Crime and Violence in Society
The construct of aberrance in sociology is a wide one, embracing many signifiers of behaviour, legal and illegal, ordinary and unusual. Crime is one signifier of aberrance, specifically, behaviour that violates specific condemnable Torahs. School force, shots in the workplace, thrust by shots: these are the images of force in America. Violence is turning more quickly among youth than any other groups – both as victims and as culprits. ( Becker, 2004 ) What can be done about force?
Sociologists emphasize that force is a societal context. It is higher in some parts than others viz. in the South and in urban countries. Violence is besides more likely against certain groups, peculiarly immature African American work forces, for whom homicide is the taking cause of decease. ( Lauer & A ; Lauer, 2008 ) What can be done about force? There is non a individual reply to such a inquiry. Some suggest that gun control is the key to cut downing force ; others attribute the cause of force to household jobs. Poverty and unemployment are besides strongly related to force. Some sociologists suggest that the media sensationalizes force, overstating the true extent of force and making a “ civilization of fright. ” Politicians, corporations, and protagonism groups can and make net income from making a civilization of fright and utilize the media to convey a sense of that the state is wracked by offense, drug maltreatment, and disease. These frights divert attending and fiscal resources from other jobs such as poorness, instruction, and lodging – jobs that could be addressed with increased resources. ( Becker, 2004 ) ( Benokraitis & A ; Macionis, 2004 )
There are three sociological theories on offense and force. The functionalist or societal control theory assumes that aberrance occurs when a individual or groups attachment to societal bonds is weakened because most of the clip, people follow the regulations of behaviour. ( Benokraitis & A ; Macionis, 2004 ) Harmonizing to this position, people internalize societal norms because of the fond regards to others. Peoples care what others think of them and hence conform to societal outlooks because they accept what people expect. The struggle theory emphasizes the unequal distribution of power and resources in society. ( Lauer & A ; Lauer, 2008 ) This theory sees a dominant category as commanding the resources of society and utilizing its power to make the institutional regulations and belief systems that support its power. The lower the societal category, the more the person is forced into criminalism. Conflict theorists argue that those with the least power are most likely to be labeled felons by more powerful governments. ( Becker, 2004 ) The symbolic interaction theory holds that people behave as they do because of the significances people attribute to state of affairss. ( Lauer & A ; Lauer, 2008 ) Crime is a behaviour that is learned through societal interaction. Labeling felons tends to reenforce instead than discourage offenses. And, establishments with the power to label, such as prisons, produce instead than decrease offense.
The media routinely drive place two points to the consumer: First, that violent offense is ever high and may be increasing over clip ; and back, that there is much random force invariably around us. The media bombard us with narratives where sets of young person kill random victims. Many of us think that “ route fury ” is extended and wholly random. Most of us are now cognizant of force in some high schools, where pupils armed with automatic arms kill their fellow pupils. The media vividly and routinely describe such happenings as pointless, at random, and likely increasing. The grounds shows that violent offense in the United States, while it increased during the 1970s and 1980s, however began to diminish in 1990 and continues to diminish nationally through the present. ( Becker, 2004 ) For illustration, both robbery and physical assaults have declined dramatically since 1990. Yet the media have systematically given a image that violent offense has increased during the same period, and moreover, that the force is wholly plain and random. ( Becker, 2004 ) No uncertainty there are occasions when victims are so picked at random. But the statistical regulation of entropy could non perchance explicate what has come to be called random force, a vision of patternless pandemonium that is advanced by the media. If randomness genuinely ruled, so each of us would hold an equal opportunity of being a victim and of being a felon. This is assuredly non the instance. The impression of random force, and the impression that it is increasing, ignores virtually everything that criminologists, psychologists, sociologists, and extended research surveies know about offense: It is extremely patterned and significantly predictable, beyond sheer opportunity, by taking into history the societal construction, societal category, location, race-ethnicity, gender, labeling, age, and other such variables and forces in society that affect both condemnable and victim. The wide image so is clearly non conveyed systematically in the media: Condemnable force is non increasing, but diminishing ; and it is non random, but extremely patterned and even predictable. ( Benokraitis & A ; Macionis, 2004 )
Sociological surveies systematically find forms of differential intervention by the establishments that respond to force and offense in society. Whether it is in the constabulary station, the tribunals, or prison, the factors of race, category, and gender are extremely influential in the disposal of justness in this society. Those in the most disadvantages groups are more likely to be defined and identified as felons, independently of their behaviour, and, holding encountered these systems of authorization, are more likely to be detained and arrested, found guilty, and punished. ( Lauer & A ; Lauer, 2008 ) There is small grounds that the condemnable justness system rehabilitates wrongdoers. In general, prisons seem neither to discourage nor rehabilitate wrongdoers. Prisons surely do nil to turn to the social jobs known to advance condemnable activity. ( Becker, 2004 ) They concentrate on single offenders, non on the societal structural causes of offense. The prison experience is a take downing one, ill suited to developing captives in marketable accomplishments or to allowing them refund their debt to society. Rather than learning captive ‘s self-denial and autonomy, prisons deny inmates the least control over their mundane life. ( Becker, 2004 ) In the terminal, prisons seem, at least in some instances, to polish felons instead than rehabilitate them.
Since 1990, the United States has experienced both a aggressively worsening offense rate, but public concern about offense and force has increased dramatically. The media continues to pelt us with gory inside informations of every offense committed. Our prisons are overcrowded. There are several theories as to why people become violent and commit offenses, but at that place does non look to be any clear cut solution to the job. Society as a whole seems to be at its marbless end as to what to make with violent wrongdoers.