The basic problem with Lumbago’s theory

The basic problem with Lumbago’s theory

To say crime is caused by genetics alone would be to ignore all the social factors such as wealth, diet, health etc. And these clearly have an effect. The basic problem with Lumbago’s theory is that it is far too simplistic, and we know there are many more factors that can cause crime then just your genetics. 2) Functionalist perspective Crime is inevitable – Druthers, a functionalist, said that crime is inevitable in society. This is because not everyone will buy into the collective sentiments of society, and will deviate from these norms and beliefs.

Druthers said a certain amount of crime and deviance is normal and an integral part of all lately societies. This is because it acts as a ‘safety valve’, providing a relatively harmless way for someone to express their discontent. For example, Cohen said that “prostitution performs such a safety valve function without threatening the institution of the family’, this is because he believed this crime of prostitution could relieve the stress in a discrete way without damaging the rest of the clients life. Clarinda said crime also served the function of acting as a warning device.

This is because the crime indicates that there is an aspect of society that is malfunctioning. So the crime draws attention to the problem within society, which can then be fixed. Druthers said that crime in society isn’t genetically produced, but is natural in society. However, he did say that too much crime was dangerous in a society, and this is an idea Morton developed. Morton and Anomie Morton observed American culture. He said that this society bought into the ‘American dream’ of having a successful career with lots of money, material possessions and a nice family.

Morton said that in a balanced society everyone will be happy, however, he said American society isn’t balanced, so hen people struggle to live up to societies norms and values they try and find other ways Of achieving this success, and act enormously. Morton called this a strain to anomie, and it is this monomers behavior which he said caused crime in society. Consider it like someone losing in a card game, and the expectation for them to win is so high that they break the rules in order to do so. Morton said there are five ways in which members of American society could respond to this strain to anomie: 1 .

Conformity – Members of society conform to the norms of the rest of society (in this case the need for material odds) and try to achieve success through the normal means (work hard at school etc. ) 2. Innovation -? people who feel that they cannot possibly achieve through the normal route try new ways of making money, in most cases this is a life of crime 3. Ritualism – People who feel they can’t achieve because they have few job prospects, but also can’t turn to innovation might lower their goals and aspirations. This is considered deviant because they have rejected society norms and values by creating their own lower goals. . Retreating – People who cannot possibly earn success and feel there is no ay to do so might retreat from society, or ‘drop out’. They resign to failure and often turn to alcohol or drugs abuse. 5. Rebellion – People who cannot succeed but do not want to just admit defeat might rebel and try to create their own society with new goals and means. To summaries, Morton believed the pressure exerted on people to succeed, a strain to anomie, meant that if they didn’t they would act enormously to cope, and this could manifest itself in any of the 5 ways shown above.

Evaluation of Morton – Some critics argue that actually society might not have a value consensus, so owe can people feel pressured by it if the value consensus doesn’t exist. – Also people say that Morton exaggerates working class crime and ignores white- collar crime committed by the wealthy in society. – The biggest criticism of Marten’s work is that it doesn’t explain why people commit crimes that can’t be explained by a strain to anomie. For example freedom fighters who act criminally because of commitment rather than the effects of anomie. However, evidence shows that after communist countries moved to free market economies (which stress the importance Of individual material success) crime rates have rocketed. Similarly, as the UK moved to Thatcher’s (which again places more value on material success and hard work) crime rates increased. This suggests that the strain to achieve what society considers ‘success’ can lead to crime, so it supports Marten’s view. 3) Subcultures Theories Subcultures theories build upon the work of Morton.

They say that deviance is the result of individuals conforming to the values and norms of a social group to which they belong, if you belong to a social group whose norms differ from those Of the main society then you will become a deviant. Cohen said lower- working-class boys want to achieve the success which is valued by mainstream culture. But due to educational failure and the dead-end jobs that result from this they have little chance of achieving these goals. This results in status frustration, the boys are at the bottom of the social structure and have little chance of gaining a higher status in society.

