Criminal Imitation: The Root of Criminal Imitation

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In this paper, I will prove that it is not the child-rearing nature in which an individual had been brought up, nor their environmentally affective peers that contribute to their criminality, but rather their inherent tendency to imitate behavior which leads to criminal behavior. I will be utilizing Wilson and Kelling’s theory of ‘broken windows’ as well as Hinkle and Weisburd’s theory of ‘broken windows policing’ to link environmental imitation with criminal imitation. I will then call upon Gottfredson and Hirschi’s theory of self-control and how it affects crime, and show that low self-control will actually lead to an inability to resist imitation; rather than lead to criminal behaviour. truly the largest factor out of the nature/nurture argument, where influence by an individual’s individuation is a main factor in the cause of criminal behavior. This paper does not go as far to say that imitation is a tautology for the cause of criminal behavior; rather, merely that it is the most important factor of criminal behavior. With so many crimes occurring around the globe, the question remains: where does criminal behaviour stem from? Some say it is how a person is brought up, while others believe it is caused by peer influence. Though these two conditions certainly can lead to extremes in behavior, most unlawful acts stem from imitation. For example, if a person saw a crime being committed, and they believed that the act was rewarding in some manner to themselves if they were to perform it, they would act on it. Humans run on a risk-reward survival instinct, and because of this inherent behavior, if they perceive an act that will lead to reward, they are almost guaranteed to imitate it. Because of this, the fact that they might h... ... middle of paper ... ...eory of Crime." Journal of Quantitative Criminology 7.2 (1991): 201-11. Print. Antonaccio, Olena, and Charles R. Tittle. "Morality, Self-Control, And Crime." Criminology 46.2 (2008): 479-510. Print. Gottfredson, Michael R., and Travis Hirschi. A General Theory of Crime. Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 1990. Print. Hinkle, Joshua C., and David Weisburd. "The Irony of Broken Windows Policing: A Micro-place Study of the Relationship between Disorder, Focused Police Crackdowns and Fear of Crime." Journal of Criminal Justice 36.6 (2008): 503-12. Print. No Authorship Indicated. "Conformity versus Crime." The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 21.4 (1927): 341-42. Print. Tittle, Charles R., David A. Ward, and Harold G. Grasmick. "Self-Control and Crime/Deviance: Cognitive vs. Behavioral Measures." Journal of Quantitative Criminology 19.4 (2003): 333-65. Print.

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