Criminology Date Criminology 1. The criminal case that will be discussed is that of Seung Hui Cho. Cho was a student of the Virginia Tech University who was responsible for shooting and killing 30 people and injuring 25 others in the University’s campus on April 16, 2007 (Biography.com, 2012)…
However, he was bullied by wealthy children in his church. Cho is described as someone who was “sullen and aloof” (Biography.com, 2012). He was a loner. He referred to himself as “Question Mark” and he was known to write gruesome stories, poems and plays (Biography.com, 2012). Professors of Cho noticed that Cho’s behavior was not normal. He was described as a bully by one of his professors. He photographed the legs and knees of his female classmates. Moreover, in 2005 he was accused twice for stalking female students. Several times Cho had been advised to get counseling because of his odd behaviors. He had been brought in a psychiatric hospital but later released to be an outpatient. He attended a counseling session at Cook Counseling Center once. Some Korean youths who knew Cho said that he is a fan of violent video games, specifically, “Counterstrike” which was a game of terrorism where players try to shoot each other down with different types of guns (Watson, 2007). Lucinda Roy, chair of the English Department at Virginia Tech described Cho as appearing to be very depressed (Goldstein, 2009). Roy went on further to say that she learned that Cho visited the counseling center of the school three times but there was no meaningful diagnosis. 2. Agnew’s Strain Theory Robert Agnew’s strain theory is a revision of the earlier strain theories developed. Whereas the general strain theories are focused on the negative aspects of the social relationship of individuals and how it affects their tendency to commit crime, Agnew’s strain theory presented major types of “deviance-producing strain” (O'Connor, 2007). The first type of strain is the failure to achieve positively valued goals. The positively valued goals according to Agnew are money, status and respect and autonomy (criminology.fsu.edu, n.d.). The second type of strain is the removal of positively-valued stimuli. According to Agnew this happens when a dramatic change of loss happens such as a death in the family which could be very stressful to an individual (O'Connor, 2007). The confrontation with negative stimuli is the third type of strain. These negative stimuli may include peer pressure and child abuse (O'Connor, 2007). According to Agnew, "All manner of positive stimuli" previously experienced or observed constitute expected goals, and their frustration leads to "anger, resentment, rage, dissatisfaction, disappointment, and unhappiness--that is, all the emotions customarily associated with strain in criminology" (O'Connor, 2007). One of the strengths of Agnew’s strain theory is that it argued that no one specific type of strain contributes to the criminal act of a person rather; it is a combination of all the strains that the person has experienced (Agnew, 2001). Another strength of Agnew’s theory is that it proposed a solution in how people can respond to the strains positively. One major weakness of Agnew’s strain theory is that it did not state which among the strains is more likely to cause criminal behavior among individuals (Agnew, 2001). Moreover, the theory did not offer an explanation why other people exposed to the strains that Agnew mentioned did not become criminals. The theory gave too much emphasis on one’s social status as a having a huge impact on an individual’s deviant behavior. A crime offender whose actions may be explained by the Agnew strain theory may be assisted by helping them to positively cope ...
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