Critically Evaluate the Claim That People Commit Crime as a Result of Socio-Economic Inequality.

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Critically evaluate the claim that people commit crime as a result of socio-economic inequality.Critically evaluate the claim that people commit crime as a result of socio-economic inequality. Word Count – 2,849 It is a global fact that crime is most rife in areas of extreme poverty and lower-working class, and has been for many centuries. This essay will delve into many theories to assess whether the varying rates of crime in different societies and groups of social status are a result of economic classes in society. As it is also a fact that crime is committed in all areas of society this essay first begin by looking at different models that have been constructed to explain how crime and social status is related. The first model is…show more content…
Durkheim’s theory was supported by Merton who was a functionalist. As a functionalist he believes that all groups have a function within society, this can be directly related to what Durkheim said in relation to the organic society. Merton explained how he aimed to ‘discover how some social structures exert definite pressure upon certain persons in the society to engage in non-conforming rather than conforming conduct. If we can locate groups particularly subject to such pressures then we should expect to find high rates of deviant conduct in these groups, not because the human beings comprising them are compounded of distinctive biological tendencies but because they are responding normally to the social situation in which they find themselves’. (1969: 225) This aim can directly describe why crime in committed and why it is the lower class that are more likely to engage in criminal activity as they are found to be in the least fortunate social situation. Merton relates this to anomie and the American Dream. The American Dream is the idea portrayed that anyone has the ability to achieve success and wealth if they are willing to put in the hard work. However as he lived through the Great Depression Merton found first hand that social legitimacy was the key factor in achieving this dream, and many people had social boundaries depriving them from the ability
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