Ciminality and Deviant Behavior as Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

As maintained in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association in Washington, D.C., there are a number of traits that distinguish the socially "normal" person from one with APD. Overall, such an individual continues to consistently "act in a way that disregards the rights of others and violates the rules of society," a pattern which is expressed by exhibiting at least three of the following maladaptive elements

1). The afflicted individual repeatedly does things that could result in being arrested.

2). The individual repeatedly fabricates, uses aliases and resorts to subterfuge or deceit for profit or for simply because it "feels good or is fun."

3). The individual is impulsive and fails to plan ahead for the future.

4). The individual repeatedly becomes involve in physical confrontations.

5). The individual possesses a reckless disregard for his/her own safety and for the safety of those in his environment.

6). The individual cannot manage to maintain employment or honor any financial obligations or responsibilities.

7). The individual has no remorse concerning the consequences of his/her actions. Often, the individual feels justified or indifferent about having mistreated or harmed another human being (Bryant, 2001, 324).

As previously mentioned, the rise in criminality as it relates to deviant behavior represents a very serious threat to American society and culture and to the very foundations of American democracy. According to Peter J. Loudson, the actual number of rapes, robberies, armed assaults, burglaries and other violent forms of crime experienced by Americans in 1993 totaled 43,622,006; between 1985 and 1993, the murder rate increased by 65% among men eighteen to twenty-four years of age and climbed an astonishing 165% among male children between fourteen and seventeen years of age (2001, 139). In 1992, there were more than 6 million violent crimes committed by these two groups of males, predominantly by those in the former group. However, less than half of these violent crimes were reported to law enforcement officials and only about 170,000 of the perpetrators of these crimes were ever convicted and sent to prison (Loudson, 2001, 140).

In the realms of human psychology, it appears that the most influential element which drives criminality and deviant behavior is the desire for power which is "manifested through violent behavior and provides an illusion of power which in reality does not exist" (Clinard, 1992, 167). This sense of power hold the potential to utterly destroy the very fabric of society and to alter forever the basic structure of American culture and how its citizens live within it.

A good example can be found in the proliferation of gang activity in the United States within the last ten years or so. As Coleman reminds us, American cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia and New York City, all of which were prime locations for criminal gang activity in the past, are now replete with such activity; thus, "it is no wonder that many young and immature individuals who suffer from APD are so easily drawn into gang activities or are led into criminal lives by fanatics who promise power and wealth at the expense of traditional society" (1998, 182).

One of the most controversial issues related to criminality and deviant behavior is the difference between "the total unawareness of one's actions against another human being and the lack of knowledge pertaining to what is right and what is wrong" (Humphrey, 2005, 214). However, when taken as a whole, both of these issues could be viewed as supportive of each other, due to the fact that if a criminal/deviant individual is unaware of how his/her actions affect others and has no "common sense" related to right and wrong, then in the end, "they themselves will be responsible for the destruction of our social and political systems and with it, our very civilization," a very unnerving statement which hopefully will prompt more research and experimentation on the connections between criminality and deviant behavior.


Bryant, Clifton D., Ed. (2001). Encyclopedia of Criminology and Deviant-Behavior: Vol. 2 -- Crime and Juvenile Delinquency. Philadelphia: Brunner-Routledge.

Clinard, Marshall B. (1992). The Sociology of Deviant Behavior. New-York: Harcourt-Brace Publishing Company.

Coleman, James W. (1998). Deviant Behavior and the Criminal Elite. New-York: W.H. Freeman & Company.

Collins, Phillip D. (2006). "Cultivating Criminality: The Centrality of Deviance to the Scientific Dictatorship." Illuminati. Internet. Retrieved from http://www.conspiracyarchive.


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