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Apart from the personality of the criminal and the effect of biological, mental and psychological factors on him, it is necessary to consider the impact of various social and environmental conditions within which crimes generate. American criminologists preferred to approach the problem of crime causation objectively. They attributed criminality to social conditions of the criminal. Thus, the American view did not support the contention that crimes occur due to personality traits of offenders. The origin of sociological concept of crime can be traced back to the later part of nineteenth century when sociologists undertook intensive study of crime causation in its economic perspective. They were first in point of time to suggest that the concept of crime has to be extended beyond its strictly legal ambit for the purpose of criminologic studies. The legal approach to causation of crime prescribes a course of conduct under which violations of law are met with penal consequences. But the sociologists go a step further and suggest that crime-causation to a large extent, depends on social interactions-and at times persons violate the law deliberately knowing it fully well that they are liable to face penal consequences for their unlawful act. This phenomenon is more conspicuous in times of political upheavals. Instances are not wanting when eminent statesmen such as Lokmanya Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru, Lai Bahadur Shastri, etc., were forced to violate British laws in the battle for Indian Independence. The tendency on the part of present politicians and trade unionists to resort to pressure tactics such as hunger-strikes, gheraos, dltarnas, self-immolation, etc., are the glaring instances of deliberate law violations by responsible members of society. The sociological theory of crime asserts that there are persons who do not conform to the established norms and traditions prescribed by law. These persons do not adjust themselves within the framework of normal standards of society and are more or less indifferent to societal norms. For instance, it is well known that the rules of morality or law do not permit anyone to take away the property of others without the latter's consent yet there are persons who do indulge in such activities. The reason for this deviated conduct is to be found in the fact that either these persons have seen their parents or other members of the family stealing or they are encouraged by their seniors to take away things belonging to others. It is in this way that delinquents develop a peculiar habit of stealing and committing thefts. This sufficiently demonstrates that environmental factors such as family relationship may at times contribute to delinquent behavior. Raffaele Garofalo was perhaps the first legalist to attempt a sociological definition of crime. He designated all those acts as crime which no civilized society can refuse to recognize as criminal and redressible by punishment. He observed that crime is an immoral and harmful act which is regarded as 'criminal' by public opinion because it is an injury to so much of the moral sense as is represented by one or the other of the elementary altruistic sentiments of probity and pity. Subsequently Roscoe Pound, an eminent American jurist, worked out his theory of 'social-interests' closely related to crime-repression. He founded his theory on a basic assumption that legal phenomenon is nothing but social phenomenon and thus he treated jurisprudence as a science of social engineering. He stressed that the interests in life, liberty, security, religion, social institutions and general progress are predominant considerations with every individual. Sociologically, these interests are clearly conceived by society and any act threatening their realization calls for repressive measures. Thus, these social interests are protected by society and defended by punishments, moral restrains and conventional repressions. Considered from this standpoint, crime has rightly been defined as an action which is antagonistic to solidarity of that group which individual regards as his own. In the light of the above observation, it is easy to conclude that the sociological view point about the concept of crime is more realistic than its legal definition. It has often been said that we shall have no crime if we had no criminal law but it is a sheer exaltation of law. It is true that with the repeal of law relating to theft, stealing shall no longer remain a crime; nevertheless it would still entail public indignation. Thus, "though the name of the behavior would be changed yet the behavior and social reaction to it would still remain the same, because the social interests damaged by the behavior would still remain unchanged". Conversely, although white collar crime is punishable under all legal systems yet those who indulge in false advertising, hoarding, tax evasion, etc., do not lose social status despite their act being anti-social. Thus, sociologists assert that every crime involves three essential elements, namely, (i) Values that are appreciated by the law-makers who are politically dominant; (ii) Conflict of interests in society due to environmental variations; and (iii) Use of force and coercive measures by the offenders. Sociologists contend that like any other social behavior the criminal behavior also results from certain environmental conditions. Therefore, the variations in crime rate are due to variations in social organisation under different systems. Enumerating some of the specific factors, Sutherland suggests that variations in mobility, culture conflicts, family background, ideologies, population density, employment and distribution of wealth, etc., have a close bearing on crime causation. It may, however, be pointed out that the above list is not exhaustive but only illustrative and these are some of the main conditions which directly influence the crime rate. Dr. Walter Reckless, through his actuarial approach to the problem of crime causation observed that chances of the criminal being detected or reported depend, by and large, on his position in the society as determined by his age, sex, race, occupational and social status and residence, etc.
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Essay on the Sociological Theory of Crime
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Essay On The Sociological Theory Of Crime

Words: 976    Pages: 4    Paragraphs: 17    Sentences: 43    Read Time: 03:32
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              Apart from the personality of the criminal and the effect of biological, mental and psychological factors on him, it is necessary to consider the impact of various social and environmental conditions within which crimes generate. American criminologists preferred to approach the problem of crime causation objectively. They attributed criminality to social conditions of the criminal.
             
