Criminology

2028 Words9 Pages
Although Marx has contributed to making a somewhat large influence on many criminological ideologies and thoughts, he has not however given much thought about crime and why it is committed. However, in comparison to Marx, Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) had an extensive knowledge to share on the subject of crime. Durkheim’s ideas on crime have said to have had a compelling impact on the Chicago School of Criminology and also on Robert King Merton (1910-2003), an American sociologist from Philadelphia. Durkheim’s fixation was with the ways in which the social aspects of phenomena could be understood. Merton shared Durkheim’s functionalist concerns of society, especially that social stability is based on a strong consensus of values. This essay seeks to describe Merton’s anomie theory, explain how Durkheim influenced Merton’s ideas, analyse limitations, compare the Chicago School of Criminology and also compare both Durkheim and Merton’s concepts of crime.

Durkheim with his ideologies and thoughts had a compelling influence on such subjects as social change and suicide. He had his own variation of the anomie theory which later proved to be the inspiration for Merton’s work on his own anomie theory. Durkheim was the founder father of academic sociology in France. Durkheim believed that crime itself was an action that offended against collective feelings or sentiments. He argued that crime is best understood as violations against a moral code; he referred to this as the conscience collection of society. Durkheim had much to explain about social change. He argued that crime and punishment have the ability to provide us with much needed insight into the functioning of society. In The Division of Labour in Society which was first published ...

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...alted the funcuonal integratin of society. For Durkheim, anomie was deviant behaviour resulting from unlimited apserations. On the other hand, Merton argued that unlimited aspirations initially led to deviant behaviour. This was true when looking at Meron’s American Dream theory where cultural goals outstripped the institutional means of achieving the American Dream. Whilst both Durkheim’s and Merton’s persepctives on anomie offer knoawlegable information and concepts on deviant behaviour, one that emphasises human ability and the other social, neither offered a concreate explanation for crime and deviance. This essay successfully explained how durkehim influenced mertons ideas and also compared both of their concepts on crime. The Chicago School of Criminology was explained in esscence to show an understanding of the sociological explainition of crime and devience.

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