Premium Essay

Explanations of Crime

In: Social Issues

Submitted By honeykaur
Words 268
Pages 2
Explanations of crime
• There is now robust evidence demonstrating that both men and women with schizophrenia are at elevated risk when compared to the general population to be convicted of non-violent criminal offences, at higher risk to be convicted of violent criminal offences, and at even higher risk to be convicted of homicide (Wallace et al. 2004) - It all relates back to the schizophrenia gene passing onto an individual.
• Greater opportunities for crime in cities and towns (urban areas) than in villages (rural areas). More clubs, pubs, etc. in urban areas (including inner cities). Levels of burglary, vehicle-related thefts and violence in rural areas have been consistently lower than in non-rural areas.
• Greater numbers of young males (14 – 21 the peak years for criminal activity) living in urban areas means greater likelihood ofcrimes being committed.
• However, research by the Home Office (2000) shows that when offenders do travel to offend it is overwhelmingly local in nature and has connections with the offender’s home location e.g. a place the offender goes to shop
• Depression to blame for 32,000 violent crimes a year, says Oxford University. Depressed people are three times more likely to commit violent crimes than the general population, researchers have found
• A huge study by Oxford University found that depressed people are three times more likely to commit a violent offence than the general population.
• Overall they found that depressed people were likely to be linked to 46,000 violent crimes, but when other factors were taken into account, the illness itself was responsible for around…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Assess Strain Theories as an Explanation of Crime and Deviance in Contemporary Society.Docx Uploaded Successfully

...Assess strain theories as an explanation of crime and deviance in contemporary society The relationship between offending and subculture explains how a situation for example society preventing certain groups particularly working class males from succeeding in terms of material achievement and this creates group response whereby the group rejects the values and of that society and develops alternative values ‘subculture’ and this leads to values generated by the subculture being justified and leading to antisocial behaviour and crime. Strain is a term used to refer to explanations of criminal behaviour that argue that crime is a result of certain groups of people being places in a position where they are unable for whatever reason to conform to the values and beliefs of society. Strain theory was introduced by Merton who tried to locate deviance within a functionalist framework. Merton argued that capitalist societies suffer from anomie a strain/conflict between the goals set by society and the legitimate means of achieving of them. Merton argued that all societies set their members certain goals and at the same time set socially approved ways of achieving them. The system worked well as long as there was a reasonable chance that a majority of people were able to achieve their goals. However, if the majority of the population were unable to achieve the socially set goals, then they became disenchanted with society and found an alternative usually deviant way of behaving.......

Words: 751 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Assess These Strengths and Weaknesses of Marxists Explanations of Crime

...Assess these strengths and weaknesses of Marxists explanations of crime Traditional Marxism is a structural theory which sees society as a structure in which the economic base determines the shape of the superstructure, which is made up of all the other social institutions, including the state, the law and the criminal justice system. Their function is to serve the ruling-class interests and maintain the capitalist society. Marxists agree that the law is enforced against powerless groups and that labelling often results in further deviance. They see crime and deviance as not coming from moral or biological defects but defects within social order and therefore crime is an inevitable part of capitalism as it stems from social inequality. For Marxists, crime is inevitable in capitalism because capitalism is criminogenic. Capitalism is based on the exploitation of the working class and therefore is particularly damaging to the working class which may give rise to crime. Alienation and the lack of control over their lives may lead to frustration and aggression, resulting in non-utilitarian crimes such as vandalism and violence. Crime may also be the only way they can obtain the consumer goods encouraged by capitalist advertising, resulting in utilitarian crimes such as theft. Therefore, it can be said a strength of the Marxist explanation of crime is that is it explains the causes of both utilitarian and non-utilitarian crime of the working class. However, one could argue that......

Words: 700 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Marxist Explanations of Crime

...Outline Marxist explanations of crime (50) Marxists argue that crime is based on three elements; criminogenic capitalism, the state and law making and lastly selective enforcement. Marxists argue that capitalism by its very nature causes crime. They argue that low wages paid to the working class by the capitalist class, results in material deprivation. This deprivation then leads to frustration which results in utilitarian crimes such as theft. They claim that this is the reason why official statistics show that mainly the working class engage in criminal behaviour. However a weakness of this theory is that it is highly deterministic and ignores individual motivation and the notion of free will, as not all poor people commit crimes despite the pressures of poverty. Marxists argue that the media create the illusion that happiness can be bought for example through advertising and foster the values of materialism. For example all people share the same desire to purchase the latest phones for example the iphone 5, despite not being able to afford luxury items. This in itself causes crime as the lower classes resort to utilitarian crimes and use illegitimate means to gain the materialistic object. However crime is not confined to the working class as capitalism also encourages capilitists to commit corporate crimes such as fraud and insider trading. Marxists believe that the law and law enforcement only serve the interests of the ruling class. The law, crime and criminals......

