Social class and crime and punishment has always been an issue in the UK if not globally. For the elite, the criminal justice system serves a purpose to deter and prevent crime, but the reality is that the poor are punished for crimes they commit more so than those of a upper class who commit the same crime. The question is who is to blame for this image of the poor being criminals and the working class crime phenomenon, is it the moral Panic created by the media to distract from the reality of the white collar corporate crime being carried out by the most powerful of society or is it down to Poverty, Labelling, economic and social positioning which all contribute to deviant behaviour. The aim of this essay is to provide a critical criminological view of the punishment of the poor with a wide range of theories and ideas to contribute to the understanding of the poor being punished from the 18th century to today 's contemporary society. It will aim to develop an understanding how criminals and deviant behaviour were defined and perceived from historical periods to now.
“Classical Criminology was developed in the eighteenth century in opposition to the use of extreme and arbitrary punishments. Classical Criminology advocated a rational approach that punishment ought to be imposed only to the extent necessary to ensure a deterrent.” (Rowe, 2012: 191)
For critical criminology, the thought process of criminological thinking is believed to be traced back to as early as
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysGet Access
Crime is often described as socially constructed, which influences our understanding of who commits a crime. Firstly, labelling theorists argue that crime is a social construction based on the powerful’s reaction to certain behaviour, those who are deviant are people that have been labelled as such. Marxists claim the bourgeoise construct crime in order to criminalise the proletariat, get away with their own deviance and maintain their own dominance. Neo-marxists look at how moral panics create a social construction of crime and can criminalise certain groups. Finally, feminists, argue crime is constructed in a patriarchal way and that the criminal justice system is harsher to female offenders. Whereas others criticise these theories for
Most people have preconceived notions regarding the relationship between social class and delinquency. A common assumption is that lower-class juveniles are more likely to engage in delinquent behavior than their higher-class counterparts. Criminologists have performed a large number of studies examining the socio-demographic characteristics of delinquents, which often yielded contradictory results. When analyzing the extent and trend of juvenile delinquency in the United States conclusions can be drawn from estimates derived from arrest records, self-reports, and victimization data. Arrest estimates, self-reported information, and victimization data provide different estimates of the extent of delinquency in the United States (Maxfield et
Criminological theories interpret the competing paradigms of Human Nature, Social Order, Definition of Crime, Extent and Distribution of Crime, Causes of Crime, and Policy, differently. Even though these theories have added to societies understanding of criminal behaviour, all have been unable to explain why punishment or treatment of offenders is unable to prevent deviancy, and thus are ineffective methods of control. The new penology is a contemporary response that favours the management of criminals by predicting future harm on society. However, all criminological theories are linked as they are a product of the historical time and place, and because of their contextual history, they will continue to reappear depending on the current
Criminology is a field that has been researched prolong. Most of the information explaining crime and delinquency is based on facts about crime (Vold, Bernard, & Daly 2002, p.1). The aim of this paper is to describe the theories of crime and punishment according to the positivists Emile Durkheim and Cesare Lombroso, and the classical criminologist Marcese de Beccaria. The theories were developed as a response to the industrialisation and the modernisation of the societies in the 18th and 19th centuries and were aiming to create a rational society and re-establish social solidarity (Vold et al 2002, p.101). The criminological perspectives of crime and punishment will be discussed in a form of dialogue between the three theorists exploring
The classical school of criminology is foundationally based upon the history of crime and punishment. Throughout history, crime was dealt with in an extremely harsh and inhumane manner. Criminals and suspected criminals were quartered, burnt at the stake, tortured, and subjected to other forms of extreme violence. These methods were used to get a confession or punish people for even minor crimes such as theft. The people of the Enlightenment period of the late 1600 's paid attention to this behavior and this is why a
It is common knowledge that crime exists all over the world and that justice and punishment may vary in different countries and societies. However, how justice and punishment is enforced in a society and globally is not common knowledge. Global justice refers to the belief that the world is unjust; while social justice, in a manner of speaking, refers to the fair treatment of everyone in a society.(“Social Justice”). Both social and global justice value human rights, remove inequality, and holds people accountable for fair practices.(“Social Justice”). If someone commits the same crime as another person, for example, they should receive the same punishment. That is what most people would be inclined to believe, but in the reading “The Moral Ambivalence of Crime in an Unjust Society” by Jeffrey Reiman, crime and justice is reviewed and defined in an uncommon way. Reiman discusses justice in a society where a crime was committed against him and his wife.
