Let us look at some of these theories in order to understand the issue of crime in association to race and ethnicity.
A theory can be defined as an explanation of a phenomena or a creation that tries to explain something that has to be proved through research. It is a set of interconnected statements or proposition which tries to explain how tow or more variables or factors relates to one another and the result of their interaction. Theories are logical and empirically testable. Theories help to expand our knowledge on subjects of our concern. Let us look at different paradigms with-n the criminological theory
The biology, race and crime theory was advanced in 1957 by Reid in Europe. This theory tried to postulate believe of a born criminal. Earlier postulation of the theory in the work by Lombroso in 1876 had made important relationship between crime and race. In his explanation, he mentioned that some tribes in India and Italy reported high rate of crimes due to the ethical issue. He argued that the frequency of homicide in Calabrian, Sicily and Sardina were due to the Asian and African elements in the area.
In his work, Lamboroso was mainly focused on ideas the inferior people in the society were polluting the same society. He attacked farina American by called the Negro in his book in 1900 where he argued that Africans Americans were not human but akin to apes and at the same time portrayed the superiority of white race to black race.
The main discussion of this early theory was that immigrant to foreign lands had undergone a lot of stress and were highly likely to engage in crime. But on the contrary the high rate of crime that was evidenced among the immigrant at this time in America and in other parts of the world was due to the living conditions that they were exposed to. It is due to the high rate of crime committed by the African American and Asian immigrates at this time that led to the advance of this theory which saw them as born criminals.
In 1939, Hooton published two books which mainly focused on relationship between physiology and criminality and he gave same council of race and crime as has been given earlier by Lombroso. However it was criticized on bases of racism and ethnocentrism. His work showed shed biologic inferiority and retarded culture of people who were living in primitive societies who were mainly Africans and some Asians. But in 1943, Bonger gave a different perspective on the issue of crime and race. He asserted that criminality cannot be taken as a characteristics meaning that it is neither physical quality nor a spiritual one. He showed that no one is born with certain qualities of a crime and it is something that is developed as one grows. (Oliver 2003, p. 34)
This finding gave a turn on the view of crime as prominent to blacks and Asians alone. It postulated that crime occurs in all races and by nature of things but its committed is due to some factors which can be termed as predisposing factors. This theory showed that it is due to living conditions of people that predispose them to crime. Although it has been shown that there are some people who commit crime out of will, there are others who are forced by living conditions