Words: 610 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Right Realism and Crime Explanations

...Right realism advocates ‘small’ government and considers the phenomenon of crime from the perspective of political conservatism. Right realism assumes it takes a more realistic view of the causes of crime and deviance. Right realists believe crime and deviance are a real social problem that requires practical solutions. It is said that right realism perpetuates moral panics as a means of swaying the public to agree with their views. For example, the media claims that elderly people are scared to be attacked when venturing out, when in actuality crimes against OAP’s are minimal. (0.3 against men 75+ and 0.2 against women aged the same). Right realists believe that official statistics often underreport crime. But right realists believe they are able to paint a more realistic picture of crime and deviance in the UK. Right realists believe that crime is a growing social problem and is largely committed by lower working class male juveniles, often black, in inner city areas. Right realists believe that there are six causes of crime: The breakdown in moral fabric of society; a growing underclass in the UK; a breakdown in social order; opportunity for crime and that some people commit crime as a deliberate and rational choice. As more crime is committed, society itself deteriorates and this in turn leads to more crime. Marsland in 1988 stated that crime and deviancy is linked to the breakdown in the moral fabric of society. Schools and religion have become less......

Words: 502 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Examine Strain Theories as an Explanation of Crime and Deviance

...Examine Strain theories as an explanation of crime and deviance. Criminal and deviant behaviour is one of societies biggest, long-standing problems. Many sociological theories attempt to unearth the reasons behind this behaviour, and therefore how to ensure that even if it still exists, it is significantly reduced. Strain theory, originally developed by Merton, is one of many sociological theories offering an explanation for deviant behaviour. All strain theories believe that individual strain, the frictions experienced by an individual to meet their needs, is the motivational mechanism that causes criminal activity. Mertons strain theory initially states that deviant behaviour is the result of strain between the goals that are encouraged in society and what societies structures will allow an individual to achieve. This ‘strain’ is most likely to affect those who make up the working class, as due to their cultural deprivation it is harder for them to succeed in our middle class centred society. As a result of this strain Merton recognises five responses to which he believes all members of a society fit into, these are conformity, where people adhere to both goals and means, innovation, where people reject the means but still pursue the goal, ritualism, where the means are used but the goal is lost, retreatism, where goals and means are rejected, and rebellion, where different goals and means substitute societies unattainable one. Despite creating a starting point for......

Words: 671 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Functionalist Explanations of Crime and Deviance

...Functionalist Explanations of Crime and Deviance Functionalist’s believe that shared norms and values are the basis of social order and social solidarity. They see crime and deviance as dysfunctional to society. However, functionalist’s do see some crime as being ‘normal’. Merton took functionalist views further by saying that crime and deviance were a strain between the socially accepted goals of society and the socially approved means of achieving them - this strain then results in deviance. The American Dream states that anyone can make it to the top. However, emphasis is placed on material success so people feel pressure to deviate from accepted norms and values. People are tempted to reach the top even by illegal means, he explains this as ‘Anomie’. Anomie means normlessness - where norms no longer guide behaviour and instead anything goes. Merton identifies five possible responses of a strain to anomie. Conformity; people conform even if they are unlikely to achieve the goal. Innovation; accepting the goal of success but have little chance of achieving through normal means, turning to illegal means. Ritualism; abandoning the goal of success but stick to the rules (working in a dead end job). Retreatism; reject the goal of success and normal means to achieve it, drop out of school becoming tramps and drug addicts. Rebellion; reject the conventional goals and means of achieving them and replace them with alternative ways. Merton’s theory offered an explanation......

Words: 2582 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay

Subcultural Explanations of Crime and Deviance

...Outline and assess subcultural explanations on crime and deviance (50 marks) A subculture is a group of people within society whose members share similar norms and values. These are usually different from that of mainstream society and therefore can be regarded as deviant because of this. Subculturalists believe criminal and deviant people generally share different values from the mainstream law abiding society. However, they adjust certain values to suit their criminal behaviour whilst still remaining within society. The subcultural theory explains deviance by looking at existing social groups that hold different values to mainstream society. Society prevents certain groups from succeeding which causes a strain, this therefore leads to a group rejecting the values of dominant society and making their own alternatives. The values created subcultures then lead to anti-social behaviour and crime. Albert Cohen drew upon this idea from Merton a functionalist’s idea of strain, as he states that delinquency is caused by a strain between goals and the means of achieving them. Cohen states that working class youths lack the means to achieve these goals as they have failed in education, and therefore have very few job opportunities making it hard for them to achieve these goals. This then leads to a sense of failure and low self-esteem, and feel angry at the low status society has given them causing them to experience anomie and ‘status frustration’. They then respond by creating...