7) In criminological theories, we saw how police activity is largely geared towards minor visible crimes committed by individuals from the lower stratums of society as oppose to “white collar crimes” committed by those of higher stratums (Dubé, CRM 3701, 2011). Abolitionists argue that by severely punishing some of the poor in order to deter society from committing crimes; we are only further contributing to the inequalities in today’s society.
The purpose of this essay is to discuss whether a perspective of social harm is more advantageous and useful over that of crime. In order to explore these advantages, this essay will look at the aetiology of crime from a legal perspective; which is arguably very narrow and individualistic in nature. As well as from a perspective of social harm, which is possibly more progressive as it broadens an understanding of ‘crime’ over that of many other serious harms.
The idea of social inequality dates back since the time of our founding fathers. The mistreatment and unlawful equality and opportunity that these foreigners received became embedded into our history—this endless list includes, just to name a few, the Irish, Chinese, Jews, and most notably the African Americans (Blacks), who became slaves to the American people. Here in the United States, the current social class system is known as the class system, where families are distributed and placed into three different existing class—the upper class (wealthy), middle class (working), and lower class (poor). Since then, improvisations have been worked on into the class system, establishing now roughly six social classes: upper class, new money, middle class, working class, working poor, and poverty level. Social stratification is a widely common topic of debate because there have since been many arguments and debates on this controversial situation of social inequality and how it relates to social class and social mobility. According to Economist Robert Reich, he states that "The probability that a poor child in America will become a poor adult is higher now than it was 30 years ago..." (Reich, par. 5), meaning the given amount of equality, opportunity, and support that these struggle families obtain have gone mainly unnoticed by the government that it has gotten worst. The constant uproar of social inequality and injustice that these middle and lower working class families stem
Crime and criminalization are dependent on social inequality Social inequality there are four major forms of inequality, class gender race and age, all of which influence crime. In looking at social classes and relationship to crime, studies have shown that citizens of the lower class are more likely to commit crimes of property and violence than upper-class citizens: who generally commit political and economic crimes. In 2007 the National Crime Victimization Survey showed that families with an income of $15000 or less had a greater chance of being victimized; recalling that lower classes commit a majority of those crimes. We can conclude that crime generally happens within classes.
How does Class, state ,and social controls within a capitalistic society lead to increase crime due to the criminal laws and criminal justice system imposed on the lower middle class.
The Enlightenment Era produced great changes in the way that the public perceived crime. Prior to this time, wrong doings were viewed more as evil intentions or sins. It wasn’t until the Enlightenment era that crime and punishment was viewed differently. Was there an explanation as to why individuals committed criminal acts? Two forms of thinking which differ more than compare were formed. These school of thoughts were known as the Classical School of Criminology and the Positivist School of Criminology.
Is the criminal justice system more effective as a method of bringing the guilty to justice or as a deterrent or a method of social control? It is unanimously agreed that the aim of the criminal justice system is to provide equal justice for all according to the law, by processing of cases impartially, fairly and efficiently with the minimum but necessary use of public resources. It is a complex process through which the state decides which particular forms of behaviour are to be considered unacceptable and then proceeds through a series of stages - arrest, charge, prosecute, trial sentence, appeal punishment -' in order to bring the guilty to justice' (Munice & Wilson, 2006 pIX) and is designed for a coherent administration
Classical Criminology first emerged in the 18th century when individuals started to rebel against the harsh punishments given across Europe and America. Punishments rarely fit the crime and were severe and excessive as a tool to scare individuals from committing crime. Before this, was considered the enlightenment period, which was an era of thinking crime, was solely the product of evil and deserved to be punished severely. Religious views dominated the criminal justice system suggesting criminality was the result of the devil. Punishments were often barbaric and ruthless. Then the feudal system started to develop and individuals were employed as police and judges to maintain social order. However the courts were unjust and usually lenient to those of the upper class. Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794) is probably most well known as the founding father of the school of classical criminology. He protested against the current legal system and pushed for those in power to see that individuals are rational beings and deserve rational repercussions. In his most popular work; Essay on Crimes and Punishments, he protested against the cruel punishments and suggested that they must only be equal to that of the crime itself and revolutionised the criminal justice system with his ideals on how to make the most effective punishment, without maximum damage of the individual. He believed that “Punishment is only justified to the extent that the offender has infringed the rights of others or