Whereas conflict theorists believe that a society’s inequalities are reproduced in its definitions of deviance, so that less powerful groups are more likely to be deemed deviant and criminalized. In Merton’s structural strain theory claims that the tension or strain among socially acceptable... ... middle of paper ... ...ead to these patterns of criminal behavior. There is an ongoing debate about the role of punishment in the criminal justice system, a collection of social institutions that create and enforce laws. Deterrence is a method to punish that depend on the threat of a strict penalty to discourage individuals from committing the crimes. Retribution is a method to punish that stresses vengeance or payback for the crime as the suitable goal.
Walker pointed out few basic assumptions which are related to deterrence theory that may not work at the real world. First, offenders have to be aware of the threat (123). For example, they have to know that they are exposed to being caught if there are more police officers out there to arrest them. Second, offenders have to perceive that violations of law may lead to unwanted incidents, so they need to be avoided. They should realize the criminal record is bad for their future; if they want to apply for a job, there is low possibility that interviewers will accept them since they have criminal records.
Durkheim believed that crime served the purpose of displaying to members of society what behaviours and actions are considered unacceptable as determined by societal co... ... middle of paper ... ...y are bombarded from birth that they should desire and pursue money, power, fame, and success. Without achieving these goals they are seen as failures. Strain theories have shown that placing too much emphasis on individual success and the pursuit of happiness through the accumulation of power and wealth, can lead to an increase in crime. References Featherstone, R., & Deflem, M. (2003). Anomie and strain: Context and consequences of Merton’s two theories.
D.) Agnew’s concept of internal/external constraints which is they are factors that impact a deviant response to stain such as internal is self-control level and external can be social support (Howell ch 8, 2015). E.) Lemert’s concept of self-concept is where one may view their self or how others may see a person. 2.) Lemert explains the continuation of criminal behavior as there is a primary deviance then leads to the person getting caught and having a negative label put on them by the justice system (Howell ch 7 slides, 2015). After the person received the negative label it is then internalized causing a change in their
Coined by Robert Merton, the theory postulates that criminal acts are the outcome of the strain placed upon people without the ability to achieve middle-class norms legally thus turning into illegitimate approaches. He argues that stress is caused by the gap between the set goals, and the approach of attaining them (Akers & Sellers, 2013). Merton asserts that both means and social goals are tailored to the norms of the middle class thus making it difficult for the lower level to achieve them. Individuals who cannot achieve societal goal legitimately have five adaptations: innovation, conformity, ritualism, retreatism, and rebellion. In conformity, people consent that they cannot attain the targets set by the society and continue to endeavor in the few opportunities to which they have access (Agnew, 2001).
Labeling Theory - Labeling theory, as defined by the textbook, is "A social process perspective that sees continued crime as a consequence of the limited opportunities for acceptable behavior that follow from the negative responses of society to those defined as offenders" (Schmalleger 94). It was a theory created by Howard Becker in 1963 which takes the view that people become criminals when labeled as such and when they accept the label as a personal identity. Terms that are directly correlated with labeling theory include, primary and secondary device, stigmatization, as well as retroactive and prospective labeling, all of which relate to the reasoning behind ones criminal behavior. A website titled sociology.about.com states that "Labeling theory is one of the most important approaches to understanding deviant and criminal behavior... [It] begins with the assumption that no act is intrinsically criminal. Definitions of criminality are established by those in power through formulation of laws and the interpretation of those laws by police courts, and correctional institutions" (About.com).
Gangs Since the beginning of the decade, teenage homicides increased by one hundred and fifty percent (Strout, Brian 1996). This sharp increase is largely due to the rapid formation of gang activity throughout the United States (Strout, Brian, 1996). In today's larger cities, gang violence is a reality that people have to deal with every day. As gang related crimes increase, officials are trying to find out why people join and remain loyal to gangs. Unfortunately, experts can only hypothesize explanations for gang involvement.
Summarise labelling theory and then consider its effectiveness in considering youth crime and anti-social behaviour in contemporary British society Labelling theory is the theory of how applying a label to an individual influences their lifestyle, and how the social reaction to this label influences the individual. "...social groups create deviance by making rules whose infraction creates deviance, and by applying those roles to particular people and labelling them as outsiders. From this point of view, deviance is not a quality of the act the person commits, but rather a consequence of the application by other of rules and sanctions to an 'offender.' The deviant is one to whom that label has been successfully applied; deviant behaviour is behaviour that people so label." Becker (1963) Becker theorised that the term 'deviant' is applied when an actor (individual) violates the mores and values created by society.
Secondly, the theory connotes that stigmatization inherent to the shaming of crime is disrespectful because it tends to outcast individuals from the general community, which is a pre-requisite for further rebellion. Additionally, the best theory of re-integrative shaming is the “disapproval of an act within a continuum of respect for the offender, disapproval terminated by the ritual of forgiveness [leading to] crime prevention” (Dansie, 2011, pp. 71). The proposed Re-integrative Shaming Theoretical approach identifies that shaming (or social disapproval) creates emotional distress on the offender. The scope and extent of the shame are bound to vary because different people respond differently to shaming.
Conclusion The Symbolic Interaction Theory is a theory that can best explain why crime occurs. When someone deviates from the path society had intrically paved, they are caste outside the majority and thus, given the label of criminal. It is through this push outside the group that a person is subjected to either accepting their label as a criminal or must fight their way back into the group through the means of policy implications like rehabilitation programs. Sadly, if the person does not successfully complete treatment, they will remain outside the group and will be forced to abide by their label as a criminal. This theory sums up the way society itself creates criminals therefore making it one of the most significant theories to explain crime in America.