This is similar to Marten’s theory, however Cohen said that instead of turning to crime as Morton said, they reject the norms and values of mainstream society and instead turn to the norms and values of a delinquent subculture. In this subculture the boys can achieve success because the social group has different norms and values from the rest of society. So in this culture a high value is placed upon criminal acts such as stealing and vandalism which are condemned by mainstream society.

In these subcultures the individual who lacked respect in mainstream society can gain it by committing crimes such as vandalism and truancy. Because the crimes reward the individual with respect there is not always the need for a monetary value to commit a crime, so the subcultures perspective explains why people commit non-utilitarian crimes. Collard and Olin developed Cone’s theory. They said that there are three different types of subcultures that young people might enter into; criminal subcultures, conflict subcultures and retreats subcultures.

Criminal subcultures tend to emerge in areas where there is a lot of organized adult crime, here there are criminal role models for young people, and they learn how to commit criminal acts. In these subcultures the young people can climb up the professional criminal ladder by committing more crimes. These subcultures are normally concerned with utilitarian crimes, which yield financial reward. Conflict subcultures tend to emerge in areas where there is little organized adult crime, so instead of learning how to commit serious monetary crimes the young people instead focus on gaining respect through gang violence.

Retreats subcultures are for young people who have even failed in the criminal subcultures, these people are ‘double failures’. They tend to retreat to drugs and alcohol abuse to deal with the fact that they have been rejected from other subcultures. Walter B. Miller said that a deviant subculture doesn’t arise from the inability of the members to achieve success; instead he said that crime is a result of the fact that there is a lower-class subculture with different norms and values to the rest of society.

He said these different values mean that for members of this culture there are a number of concerns and things people want to achieve, he called these focal concerns and they include: Toughness – Miller said that people within the lower-class subculture value toughness as an important trait; however this can manifest itself in assault and violence. Smartness – This culture also value the ability to outfox each other. This will often lead to people trying to con, sprocket or steal from each other in ‘clever’ ways. Excitement – This culture constantly searches for excitement and thrills.

This often means gambling, alcohol and sexual adventures. Miller said this mix Of ‘focal concerns’ can lead to a culture which accepts crime and deviance as normal. David Matzo said that delinquents aren’t actually in opposition to society’s norms and values. He said that society has a strong moral hold on them and this prevents them from engaging in delinquent activities for most of the time, he said that the fact that these people often show remorse for their actions later in life purport this view. Instead he said these young delinquents are involved in crime only occasionally as part-time law breakers.

Matzo said that delinquents convince themselves they are not breaking the law, and this allows them to commit crimes whilst still accepting society’s norms and values. However, Matzo said that within mainstream societies values there are ‘subterranean values’ which promote the ideas of acting in the spur of the moment for excitement and thrills. Although the subterranean values are within mainstream societies set of values, they could encourage behavior which breaks the law and are then seen by mainstream society as criminal or deviant.

Through this theory of ‘delinquency drift’ Matzo explains how he thinks young people within a subculture can break the values of society without really recognizing that they are doing so, and then later in life drift back into mainstream society as these subterranean values become less important to the individual. 4) Interactions perspective Interactions disagree with functionalist on both the idea that society has a consensus about what crime is and the idea that crime is caused by “external forces”.

Instead Blamer said everybody commits crimes and deviance, it is more important to look at the way society reacts to this behavior. Howard Becker said that society creates rules, and by doing this anyone who acts outside Of these rules is a deviant. Therefore the act itself isn’t deviant, it is how we label that act that makes it deviant. Interactions would point out how in one context, an act is considered deviant, in another it is normal – it is only when it is done in a way that is not publicly defined as proper that it becomes deviant.

For example, killing is not always deviant or criminal, during AR it is more deviant to refuse to kill. Interactions say this labeling can lead to groups being victimized for crime. For example, the police might label black youths as more likely to be a criminal. So people of this group are more likely to be charged with a criminal offence. Furthermore, interactions say this labeling can mean a person is singled out as deviant; this could result in the self-fulfilling prophecy of this person becoming the deviant they were labeled as.

