when assertions are made about what measures best serve the purposes of securing order, justice, and the public welfare, one should ask, ‘How do we know this?’” (1973, p. 150).
Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the usefulness of labelling theory in explaining crime and deviance (21 marks) As stated in item A the labelling theory ‘explains how actions become labelled as criminal or deviant in society’. This theory has provided many sociologists with a basis to suggest reasons as to why people commit crime in society. These sociologists take a micro-approach to crime and deviance and look at individuals rather than make generalisations based on society as a whole. Becker wrote the book ‘The Outsiders’ which sort to provide an explanation as to why not everyone is labelled as a criminal even if they have committed crime. He proposed three reasons as to why; their interactions with the police, their appearance, and the circumstances of their arrest.
II. OBJECTIVE PRESENTATION OF THE SOCIAL CONDITION We can look at the sociological structures from our textbook Understanding Social Problems to help understand the reasons as to why people commit crimes. Under the Structural-Functionalist perspective sociologists believe that “crime is functional for