Crime And The Social Structure Theory

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Crime is an in inevitable occurrence in today 's culture. Despite the best efforts of our country 's criminal justice system, crime continues to be on the rise. In an effort to reverse this rising tide, efforts are being made to understand the underlying cause of crime and factors that can lead an individual into the life of crime. From the sociological perspective, there are three theories that are used to explain the cause of crime. They are the social structure theory, the bad neighborhood theory, and the social process theory. The first theory that is discussed is the Social-Structure theory (Siegel & Worrall, 2015). This theory states that people that are in the lower socioeconomic classes are more likely to commit crimes and get punished more severely than those of the higher socioeconomic class (Siegel & Worrall, 2015). Generally, the people in the lower socioeconomic class make less money than those who are in the higher socioeconomic class. This is due to many factors, but usually it is due to the lack of education that they have. It is because of this lack of wealth that drives individuals to crime as a means of income. When caught, they cannot afford the legal power that higher income people can afford, often leading to more severe punishment. The next theory that is discussed in the book is the Bad Neighborhood Theory (Siegel & Worrall, 2015). This theory is based off of the idea that the cultural environment around the individual; such as the poverty, despair, and crime, can cause an individual to adopt and exhibit these behaviors (Siegel & Worrall, 2015). An example of this process is an individual who lives in a run down neighborhood with both parents working full time. Additionally, all of the adult role models are... ... middle of paper ... ...nomic class, which accounted for 57% of he population accounted for only 27% of the crime (Brown and Male, 2011). This study directly supports the social structure theory in that it is the lower class the is more likely to commit crimes. Though the true cause of crime may never be know, these three theories offer insight into the underlying cause of the crime. There is the social structure theory which focuses on the role that socioeconomic class plays the development of criminal traits. The next is the bad neighborhood theory which focuses on the environment and the role that it plays in shaping the criminal. Lastly there is the social process theory which focuses on individual traits and circumstances as an explanation for crime. All three theories have their merits and flaws, but it was the social class theory that I feel has the most impact on shaping a criminal.
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