Interactions say that this targeting of certain groups by agents of social control can actually lead to a deviancy amplification spiral. This means that the public take sympathy with the way certain groups are treated, for example over-the-top media hatred, and this causes some of the public to join this victimized group of deviants. An example of this could be that after disturbances by moods and rockers in Clayton in 1 984 led to heavy-handed treatment from the police, and this then led to more young people joining the moods and rockers out of hatred for the police.

Evaluation + The interactions approach draws attention to the importance of labeling and societal reaction + It has also highlighted the fact that we have receptions of a typical criminal; for example, the image the tabloids project of criminals – However critics point out that interactions fail to say why people still commit crimes even though they know they are considered deviant – Interactions also ignore why certain people are labeled as deviant and other people aren’t 5) Marxist perspective Marxist say crime can only be understood in terms of capitalism and the class struggle.

Not only is the justice system unfair on the working-class it also benefits the ruling class. Who makes the law and who benefits? The first question Marxist asks is, who makes the laws and who benefits? They say laws are made by the state, representing the interests of the ruling class. For example Chemicals (1976) said that laws in regard to property were first set up to ensure the ruling class’ wealth remained in the family, and if any of the working class tried to stop this they were classed as breaking the law.

This is because the property and land were the main source of wealth for the ruling class, so it was important this was protected. Chemicals then goes on to identify as our economy changed to a capitalist model, the laws also changed and again are enforced to protect the ruling class. Marxist go on to ay that any laws which are made to protect the working class, for example anti-monopolistic laws, are only done so to appease the working class so they don’t figure out the injustice in the criminal system. Chemicals also pointed out that the laws that aren’t passed are as important as the ones that are.

He said that the ruling-class have the power to ensure that no laws are passed that could damage the position and power of the ruling class. Who breaks the law? Most sociological perspectives agree that there is crime across all social strata; the richest and the poorest all commit crimes. However, Marxist say hat the crimes by the ruling class not only go unpunished but also cause many more problems that the street crimes by the working-class. For example, 20,000 are murdered every year in the US, whilst 1 00,000 are killed by cancer due to unsafe working conditions imposed on the working-class by the ruling class.

This crime is neither recognized as important nor punished, yet it causes many more problems than the crimes of the working class. 7) Neo-Marxist perspective In their publication The New Criminology the neo-Marxist Taylor, Walton and Young said that they agreed with Marxism on three key issues in relation to rime. 1. They agree that the economy is the most important part of society, and it is from this that crime is born. 2. They believe that the capitalism is to blame for crime as it causes an inequality in society which is the root of crime 3.

They agree that if we are to eradicate crime we must first see a transformation of society away from capitalism. However, in many ways Taylor, Walton and Young views differ from conventional Marxist approaches, hence why it is the neo-Marxist perspective. One way in which it differs from Marxism is that it believes the labeling theory proposed by interpretations has some truth in it. Neo-Marxist say that the ruling class label certain members of the working class in order to gain benefits themselves, this is called a “fully social theory of deviance”.

The work of neo- Marxist in the area of labeling was epitomized by Stuart Hall’s ‘Policing the crisis’ whereby he looked at moral panic over ‘mugging’ in the 1 asses in Britain. During the 1 ass’s several newspapers repeatedly reported incidents of mugging; Hall said this moral panic was built upon the idea of collective fear of ‘an enemy within’. He said this was because in the sass’s Britain experienced an economic decline -? a ‘crisis of capitalism’ -? and the government needed someone for everyone to blame and rally against, uniting the people and allowing us to forget about the economic issues.

