Essay Examining Motivations for Criminal Behavior

Essay Examining Motivations for Criminal Behavior

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This Essay will look at examples of Crime such as shoplifting, fighting, vandalism, drug abuse and the offenders’ recall of their motivations for engaging in criminal behaviours, whilst simultaneously trying to apply effective Criminological theory of Neutralization based on the offenders’ viewpoints. Here we examine a closely related set of criminal events focusing on the ‘crime orientation’ of offenders or how each participant positioned themselves in relation to crime (Teevan, 2000). This Essay will argue that these types of crime are strongly linked to techniques of neutralisation based on offender recounts, although other theories can be applicable due to limitations of providing a single succinct theory. In this sense it is true to argue that attempting to provide a single universal theory of criminal behaviour that subsumes all others is not desirable when one accepts the nature of diversity and possible multiple realities. This perspective highlights that individual theories may provide some helpful insight into the proximate causes of offending for some, yet it may be limited to provide explanations for others (Byrne, Trew, 2005). However this essay will argue by applying the theory of neutralisation that argues delinquents as conformists who drift in and out of delinquency when temporary neutralizations allow them to explaining why most young men eventually grow out of their deviance (Matza 1964, Agnew1994).
Offenders’ first person accounts will often justify their reasons for committing a criminal offence, and this is useful for understanding and applying a criminological theory based their viewpoints. Authors (Morris & Copes, 2012) argue one of the most important aspects of delinquency is how an individual can distance...


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...d vol. 44, No. 2, pp. 185–205
Morris, R & Copes, H 2012, ‘Exploring the Temporal Dynamics of the Neutralization/Delinquency Relationship Criminal Justice Review’ SAGE Publications, vol.37, no. 2, pp. 442-460
Teevan, J & Dryburgh, H 2000, ‘Canadian Review of Sociology & Anthropology’, Vol. 37, Issue 1, p77-93, 17p
Halsey, M and Young A, 2006 ‘Our desires are Ungovernable’: Writing graffiti in urban space. Theoretical Criminology, 10 (3) pp. 275-306
Cromwell, P & Birzer, M 2012, ‘The Curious Case of George: A Case Study of a Career Criminal’ Sage publications, vol. 37, no. 4, 512-526
Froggio, G, Zamaro, N and Lori, M 2009 ‘Exploring the Relationship between Strain and Some Neutralization Techniques’ SAGE publications, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 73–88
Peretti-Watel, P 2003, ‘British Journal of Sociology’, Routledge Journals, Taylor & Francis Ltd Vol. 54, Issue No. 1, pp. 21-42

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