Words: 713 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Sociological Explanation of Gender Differences in Pattern of Crime

...TITLE: outline and assess sociological explanations for gender difference in patterns of crime. What is the relationship between crime and masculinity? Crime can be described as an act that harmful to an individual as well as the society; such acts are against and punishable by the law. While deviance can be described as acting against social norms, for example a boy wearing a skirt would be out of place in the society The sex role theory states that, when young males and females are younger they socialise in different ways, resulting in young males being more reckless and neglectful. There are several sociologist and different versions of the sex theory. Edwin Sutherland stated that the gender difference when it comes to socialisation is very obvious. Girls are treated with more supervision and control, while boys are treated not as strict as the girls and are emboldened to take more risk to be tough, which makes boys more inclined and a higher tendency of committing crimes. Talcott parsons believes that there are clear gender roles in a nuclear family, where the father performs the instrumental role which portrays him as a leader and provider, while the mother performs the expressive role of providing emotional support and talking of the children. For girls, because their female role model who is their mother is always available unlike for boys who don’t not have as much access to the male figure in their lives (the father) because traditionally the father would be at......

Words: 1405 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Assess Realist Explanations of Crime and Deviance. the 70’s and 80’s in changing politics. The realist view is that crime is not just a social construction, but is a real problem that needs to be tackled. Realists believe that there has been a significant rise in the crime rate and favours a tough approach against it, as they think that other theories have failed to offer a solution to crime. The left realists Lea and Young attempt to give an explanation to street crime, committed by young people in urban areas. These sociologists took a victim survey which suggested that working-class and black people, especially elderly women, have a fear of street crime, as they are often victims of crime. Their explanation of why crime is committed by revolves around three key concepts. Firstly, relative deprivation, which explains how one person feel sin relation to another, this leads into crime very easily as people can feel as if others are unfairly better off than they are, and this resentment can lead to crime. Lea and Young suggests that although in today’s society people are more affluent they are still aware of their relative deprivation because of the media and advertising, which increase everyone’s expectation on standards of living. This is linked to the idea of individualism, because this undermines the family and community values of mutual support, cooperation and selflessness, which results in anti-social behaviour. The second concept of why crime is committed is marginalisation. Left realists argue that people......

Words: 1106 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Functionalist Explanations to Crime and Deviance

...Outline and asses the functionalist explanations of crime and deviance. Functionalist ignore deviance; they look at society as a whole and ignore individualism. Functionalism is a structuralist approach (also known as a consensus theory) they believe that individuals are shaped by society and social facts. A limitation of functionalist is that they ignore certain groups within society, such as women and people with disabilities. They also ignore factors such as ‘race’ and social class. They believe that society will maintain stability if the institutions still exists and the factors that may cause conflict – are ignored. I will assessing the functionalist contribution to explanations of crime, to how useful it is and if those explanations have been applied within modern day society. Also how useful the explanations are at reducing crime. Deviance is a normative approach, it is associated with behaviour that differs from the set norms and values set out by society. Deviance is linked to informal social control through sanctions (not by laws or government policy). In a Post Modern society – this definition of deviance would be problematic because it refers to societal norms (which would have disappeared; due to individualism making it hard to follow set norms and values). Deviance could collapse in a post-modern society. Durkheim (1895) is a positivist who proposed the concept of anomie; as an explanation as to why certain people commit crime. He believes that if individuals......

Words: 1616 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Assess the Explanations for Gender and Crime

...sociological explanations of gender difference in patterns of crime. In this essay, I am going to assess the patterns of crime committed by males and females. Many general theories tend to neglect gender as a factor influencing criminality. There is a common assumption that males often commit more crime than women. The study of criminology have tended to be dominated by males, therefore the studies are done by men about men. The official statistics suggest that gender is perhaps the most significant single factor in whether an individual is convicted of crime. The official statistics often comply with the common assumption that men commit more crimes then women. According to official statistics, in 2005, 1.8 million offenders were guilty in which 79% were male and 7% of these were aged fewer than 18. The ratio of male offenders to female offenders is four to one. The highest rates of offending for the most serious crimes were 17 year olds for males and 15 year olds for females. Pollak (1950) argued that official statistics on gender and crime were highly misleading. He claimed that statistics underestimated the extent of female criminality. Pollack claimed to have identified crimes that are usually committed by women but which are likely to go unreported. According to him, nearly all offences of shoplifting and all criminal abortion were carried out by women. Many unreported crimes are committed by female domestic servants. Pollack accepted official definitions of crime......

