Sociological theories of crime

Length: 9 Pages 2365 Words

Environmental factors that affect offenders and victims include the physical, social, family, community, economic, cultural and political environments in which individuals live. Impoverished physical, social and family environments have long been considered to be primary determinants of the development of criminal behaviour. Living in poverty, isolation from social support and being raised in a violent family are examples of these types of environmental risk factors. A lack of community cohesion in one's neighbourhood, poor economic conditions in society and conflict-ridden cultural and political environments are also potential risk factors for crime - both for offending and victimisation. The rate of unemployment, extent of use of the welfare system and the varying levels of education in society can all influence the prevalence and nature of crime. For example, higher rates of unemployment can have an impact on levels of crime. An important environmental element relates to geographical location. The profile of crime varies across geographical areas at both the macro and micro level. These differences in crime can be linked with regional differences in social, demographic and economic conditions. Understanding the natur Continue...


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Lombroso also claimed that criminal women had certain physical abnormalities. e of these links is important because it can shed light on how to manage and prevent crime. First, it confused cause and effect. They found that the crime rate was distributed throughout the city, delinquency occurred in the areas nearest to the business district, that some areas suffered from high consistent delinquency rates no matter the makeup of the population, that high delinquency areas were characterised by a high percentage of immigrants, non-whites, lower income famines, and finally, and that high-delinquency areas had an acceptance of non-conventional norms, which competed with conventional ones. Fourth, social change was often confused with social disorganisation. Clifford Shaw and Henry McKay were researchers at the Chicago's Institute for Juvenile Research and maintained a close relationship with Chicago's Sociology department. Those in the lower strata were assumed to have higher levels of crime rates because their members lived in the most socially disorganised areas of the city. Occupational structure and the distribution of power within this structure dictate the degree and level of involvement. The influence of the women's movement in the 1960s changed many attitudes towards female crime. Bibliography Haralambos and Holborn, 2000, Sociology Themes and Perspectives, HarperCollins Publishers Ltd Harrower, Julie, Applying Psychology to Crime, Hodder Stoughton, 1998 McLaughlin, Eugene and Muncie, John, Controlling Crime, Sage Publications Inc, 1996 Walklate, Sandra, Understanding Criminology Current Theoretical Debates, Open University Press, 2001 www. Interactionists argue that this process of labelling actually increases the criminality of the individual. Differential Association theory states that criminal behaviour is learned behaviour and learned via social interaction with others. In contrast to street crime, affluent crime is far more costly to society in both financial and human terms. Feminists working within criminology are also keen to expose women's experiences of victimisation in such situations as domestic abuse and in doing so have also exposed the extent of such hidden crimes.

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