By making the Black mugger someone to fear, it solidified a fractured KICK society around the state. Neo-Marxist say that this is just one of many examples of how social background (in this instance you’re ethnicity and class) can result in you being deviant, but it is only because of the labeling from the ruling class that you become a deviant. So neo-Marxist say the ruling-class used babbling of certain people to sustain their control over the working class; in this case it was used to solve a “crisis of capitalism”. ) Feminist Perspectives Crime statistics tell us that men commit more crimes then women, and sociologists have different explanations as to why this is. Sutherland (1949) said girls have a stricter upbringing whereas boys are encouraged to take risks; boys also have more opportunities to commit crimes due to their freedom Parsons (1955) said in the modern nuclear family men work and women stay at home and nurse. Therefore young girls have more access to heir role model than the boys do as the father is working.

Parsons said the boys will reject the mother as a role model and will seek to be more masculine through aggressive actions, leading to crime. Before feminism, women were invisible in the sociological perspective. Crime by women was explained by saying females criminals were a ‘special case’ and were a result of sexual promiscuity or biological deviance. Essentially sociology didn’t accept that normal women committed crime. Feminists say that this ignorance of female crime is because society is patriarchal and is focused on men, ignoring the women.

So feminists argue that the issues that other perspectives debate aren’t the really important ones, the biggest problem is that women are ignored. Bias in the criminal justice system A vast amount of research has looked into the way in which the criminal justice system might be gender bias. Carlen found, using qualitative research on Scottish sheriffs and judges, that sheriffs were less likely to imprison women whom were good mothers but were more likely to punish single mothers or mothers with children in care. Allen found that females are treated more leniently for motoring offenses.

Also, women who conform to the judges’ perspective of femininity were more likely to get lesser sentences. This suggests that the feminist view that there is gender bias in the criminal justice system is true. 8) Left Realism Sock Young a left realist, said we need to be tough on crime, especially crimes committed by the working class against the working class. In their publication ‘What is to be about Law and Order’ (1984) Lea and Young said that crime is rooted in social conditions and crime is closely connected to deprivation.

However, this does not mean left realists see crime as a result of employment directly; this is because they observed crime rates in the asses when unemployment was very high and found them to be lower that crime rates in the asses when unemployment was low. Relative deprivation is when a group feels deprived in comparison to other similar groups, or when its expectations are not met. Young highlighted how increased media influence could lead to increased crime rates, as it leads to higher expectations so those in deprivation feel increased effects of relative deprivation.

It is when people feel deprived in comparison to those around them (including those in the media) that they commit crimes. An example of this relative deprivation is that of the ex-mining towns. For these towns employment was never a problem as everyone worked down the mines. However as the mines have to closed jobs have been lost, and suddenly people feel relative deprivation because their standards of living aren’t as high as they had grown accustomed to in the past.

So, Young suggested that we should deal with crime by trying to decrease the levels of social deprivation. This could be through welfare, infrastructure improvements, the creation of jobs etc. All of this would help reduce the feeling of relative privation and therefore the levels of crime. 9) Right Realism perspective Most of the perspectives on crime take a positivist approach of conducting experiments in a scientific and empirical way. Positivist approaches also say that our behavior (including crime), is determined by outside forces that we can’t control.

However, realist approaches say behavior is determined by our choices we make, as we have free-will. Wilson and Hermiston said that criminal behavior is a choice made by people who have been incorrectly socialized. They argue that society has become more and more used to ‘immediate gratification’. They also said that poor solicitation leads to a lack of self-control. This mix of immediate gratification and low self-control leads to people making the choice to commit crimes.

Hirsch control theory -? Hirsch said we all face the temptation to commit crimes in life. However, most of us resist the temptation. This is because we have strong ties to social institutions such as families and schools. These institutions lead to correct solicitation, so those without strong links to them are the most likely to commit crimes. Charles Murray also said poor solicitation leads to crime; however, he focused on why this is more common in the ‘underclass’.

He said the underclass wasn’t always those with the lowest income, but those who act in a certain way. Murray said the underclass are subjected to several factors which lead to crime: violence, unemployment, poverty etc. And this leads to higher crime. Charles Murray said one of the main reasons we have an underclass is the increase in childbirth outside of marriage. He said this increase in lone parent families has led to an increase in people who are lazy, violent and immoral. So Murray said childbirth outside of marriage is a factor affecting crime.

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