Words: 2222 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Functionalist Explanations to Crime and Deviance

...Assess functionalist theories of crime and deviance. Functionalism is a social structural and social control theory. It believes that it is society that causes the individual to commit crime. Social control theory looks at why people do not commit crime as it says that people are controlled by the primary and secondary agents of social control, such as the family or religion, and so should not commit crime. Functionalism is also a Right Wing theory, which believes that agents of social control like the police are fair and just; law reflects the collective conscience; people are biologically selfish and official statistics are valid. Functionalists included in this essay are Durkheim and Merton with evaluation from functionalist subcultural theorists, Cloward and Ohlin, and Marxism. Durkheim said that crime is inevitable: this is because people are not equally committed to the law due to individual differences and each society has its own definitions of what is deviant and so even a ‘society of saints’ will have deviance. He also said that crime is functional for society when there is the ‘right’ amount. The collective conscience needs to be at a moderate energy so that there is not too much or too little crime. When there is the right amount, society can progress as the criminal may be ‘the origin of the genius’ as they challenge societies current values. Durkheim also made the concept of anomie. At times of rapid change, society can enter a state of normlessness, as......

Words: 1317 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Assess Right Realist Explanations of Both the Causes of Crime and the Solutions to Crime.

...realist explanations of both the causes of crime and the solutions to crime (21 marks) As suggested in item A, right realists explain crime to be a social problem requiring practical solutions. Realists focus on crime which is at the centre of public concern, for example street crime, violence and burglary; they are concerned with increasing measures of crime control. Wilson and Hernstein put forward a biosocial theory explaining the causes of crime; they argue crime is an activity disproportionately committed by young men living in large cities, these young men are temperamentally aggressive as a result of biological factors which predisposes them to crime. The social aspect to their theory comes from the belief that young men are socialised in the family, school and wider community in a culture that emphasises immediate gratification, low impulse control and self-expression which has reduced the restraints on their behaviour in conforming to society’s norms and value, resulting in more crime. A criticism of Wilson and Hernstein’s theory is their assumption that young males in inner cities are responsible for most crime. Right realists uses official statistics to base their theory on, thus, the assumption of young males could be based on an invalid picture presented by official statistics. The theory also ignores wider structural causes of crime, such as the increasing gap between the rich and the poor creating resentment and relative deprivation resulting in more......

Words: 1073 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Assess Explanations for Apparent Gender Differences in Involvement in Crime (21 Marks)

...Assess explanations for apparent gender differences in involvement in crime (21 marks) There are clear gender differences in the level of crime in society. In 2015 official statistics showed that male prison population was at 95%, with women prison population only 5%. The division in these figures may be due to several factors such as how crimes are actually recorded and the idea that males do commit more crimes that females and the male stream society that we are in. It may be believed that women commit less crime due to the socialization they received throughout their life and the social control they receive as adults. During the socialisation process it can be seen that girls are socialised differently to boys. This idea was supported by Walurm who recorder conversations in a maternity ward. Baby girls were comforted when they cried and described as sweet, whereas boys were expected to be noisy and tough. Similarly, Statham found that parents find it virtually impossible to be non sexist in child rearing. Toy shops aimed weapons for boys and domestic toys such as babies and cooking equipment at girls. This could therefore explain why men are more likely to be involved in crimes involving physical violence or possession of an offensive weapon. Additionally, Parsons believed that because child-rearing is primarily carried out by mothers, with fathers potentially being absent or having little influence in the child's life, girls have an advantage in their......

Words: 1283 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Outline and Assess Feminist Explanations for Crime and Deviance

...Crime is a behaviour/act that goes against a society’s law, and therefore has legal consequences attached if broken, e.g. prison sentence, penalty charge. Deviance is an act/behaviour that goes against a societies norms and values, however is not against the law and therefore not punishable by law. It is a relative term dependent on different societies and their norms and values; what is considered deviant also changes over times, for example it used to be considered deviant for women to smoke, whereas now that is accepted (western). There is a clear relationship between gender and crime according to official statistics. It has been revealed that men about six or seven times more likely to offend than women. In self-report studies the figures are not as large, however, men are still in the majority. Also when we look at victims of crime it appears that men are more likely to be victims of crime than women. Messerschmidt says young men want to conform to the dominant form of masculinity which he called ‘hegemonic masculinity’. It’s the idealised form which is ‘defined through work in the paid labour market, the subordination of women, heterosexist and the uncontrollable sexuality of men’, (It’s a form of masculinity that most men aim to accomplish and is prized and prestigious). Messerschmidt argues that different men use crime and deviance to accomplish prestigious hegemonic masculinity. Depending on their status and class position, different men attempt to accomplish this......

Words: 707 - Pages: 3