Investigating The Reasoning Behind Crime And Criminal Behavior Essay

Investigating The Reasoning Behind Crime And Criminal Behavior Essay

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There have been many theories that have come about to try and explain the reasoning behind crime and criminal behavior. Some such as Lombroso’s on criminal body types theory lose credibility once the scientific method is applied to them, but there are those such as the Strain and the Labeling theory which stands the test of time as people continue to ask the age old question, what causes criminal behavior. Though the two theories have similar meanings, they also differ in their approach in figuring out what makes a person turn to a life of crime. The Labeling theory essentially is an interactionist’s perspective that sees continued crime as a consequence of limited opportunities for acceptable behavior that follows from the negative responses of society to those defined as offenders (Schmalleger). The Strain theory posits a disjuncture between socially and subcuturally sanctioned means and goals as the cause of criminal behavior (Schmalleger).


Though it has its origin from Emile Derkhiem, the Labeling Theory was developed during the 1960’s by various sociologist. The theory essentially is about just what it states, labeling people in a society as deviant thereby allowing for criminal behavior to come about by the influence of the words that are used to describe them. In a world that has to function as a whole, no matter what actions that occur within the civilization, crime will always be a factor. So much so that the society will in fact start to label individuals within itself as those that are prone to criminal behavior because of how the society views them or their behavior. For instance, think of a young child that is constantly were. The more that the child grows to hear this, the likelihood that the child will
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...l by branding people with labels to the point that they become the labels. Though the two theories have society as a common denominator, they still differ in the aspects of perception such as how people are perceived into crime and how others are enticed into it. No society will ever be crime free and likewise probably could not function it they were. Theories will come and theories will go as many different societies try to figure out how to pinpoint to origins of wanting to commit criminal behavior. On its search to answer this question, society can slowly be turning people to feel that they have no choice but to want to commit offenses because they want the best in life too. Also giving rise to a generation of individuals who are born with good intentions but are swayed to be and act different because of labels and the stigma that surrounds being who they are.

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