Sociological Understanding Of Crime And Criminal Justice

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The sociological understanding of crime and criminal justice is called sociological criminology. This approach to understanding crime focuses on issues such as race, poverty, and the structure of communities and social relationships as a cause. John Hagan defined sociological criminology as structural criminology as it takes all of the previous issues and views their fundamental composition to determine if they have effects on crime. Furthermore, the sociological perspective claims that human beings are very social beings, signifying that society greatly impacts our behavior, attitude and life chances. Emile Durkheim was a strong supporter of this view, as he believed that humans had no control over what happened in their life. Durkheim claimed that social forces influence people’s actions and attitudes. On top of that, social structure is divided into horizontal and vertical structures. Horizontal social structure pertains to communities and social relationships that affect an individual, while vertical social structure, also social inequality, are qualities such as race, gender, and social class that classify and rank people. Every society has it’s own norm, a standard of behavior that is considered to be the standard. Many norms that are not written are called customs. Customs are not necessarily the law but it is customary to follow these rules. When a norm is broken, it creates deviance. Deviant behavior not only violates the norm but it upsets the established order and results in negative reactions by those who witness it. The most basic level of maintaining the norm through social control would be to make fun of or make the deviant feel uncomfortable. Criminal and deviant behavior has been accounted for many different ca... ... middle of paper ... ...iew of crime is TV shows. The CSI: Miami series recorded 301 deaths in 117 episodes. As previously mentioned before, this overdramatizes crime and influences the public to believe that homicide is the leading crime in the nation while it’s actually the lowest. In addition to the inaccurate depiction of crime, most media completely fails to shed light on white-collar crime. Once more, this leads the uneducated public to believe that minorities and people of lower economic classes are the only ones who commit crime. This gives the public an irrational fear of crime. Another study by Buskirk found that the more people view TV news and shows based on crime, the more they feared crime. While crime is not something to be completely fearless of, it helps to become educated on what is really happening and what crimes are happening to not be wrongly influences by mass media.
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