What is Crime? Essays

1393 Words6 Pages
There are many perceptions of what defines crime. The definitions appear to change throughout history and are still changing today (Henry, S. and Lanier, M. M., 2001 ,p.139). For example, in the past marital rape was not considered a crime as it was thought that women were believed to be “sexual property” of the male and, therefore it couldn’t be classed as rape (Brownmiller, 1975, cited by Bergen, R.K., 1996, p.3). However, in the United States in 1978 a man was convicted of rape on his wife (Russell, 1990, cited by Bergen, R.K., 1996, p.4). This shows how it is hard to define crime due to the changes in views over time. Different cultures also have different perceptions of what is, or is not considered to be a crime. For example,…show more content…
This essay will attempt to grasp the concept of ‘What Is Crime’ using sources available from various locations, such as books and journals.
Hollin, C. ( 1989, pp.4-8) explains that “crime cannot be explained solely by psychological theory” and therefore goes on to state three main approaches which attempts to explain what crime is. He also notes that there are of course more explanations than those given therefore again suggesting there is no one definition of ‘What is Crime’. One idea which Hollin states is the “consensus view”. This idea suggests that crime is defined differently in different societies due to what is the social norm. Crime is then defined within this view as an action which the majority disapprove of.
A contrasting view, also by Hollin, is the “conflict view”. This view states that crime is created due to there being different classes within society. The conflict may lead to crime as a result envy. For example, if one member of society owns three cars whilst another cannot afford one the poorer person may steal the other ones car in order to compete with the upper class and cause them pain. The “conflict view” can possibly be supported by Webster, C. (2007, p.194) who states that economic and social change can influence crime rates in a location. Webster also suggests that crime is often linked to “masculinity”, hence why perhaps we often

More about What is Crime? Essays

Get Access