              Thus, the American view did not support the contention that crimes occur due to personality traits of offenders. The origin of sociological concept of crime can be traced back to the later part of nineteenth century when sociologists undertook intensive study of crime causation in its economic perspective.
             
              They were first in point of time to suggest that the concept of crime has to be extended beyond its strictly legal ambit for the purpose of criminologic studies. The legal approach to causation of crime prescribes a course of conduct under which violations of law are met with penal consequences.
             
              But the sociologists go a step further and suggest that crime-causation to a large extent, depends on social interactions-and at times persons violate the law deliberately knowing it fully well that they are liable to face penal consequences for their unlawful act. This phenomenon is more conspicuous in times of political upheavals.
             
              Instances are not wanting when eminent statesmen such as Lokmanya Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru, Lai Bahadur Shastri, etc. , were forced to violate British laws in the battle for Indian Independence. The tendency on the part of present politicians and trade unionists to resort to pressure tactics such as hunger-strikes, gheraos, dltarnas, self-immolation, etc. , are the glaring instances of deliberate law violations by responsible members of society.
             
              The sociological theory of crime asserts that there are persons who do not conform to the established norms and traditions prescribed by law. These persons do not adjust themselves within the framework of normal standards of society and are more or less indifferent to societal norms.
             
              For instance, it is well known that the rules of morality or law do not permit anyone to take away the property of others without the latter's consent yet there are persons who do indulge in such activities. The reason for this deviated conduct is to be found in the fact that either these persons have seen their parents or other members of the family stealing or they are encouraged by their seniors to take away things belonging to others.
             
              It is in this way that delinquents develop a peculiar habit of stealing and committing thefts. This sufficiently demonstrates that environmental factors such as family relationship may at times contribute to delinquent behavior.
             
              Raffaele Garofalo was perhaps the first legalist to attempt a sociological definition of crime. He designated all those acts as crime which no civilized society can refuse to recognize as criminal and redressible by punishment. He observed that crime is an immoral and harmful act which is regarded as 'criminal' by public opinion because it is an injury to so much of the moral sense as is represented by one or the other of the elementary altruistic sentiments of probity and pity.
             
              Subsequently Roscoe Pound, an eminent American jurist, worked out his theory of 'social-interests' closely related to crime-repression. He founded his theory on a basic assumption that legal phenomenon is nothing but social phenomenon and thus he treated jurisprudence as a science of social engineering.
             
              He stressed that the interests in life, liberty, security, religion, social institutions and general progress are predominant considerations with every individual. Sociologically, these interests are clearly conceived by society and any act threatening their realization calls for repressive measures.
             
              Thus, these social interests are protected by society and defended by punishments, moral restrains and conventional repressions. Considered from this standpoint, crime has rightly been defined as an action which is antagonistic to solidarity of that group which individual regards as his own.
             
              In the light of the above observation, it is easy to conclude that the sociological view point about the concept of crime is more realistic than its legal definition. It has often been said that we shall have no crime if we had no criminal law but it is a sheer exaltation of law. It is true that with the repeal of law relating to theft, stealing shall no longer remain a crime; nevertheless it would still entail public indignation.
             
              Thus, "though the name of the behavior would be changed yet the behavior and social reaction to it would still remain the same, because the social interests damaged by the behavior would still remain unchanged". Conversely, although white collar crime is punishable under all legal systems yet those who indulge in false advertising, hoarding, tax evasion, etc. , do not lose social status despite their act being anti-social. Thus, sociologists assert that every crime involves three essential elements, namely,
             
              (i) Values that are appreciated by the law-makers who are politically dominant;
             
              (ii) Conflict of interests in society due to environmental variations; and
             
              (iii) Use of force and coercive measures by the offenders.
             
              Sociologists contend that like any other social behavior the criminal behavior also results from certain environmental conditions. Therefore, the variations in crime rate are due to variations in social organisation under different systems.
             
              Enumerating some of the specific factors, Sutherland suggests that variations in mobility, culture conflicts, family background, ideologies, population density, employment and distribution of wealth, etc. , have a close bearing on crime causation. It may, however, be pointed out that the above list is not exhaustive but only illustrative and these are some of the main conditions which directly influence the crime rate.
             
              Dr. Walter Reckless, through his actuarial approach to the problem of crime causation observed that chances of the criminal being detected or reported depend, by and large, on his position in the society as determined by his age, sex, race, occupational and social status and residence, etc.
Sociology Essay Crime Essay 
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