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Crime through the Sociological Perspective: All Over but the Shoutin’ Essay example

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Rick Bragg’s All Over but the Shoutin’ is an autobiography that dives right into both the depth of his destitute upbringing as well as his edgy career as a journalist. Having a neglectful father and a struggling single mother, Bragg and his family went through many hardships that can seem both unreal to some and commonplace to others. As he started to pursue his career as a journalist, he was a first hand witness to many atrocities, such as the riots in Miami in 1991. While reading through the text, it is astonishing how many references there are about different theoretical aspects of crime. There is no question that criminal activity proves to be a chronic issue in our society, but where the real question lies is not in how we can rid our society of crime altogether, but the roots it stems from. Throughout the years, many sociologists have developed a number of different theories concerning the origins of crime society, studies on the stratification of the justice system and how the two are both interdependent of one another.
In order to understand the nature of crime through the sociological perspective, one must first understand how they define it. In the most legal sense, crime is defined as only specific behaviors that violate particular laws (Nettler 1). Crime comes in many shapes and forms, and the “sociological perspective” consists of three major theories and is commonly used to address the issues of crime: functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interaction. Functionalists focus on just that: the innate function that crime serves in our society. They generally argue that crime is necessary to maintain structure and by singling criminals out as socially deviant reaffirms what is “good” or “normal.” Conf...


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...bition Revisited. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1963. Print.
Taking a different approach to my research, I decided to take a look the Prohibition movement of the 1920’s to see if I could find any similarities in the structure of crime back then and now. This book focuses heavily on the overall situation of the Prohibition movement, but you also get a good idea as to how crime during this period skyrocketed because of such a highly desirable market in alcohol open for anyone who wanted to get in on it. There are also implications on gang formation and some of its characteristics. I was also thinking about using the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre described in this book and compare/contrast it to the situation that Rick Bragg talked about when living and reporting in Miami.




Leonard, Eileen B. Women, Crime, & Society. New York: Longman Inc, 1982. Print.


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