In my introduction to Sociology class last semester, we discussed the major differences between “Crime in the Streets” versus “Crime in the Suites.” The underlying factor separating these crimes could be tied into conflict theory in general, and how those in power, the ‘ruling class’, dictate what is considered crime, and what is not. However, the distinction does not end there. The power elite not only dictate what is crime, but also who is punished for the same crimes. Minorities, like African-Americans, and Hispanics are grossly over-represented in police stops, arrest rates, incarceration rates, and recidivism rates. This is one of the single most prevalent cases of institutional discrimination we have in the United States. Racial profiling, and selective enforcement are huge factors in deciding who is in prison, and for how long. Of the two classes of crimes, IE Street Crime and Suite Crime, those both break down into two distinct classes of crimes as well. For street crime, there are violent crimes, and crimes against property. Violent crime demographics are highly skewed towards minorities, since they are more likely to live in areas that have poor living conditions, substandard education, and less jobs that pay a living wage. All of these factors, and more, contribute to a class warfare that has stretched on since the dawn of civilisation, and merely represented here as a socioeconomic class inequality. The haves versus the have nots. The Bourgeoisie versus the proletariat. Capitalists versus workers. The fact of the matter is, if you have money, and you have an education, and you live in an upper-middle class neighborhood and work in an office, the chances of you committing a violent crime are almost negligible. Someone who fits that criteria does not worry about where their food is coming from, or whether they can afford to fix their car, or if it is safe to walk the dog at night. The opposite is true of people who occupy lower-class neighborhoods. These places are usually unsafe, have a lot of gangs, no after-school programs, no supervision at home, (since any parent in the household is out working two jobs to support their family). These are certainly factors that do lead to violent crimes. On the other hand, Suite Crimes consist of any number of things that occur in, around, or with the help of the workplace. It ranges from stealing office supplies, all the way to companies that do not recall their products because they’ve calculated the cost of estimated settlements from wrongful death suits, and decided they would lose less money than issuing a recall. Insider trading, kick backs, tax evasion, unsafe work environments, workman’s comp litigation against employees, etc, cost a lot more federal funds than violent crimes do, but the majority of these corporations and executives that are arrested and convicted are slapped with fines, and occasionally small jail time. Meanwhile the Hague in Germany wants George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and many others to appear in court for war crimes perpetuated during the Bush Administration, and the United States allows Monsanto, (a company responsible for deaths all around the world from pesticide production and illegal spraying), into the country with open arms. Of all incarcerated individuals in the world, the United States has more than a fourth, 26 percent. There appears to be a pattern in the U.S. of over represented populations. The system of incarcerating individuals in the country is so convoluted and confusing that in order to avoid being incarcerated, one must pay upwards of $400 an hour to highly educated and well placed lawyers, which in and of itself is a perfect example that the justice system is skewed in the favor of those with money. Court appointed attorneys certainly have a law degree, but if they were good enough to really represent your case successfully they wouldn’t be court appointed. There are many things we as a society can begin to
Chapter 5 - Deviance, Crime and Social Control
The Social Definition of Deviance and Crime
Because norms vary widely, deviance is relative.
People commit deviant acts only when they break a norm and cause others to react negatively.
From a sociological point of view, everyone is a deviant in one social context or another.
The Difference between Deviance and Crime
Deviance involves breaking a norm and evoking a negative reaction from others.
Crime is deviance that breaks a law, which is a norm…
why crime occurs, and why criminals commit crimes. Both Gottfredson et al. (1990), and Hirschi T. (1969) agree with the explanation that control theory brings in explaining why people commit crimes. According to social control theory, the reason why individuals break the law has to do with the weakening, and the breakdown of their social bonds (Hirschi T., 1969). In the article “A General Theory of Crime” by Michael R. Gottfredson, and Travis Hirschi, Gottfredson et al. explains that crime is committed…
Cesare Beccaria was right. That punishment does control crime. Is it the only thing? I’m not sure. I use to think there was more to it than just the fear of punishment but, after digging deeper into the different laws we have and why people follow them it always seem too led back to the same thing. People don’t want what the punishment if they are caught. Weather it is a ten dollar fine or years in jail. Even when I was look at other forms of social controls (Other than from the threat of legal punishment)…
The theories of social disorganization and differential association are two common sociological perspective that seek to help explain differentials in crime rates across spatial locations. These two perspectives have many differences and similarities in their explanation of crime variance across neighborhoods with social disorganization focusing on structural characteristics and social controls, while differential association focuses on differences in cultural norms of the community. Despite these…
understanding of crime and deviance.
Marxism is a macro/structural approach to society, meaning that it looks at the large-scale societal structure for answers about how society works and operates and explores crime and deviance in relation to classes within a capitalist society. Marxists claim that laws do not reflect a value consensus, instead laws and law enforcement benefits the rich (protection of private property), and discriminate the poor which brings about social class reproduction…
August 05, 2013
I have read and understand the plagiarism policy as outlined in the syllabus and the sections in the Student Catalog relating to the IWU Honesty/Cheating Policy. By affixing this statement to the title page of my paper, I certify that I have not cheated or plagiarized in the process of completing this assignment. If it is found that cheating and /or plagiarism did talk place in the writing of this paper,…
The Dynamic Self-Control Theory
Travis Hirschi is a unique leading control theorists and he has put in major work into the subject of criminology in the past decades. He is an established theorist and has produced two main sides of control theory in his profession through his lifetime.
His first form of control theory had a remarkable beginning in the social disorganization prospect. The control theory of criminal behavior is wide-ranging than its descendant professed in 1990, in a general theory…
Analysis of Crime
Sociological theories of crime are only one factor when deciding on social order. Sociologist research is those that use social context and social pressures to explain anti-social characteristics within a theoretical approach. For instance, Conservative approach emphasises that lower classes are social groups heavily involved in criminal activities, and Radical approaches state crime as a response to some form of economic deprivation (Bourke, 2013, pp. 36-45; 262-277).
Social Disorganization: A Community-Level Solution to Disorganized Society
Rae Schulman Dupuis
SOC4010: Violence and Society
Professor Reza Barmaki
Friday, April 3, 2015
Social Disorganization, founded in Chicago by Shaw and McKay is a relatively young theory, yet it has gained strength and foothold within the criminological community because of its lack of biological reliance. Developed in the early 1900s it was based on the fact that Shaw and McKay had been working in and…
Crime and Deviance
Revision notes, exam requirements and exam questions
GCSE Sociology 2012
Agent of social control | An individual or group that is responsible for ensuring members of society conform to socially acceptable behaviour. |
Anomie | A situation where large numbers of people fail to follow the generally accepted norms and values. |
British Crime Survey (BCS) | A victim survey conducted annually by a team of researchers at the Home Office. |
Capitalist society | An economic…