The explanations for criminality from a sociological perspective

Labeling theory argues that people become deviant as a result of others forcing that identity upon them.

Sociological theories of crime essays

In setting out the main findings for which theories of crime must account, the author includes the possibility that the operation of the criminal justice system may both compound the crime problem and make explanations more difficult. The individual's disposition to engage in delinquency is influenced by a number of factors. But even the most predisposed people do not commit crime all of the time. For example, Sampson and Laub demonstrate that delinquent adolescents who enter satisfying marriages and obtain stable jobs i. This is where sociological perpectives on criminal justice come in: they look at the bigger picture of crime and punishment. Theory Summary Functionalism Argue that societies need a limited amount of crime, because crime is inevitable society of saints argument and that crime performs three positive functions: regulation, integration and change. Learning Objectives Outline the main assumptions of three biological theories of deviance Key Takeaways Key Points A biological interpretation of formal deviance was first advanced by the Italian School of Criminology, a school of thought originating from Italy during the mid-nineteenth century. The residents of high crime communities often lack the skills and resources to effectively assist others. Sykes, Gresham; and Matza, David. Further, these females are frequently abused and exploited by men on the street.

Effective sanctions are consistent, fair, and not overly harsh. As a consequence, they often turn to crimes like prostitution and theft to survive.

biological theories of crime

Situations conducive to crime The above theories focus on the factors that create a general willingness or predisposition to engage in crime, locating such factors in the immediate and larger social environment.

Glencoe, Ill.

The explanations for criminality from a sociological perspective

Stake in conformity. Marxist theories argue that those who own the means of production e. Individuals who are arrested, prosecuted, and punished are labeled as criminals. Some draw on strain theory, arguing that workers and unemployed people engage in crime because they are not able to achieve their economic goals through legitimate channels. Such negative treatment may upset or anger people and crime may be the result. For example, they may engage in violence to end harassment from others, they may steal to reduce financial problems, or they may run away from home to escape abusive parents. Interactionism Focus on how crime is socially constructed, on how certain acts become defined as criminal or deviant, and how certain people are more likely to be defined as deviant than others. Subcultural Theory Explains deviance in terms of the subculture of certain social groups. Labelling theory seeks to explain how law and criminal justicy apply the label 'criminal' or 'deviant' to people, how they criminalize certain actions and people but not others. For example, an embarrassed parent may give her screaming child a candy bar in the checkout line of a supermarket. These traits influence how individuals respond to their social environment. John Braithwaite extends labeling theory by arguing that labeling increases crime in some circumstances and reduces it in others. Other major institutions—the family, school, and the political system—are subservient to economic institutions. Glencoe, Ill.

Cohen, Albert K. Compared to normal controls, youth with early and adolescent onset of conduct disorder displayed reduced responses in the brain regions associated with antisocial behavior. As a consequence, they are less likely to intervene in neighborhood affairs—like monitoring the behavior of neighborhood residents and sanctioning crime.

Psychological theories of crime

An irritable individual, for example, is more likely to respond to strain with crime. Reinforcements may be positive or negative. They ask, Why do people conform? Deviant behavior can imbalance the social equilibrium but—in the process of restoring balance—society will adjust norms. According to labeling theory, official efforts to control crime often have the effect of increasing crime. Control theory goes on to argue that people differ in their level of control or in the restraints they face to crime. Much recent theoretical work, however, has also focused on the larger social environment, especially the community and the total society.
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