Crime for Many Years Sociologists Criminologists and Essay

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  • Subject: Criminal Justice
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #39857678

Excerpt from Essay :


For many years, sociologists, criminologists, and other scientists have been examining crime and what deviant behavior to help understand and gain control on society and prevent potential victims and fairly treat offenders who do commit crimes. However, many experts like Emile Durkheim feel there is a lot to be considered besides what is deemed as wrong. Durkheim, a French sociology expert from the late 1800s, who felt that deviance was a typical part of a society in order for it to function normally because it sets the moral margins of a society that lets people know what is and what is not tolerated (Henry, Lanier 1-80). Theories and conflicts of crimes and the assumptions and contrasting arguments of what influences and provokes deviance within a given culture have caused people to develop different views and beliefs.

People, like Stuart Henry and Mark Lanier, who examine crime and the subsets of it to determine their own beliefs about criminals and their behaviors which usually results in inconsistencies with other investigators who are studying similar aspects. In criminology the scientists collects and scrutinizes information on many aspect related to crime because they want to study the features that are deemed when looking for the reasons behind the criminal's actions and thoughts (Walsh 1-19). Karl Marx was a sociologist from the 19th century who compromised Henry and Lanier by looking at offenses as a basic structural element which was a conflicting

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view because it regard all past and present civilians to unfairness of power known as his positivist theory ("National Social Science Press").

Karl Marx was very complex and realistic in his work, according to the Marx theory he felt societies across the globe had people who control and possess the essential needs in human life he called means of production such as land, labor, and tools and the ones who do not possess these. In manufacturing, the economic side, the needs and desires of a population are the foundation of common existence and can be defined as the sub-foundation. Marx noted that people fell in to either a non-owner or owner affiliation in the economy that can be flattering but at the same time have differences ("National Social Science Press"). Many theorists, including Cohen, Agnew, and Ohlin, related to the strain of monetary success with the Strain General Strain Theory because it occurs when a person cannot achieve financial accomplishment such as school, work, and money they feel too pressured and are liable to act out defiantly. However, assumptions may vary among economic aspects; for example, scientists may look at the lack of authority in a short-handed community compared to another community which may increase illegal activity ("Essential Readings").

Due to the changes of society throughout history and from a modern standpoint, there are more theories and outlooks on society affecting crime where we live and it has changed the researcher's way of thinking. Between Adler, Daly, Chesney-Lind, and other crime examiners, feminism is popular in modern societies, and has been looked in more recent years because they feel crime cannot be fully understood without looking at the criminal's gender. A feminist approach would be for researchers to look at male criminals who use their strength against

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women they want to overpower to commit a crime. Another more recent viewpoint others have considered is through a peacemaking theory where crime is initiated by the agony that comes from a person treated unfairly and for a given amount of time. Sampson and Laub supported the Developmental Life Course viewpoint of civilization and doing wrong begins at birth and continues throughout a person's life and depending on other social factors and if a person will ever give up their criminal lifestyle ("Essential readings").

Stuart Henry and Mark Lanier wrote the book "What is Crime? Controversies over the Nature of Crime and What to Do about it?" And it was a scholarly journal that discussed defining crime and why people commit the crimes they do commit to find they have a very thorough view with a strong consensus approach to crime in our society. In their book, there are two approaches in the two sciences at hand, the consensus and conflict approaches to criminal activity from the impact of a culture. The two authors support the consensus outlook which reveals the significance of the people in a culture as a whole, rather than criminals being looked at in smaller competing individuals and groups. According to Henry and Lanier, if one supports the consensus approach to crime they may feel that a crime is a mere act that shocks any normal minded individual with principles, and it leads to powerful and upright fury among a community or specific region of people. Basically, from a consensus standpoint when certain crimes are committed, many logicians and onlookers will blame the society in which the offender lives in as the main influence rather than singling out the specific criminal's group they live in that particular culture (1-80).

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The conflict theory is supported by researchers who contradict the two scholars because the theory approaches deviant behavior based on diverse groups of people in a culture rivaling over wealth who are in a battle over power (Henry, and Lanier 1 -- 80). The speculation of conflict in criminology has several branches of theorists such as Marxist, radical, and critical theorists that are different in a variety of ways but have some amount of similarity in these truth-seekers, as well. According to the National Social Science Press, Durkheim felt that contemporary developed civilizations had many diverse types of people with too many unlike racial or ethnic values for the society to reach an agreement. Moreover, the sociologist used the human body as an example of his view on society with relating to a person's internal organs (heart, kidneys) as different but crucial for them to all work properly within that body (society) to function properly and live (Robertson 1-713).

In 1991, a criminology professor, Elliott Currie, portrayed methods of his own views of why people act out with deviant behavior and connected his beliefs to a market society. In Currie's methods he hypothesized that a "market society promotes crime by increasing inequality and concentrated economic deprivation" meaning, in the United States, in the more recent years the middle class jobs have been traded in for jobs that are highly compensating or jobs unstable and at poverty level. The danger of this change put an increasing threat on legitimate and lawful jobs for the American society which enhanced more unlawful means of how people obtain power and money. However, a consensus theorist would disagree and argue that instead of blaming the economy for provoking more crime, experts should look at the economic system as whole instead of viewing different industries within that nation (Currie).

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According to Currie's analysis exposed in "Social Crime Prevention Strategies in a Market Society" he felt that the market society promoted crime through other sources of economics. He theorized that when neighborhoods and younger generation were damaged they endured tough times with a limited amount of resources. In his view, strain it put on families by diminishing services and the quality of life, and if they struggle to make ends meet with limited or no help they may turn to illegal activity to help them overcome the stress and pay their bills. However, many theorists view society differently like the conflict and consensus theorists who would look at individual groups or an entire population's financial realm to determine what causes more crime.

In conclusion, an expert who studies crime, its nature, and assumptions to acting defiantly, do so from many stand points and believe it is from an individual decision or an entire society…

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