Theories of Crime Javier Bryon AIU Online Abstract There are many theories that attempt to explain criminal behavior. Social theories indicate that interaction with other individuals and environment are factors that contribute to criminal behavior. Many argue that social factors alone cannot be the only cause to criminal behavior, but peer pressure and rationalization are powerful tools of behavior modification. Theories of Crime Crime theories can vary greatly. A lot of people think that poverty or social status is a major factor on criminal behavior.
Others believe that is embedded in human beings to be born with evil therefore we are attracted to crime. Bottom line is deterrence cannot be achieved unless the underlining cause for criminal behavior is found. Social Control Theory The social control theory does not ask the question “what makes people to commit a crime? ” It bases its belief on the assumption that people are thought from a very young age between right and wrong. Social interaction is the key for the theory; humans are thought since birth the rules of society.
Parents at home, and teachers in schools, are both the primary tutors of the upbringing of social behavior. According to Williams & McShane (2010), “Theories of social control all rely on social factors to explain how people are restrained from acting in ways harmful to others. ” The strengths behind this theory is that social behavior is an immense factor when dealing with criminal behavior. If parents did not teach their children that taking candy from a store without paying was bad, then can we really blame that child for taking the candy?
But on the other hand we do have those parents that carved good morals, and taught their kids right from wrong, but the children still committed criminal acts. This theory does have a lot of weight on criminal behavior because without proper socialization individuals are more prone to be confused about what is right and what is wrong. Strain Theory The strain theory envisions that society shares common goals and values. It theorizes that some of those goals are usually material in nature, like owning a house, or a nice car.
However because not all members of society are in the same economic or social status, not everyone can achieve these goals in their life. A good example is how the United States developed the image of the “American Dream”. It did not matter where you came from, or your social status, in the United States that person could achieve economic success. Now this might not be true for every single individual in the United States, therefore those individuals that cannot achieve their goals are pushed by society to commit crimes in order to fulfill economic status.
There are particular strengths within this theory, like the fact that society persuades individuals that without material possessions there is no success, and therefore individuals might feel pressured to achieve this by all means necessary, including committing criminal acts. The main weakness on the theory is the almost nonexistent notion that all humans have free will; all individuals regardless of the motive can choose not to commit a crime. Differential Association Theory The differential association theory was first proposed by Edwin H.
Sutherland in 1939. This theory has major social impact, just like the strain and social control theories. This theory departs from the belief that individuals inherit the criminal behavior from passed on genes, attributing the behavior to social interaction. The main focus of the theory is that criminal behavior is learned from criminal to criminal. Through these social interaction criminals learned, techniques, motives, and expand their crimes to other realms of crime. On the second edition of Principles of Criminology Sutherland (1934, pp. 1-52) stated, “First, any person can be trained to adopt and follow any pattern of behavior which he is able to execute. Second, failure to follow a prescribed pattern of behavior is due to the inconsistencies and lack of harmony in the influences which direct the individual. Third, the conflict of cultures is therefore the fundamental principle in the explanation of crime. ” Therefore this theory rejects any notion that criminal behavior is insidious to human beings and only through association with other criminals the criminal is made. This is particularly he weakness in the theory since it does not express how a criminal that has no communication or association with other criminals came to have that behavior. On the other hand it is probable that by association with criminals, the chances of that individual complying with criminal behavior and give in to peer pressure are very likely. Neutralization Theory The neutralization theory debates whether humans are rational animals. The basis for the theory comes from researching juveniles. The juveniles that participated on the research showed that they all hold conventional morals and values.
They all grew up knowing that stealing is wrong, as well as killing, and so on. The theory finds it that these individuals find every single behavior unacceptable, unless they can justify their actions. In their minds this individuals find rationalizations or excuses that neutralizes their guilt before they become involve in to that particular criminal behavior. The fixation to find excuses that justify their actions is what Sykes and Matza referred as “techniques of neutralization”. The individuals usually appeal to typical behaviors like putting the blame on someone else, or blame peer pressure.
This typical behavior is very common and the catch to the theory is that the rationalization comes first, and then the crime, individuals do this to act in a free of guilt conscience while attempting the crime. The strength behind the theory is that this is very commonly seen in juveniles, and usually they get their rationalizations from older individuals that influence them or coerce them in to the criminal behavior. The weakness behind the theory is that the rationalization comes before the crime; therefore the crime is well planned and thought putting all the responsibility on the offender.
Jared Lee Laughner Possible Motives Mr. Laughner was twenty four years old when he pleaded guilty to 19 charges of murder and attempted murder. Between those injured was U. S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, his intended target, he killed six people in the process including Chief U. S. District Court Judge John Roll, as well as a nine year old girl. Before the shooting friends of Laughner say that his personality had changed several years before the shooting. They account for alcohol abuse and drugs. He had been expelled from college for bizarre ttitudes in class. Laughner had a very normal childhood and there is no reason to think of any abuse. The theory that best describes Laughner behavior would be the differential association theory that is if you take the mental issues he might have. He gained knowledge from the media mostly internet research and by communicating hos thoughts through youtube. The theory explains that the knowledge is learned from criminal to criminal and in this case it was not per say from person to person but indirectly by internet or media searches.
That theory would be the best choice to explains the motives he had behind the horrific shooting. Conclusion All these theories explain specific issues that arise when dealing with criminal behavior. They all have their key points and weaknesses. In my opinion they cover very basic concepts and we cannot help but wonder what else can explain if not biological or psychological theories special cases like Laughner? We should never consider only one theory but a combination of them in order to try to understand how the criminal mind works. References Williams III, F.
P. & McShane, M. D. (2010). Criminological theory (5th ed. ). (Online version). Retrieved from AIU Online Virtual Campus. Theories of Crime Causation: CRJS105-1204A:01 website. The Week (2012). 9 things we’ve learned about Jared Lee Loughner. Retrieved from http://theweek. com/article/index/211108/9-things-weve-learned-about-jared-lee-loughner Agnew, R. (1994). The Techniques of Neutralization and Violence. Criminology. 32, 555-580. Matza, D. & Sykes, Gresham (1961). Juvenile Delinquency and Subterranean Values. American Sociological Review. 26(5). 712-719.
Analysis of Tourism in a Country “Thailand”
Analysis of Tourism in a Country “Thailand”.
Analysis of Tourism in a Country Paper (200 points) chose Thailand as the project for this paper. Section 1: Mini Overview of Country Geographic Description, Government/Industry, Demographics, State of Development, Social Issues (1 page minimum) Section 2: Overview of Tourism Visitors/Inbound Tourism Stats, Domestic vs. Inbound Tourism, Entry/Exit Costs, Safety of Travel, Types of Tourism (from our lesson), Specific Major Attractions (1 page, minimum) Section 3: Tourism Opportunities & Barriers Opportunities/Resources and Barriers/Threats to Tourism Including Physical, Cultural & Social, and Environmental Impacts (3/4 page, minimum) Section 4: Tourism Personal Perspectives on NameofCountry’s Tourism Using “I” tense (the only section of this paper where this is permitted), discuss whether you are more or less interested in traveling to this country as a tourist. Why or why not? What did you learn that impressed or concerned you? Provide a ‘clever’ and thought provoking final thought about this country’s tourism.
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