Crime: Sociology and Upper Class Children Essay

Submitted By killem20
Words: 1776
Pages: 8

Crime and Deviance

Crime is an action or omission that constitutes an offense that may be prosecuted by the state and is punishable, while Deviance is the fact or state of departing from usual or accepted standards, especially in a social or sexual behavior. There are great differences between the two, but each can easily lead to another. One may think that every crime is a deviant behavior, but in some societies that behavior may not be seen as a crime, but as a social norm for them. There is a wide-range of deviance in which an act may be deviant and legal or deviant and illegal. What we see as deviant usually depends on individual social position, background, context, morals or experiences. Most of the time what is defined as deviant depends on different social views in different societies, like those who control the media, politics, and religion. They are high up in the hierarchy of credibility, in which we give them more power to tell us certain definitions of deviance and continue to live by them. As a result social deviance is a behavior that violates the norm, but these forms of behavior are broken down into what we call social properties of deviance.
Social properties of deviance range in many different ways from society to society. For example, the idea of cannibalism has been proved to be a spiritual form of ritualistic sacrifice in the ancient culture of Mexico. Yet in some Western cultures murder and the consumption of human flesh was considered disgusting and cruel, but was dealt with by harsher consequences by the law than most other deviant crimes. These differences are due to the way each individual society develops their own moral codes. These codes are often defined by their cultural system of social beliefs, and adversity to other cultures. Also, ritualistic practices that have become accepted by their society as well as the new established patterns in the development of culture. While crime may not always be the solution to deviant behavior, its means justify the norms.
The American dream is a fantasy by many, but in this society there are people that will go to drastic measures to make sure that it becomes a reality. This is where our economy plays a role in excessive criminal behavior due from what we consider “deviant” behaviors. People tend to want what they don’t have and are on a constant pursuit to achieve the American dream that they have always wanted. There are many different types of crime that people commit out of deviance not knowing it is considered a crime. These also come in many forms, for example white-collar crimes, organized crime, and juvenile crime. Deviant behaviors in our society today are mainly demonstrated by the ages of 14 to 25. The reason for such a high rate of crime being conducted between these ages is because they live in urban areas, which provide more shops and businesses to be robbed. An article called Getting Tough on Juvenile Justice states:
“As alluded to above, the number of adolescents prosecuted in criminal court and incarcerated in adult correctional facilities has steadily increased over the last three decades. Scholars including Fagan (2008) highlight that, since the 1970s, practically all states have either passed new legislation or modified its existing laws to promote the transfer of youth offenders to the criminal court. During this time, the legitimacy of the juvenile court was threatened on a number of fronts. First, given individualized case assessments by juvenile judges, there were disparities from one case to another. Second, the court was attacked for being racially biased against minorities. Third, judges were criticized for ignoring the need for public safety by not considering the severity of the committed crime. Finally, the rising crime rates of the time represented the juvenile courts’ inability to control youth offenders (Feld, 1999). These attacks helped spawn new legislation regarding transfer