In his first chapter, Erikson gives regard to a foremost leader in sociology; Emile Durkheim. As he notes, crime is really a natural kind of social activity. If crime is a natural part of
"When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw," (Kazi, 2017). The modern societies around the world put a high importance on preventing criminal activity and rectifying behavior that leads to crime. In an ongoing struggle against corruption, many sociologists, and psychologists have done in-depth research to understand what is the cause of crime in our society. Initially, in 1893, Emile Durkheim first came up with the idea called Anomie Theory to explain why offenses take place in our communities. Durkheim reported that crimes took place in our society because there was a lack of ethical norms and social standards within our communities (Walsh, 2018).However, almost half a century later, Robert K. Merton developed Merton's Strain Theory to thoroughly explain why some people in our society are more likely to commit crimes than the others who don’t. Merton’s Strain Theory argues that corruption not only occurs in our communities because we lack norms in our society, but are also caused by the strains that are present among us as individuals which influence people to commit the crime. In his explanation, people will resort to achieving success through illegitimate means when they are blocked from acquiring success through legitimate means (Walsh, 2018). After studying the classical strain theories, I think that Merton’s Strain Theory explains street crimes such as robbery, theft, assault, and drug dealing better than
Durkheim: Punishment is one of the main aims of the criminal justice system. As crime is an act that is in breach with the collective conscious the punishment of criminals plays a main role in the maintenance of social solidarity. When the state of collective conscience is violated, the response of the society is consisted of 'repressive sanctions ' that do not aim for retribution or deterrence, but aim to prevent the demoralisation of those who are making sacrifices for the interest of society. The punishment of criminals is required to sustain the commitment of citizens to the society (Pratt 1994, pp.2-3). If punishment is not present members of the community may lose their
However, while crime was a big offender in any society, Durkheim’s anomie theory was about how society gave little to no moral support to those individuals who were pressured into a life of crime— ironic, isn’t it?
As the act of criminality is a global phenomenon, there must therefore be some explanation as to why this is; some schools of thought strive to explicate this by means of genetics, whilst others take a more socially influenced approach. Although at the time, the micro-criminological theories of Lombroso and Sheldon may have appeared credible, modern research has attempted to refute such notions. In an epidemiological context, the act of crime is seen by some as a positive contribution to society, as noted by Durkheim (Kirby et al, 2000), although too much will lead to social instability, or anomie. In contrariety to Durkheim's beliefs, a Marxist perspective would consider the mere notion of capitalism as criminal; thus deeming the vast
However, an underlying weakness of Durkheim is that his theory basically assumes individuals do not have a choice over their actions as their lives are predestined because of the social conditions in which they live in (Burke, 2005, p.127). This implies that there is no scientific evidence and therefore impossible to locate any acceptable mechanism to explain social change which has led to his work being dismissed methodically (Ronald, 1991). Therefore, Merton’s theory is not just denying any reason for social change, but it could create the assumption that deviance behaviour is more common in lower class where individuals live in poor social environments so are ultimately prone to take the path of crime.
Furthermore Durkheim doesn’t specify how much crime is good for society before we fall into anomie. New Right sociologists such as Murray would be critical of this as they believe that subcultures which carry out criminal and deviant acts form an underclass which threatens society on the whole rather than strengthening ‘boundary maintenence.However Durkheim doesn’t state why people commit crimes, another functionalist who did was Merton.
Durkheim states that crime and deviance is inevitable and a certain level is necessary for society to exist. He also claims that it is a positive aspect of society as it shows examples of rights and wrongs within society and by punishing offenders, through ways such as public humiliation and portraying crime as wrong, raises awareness of crime and therefore deters others from committing crime along with creating a collective conscience. He also argues that crime and deviance allows social change to occur which is needed in order for society to remain stable. Durkheim’s
Imagine a ‘society of saints’, without crime, a notion put forward by Emile Durkheim a historical theorist who argued that this concept is unattainable within society. Social control is and has been present in all societies, organized groups, and cultures since the beginning of time. There are many historical and modern perspectives, which help draw conclusions on the study of deviance and social control, two concepts that go hand in hand. In discussing the connection between social control and deviance, it will reveal why Durkheim’s notion, that in a ‘society of saints’, crime will be found, is very true.
Crime was seen by Durkheim as inevitable, he argued that a constant level of crime can be functional and only becomes harmful to society when crime rates are abnormally high or low. According to Durkheim the purpose of punishment is not to eliminate crime completely but rather to maintain the norms and values of the majority, in order to keep a relative amount of “social order”.
Crime can not be removed completely from society because it will always be the necessary unacceptable norm that can be located in all forms of societies around the world. Crime is regarded, by many people such as politicians and other people of everyday society, as horrid and unnecessary. Emile Durkheim believes that crime is normal and it isn't possible for it to not exist. If crime is everywhere and in no area has crime ever been successfully eradicated then we should assume it is there for a reason. According to many books written by Emile Durkheim, such as Suicide, and The Division of Labor, society plays a large role in our actions and Durkheim explains that reasons to which why crime is executable. Experts in the Department of
In the early 1800’s early European theorists started observing behaviors, interactions, and relationships between people and how they were affected by the industrial revolution. There were many theorists that were influenced by the social dynamics of the revolution including Auguste Comete, Andre Guerry, and Adolphe Quetelet. These theorist proposed important aspects that contributed to social structure theories including economic factors that influences crime. Separately, these theorists concluded that crime is not random and is caused by factors outside of one’s control. Emile Durkheim, a theorist who a very heavy influence on criminology had
Functionalists see crime deviance in society as a function, in that it serves to remind us, through public condemnation of those who have broken the rules, of our shared values and norms. Furthermore, they suggest that crime is a result of structural tensions and a lack of moral regulations within society. If the
Defining law can be difficult to do since its definition varies among various people. Many people see law as standards for human behavior that reflect the deepest values and morals of the society. Others see law as a game which acts as a set of guidelines for settling disagreements in a nonviolent way. From a sociologist’s perspective law is viewed as a behavioral system with the two aspects of roles/hierarchy and rules/discretion. Not only is law thought of as a behavioral system from a sociologist’s perspective but also as an institution which is a set of directions for doing things. When laws have been disobeyed by a member of society a form of punishment will be determined and it is not always effective. Everyone has their own views on law and punishment which is why I want to look at what theorists Emile Durkheim and Karl Marx view as the role and function of law and punishment. Before I can show the weaknesses, similarities and differences between each of their views I will give an overview of their thoughts on the role and function of law and punishment.
To begin with, Durkheim saw that crime was a necessary means in achieving a state of equilibrium. He states that crime and deviance could not be vanished due to the fact that a society can never establish a state where everyone