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theoretical dimensions involving criminal behavior. - Research Paper Example
Pages 5 (1255 words)
Theoretical Dimensions Involving Criminal Behavior Crime is an international phenomenon, something that has been happening for centuries. There had been a lot of studies on criminality and criminal behavior. Are criminals born or made? What factors make a person a criminal?…
Cultural norms are actions and practices that are well-accepted in society, while deviant actions are those that are not acceptable. All forms of crime are considered deviant. It is not acceptable for a person to break into the house of someone else and take everything. It is not acceptable for a person to randomly kill another person. Thus, deviants, most especially, criminals, need to be punished in order for them to be accepted again into society. Theories on Criminal Behavior One of the sociological theories that were applied to criminal behavior was Durkheim’s concept of anomie. Anomie is the mismatch between a person’s (or a group’s) beliefs and that of the majority. When a feeling of anomie exists, then the two groups can not exist in the presence of the other. One has to give way, usually, the smaller group adapting the norms of the larger group. When the smaller group decides to continue going against the norms, then conflict would occur. The concept of anomie was used by Robert King Merton and other sociologists to develop what they refer to as the Strain Theory. The strain theory states that social structures and norms within society may pressure citizens to commit crime. It follows Durkheim’s study of anomie and suicide. He believed that a person commits suicide due to a feeling of insignificance and alienation. Merton used Durkheim’s views to further explain deviance and criminal behavior. ...