Criminology and Crime

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Leanne elcoate – M00311408|
CRM2350 – Crime in Late Modernity|
To what extent could it be argued that crime is seductive?| |
Alice Savoja|
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Word Count: 2477
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To what extent could it be argued that crime is seductive?

To what extent could it be argued that crime is seductive? Throughout this essay I will be discussing contemporary theories that support the idea crime is seductive and contemporary theories that disagree. According to the Oxford Dictionary the definition of ‘Seductive’ is ‘tempting and attractive; enticing’, so is it possible that committing crimes are tempting and enticing? Theories such as Cultural Criminology suggest that crime is indeed seductive because committing crime can provide feelings of exhilaration and thrill, which may be hard to come across in a legit manner. Jack Katz suggests that crime can be fun whilst Mikhail Bakhtin suggests that the carnival of crime legitimises behaviours within that time and space. However, theories such as Developmental Criminology suggest that people are pre-destined to commit crime so therefore even if crime was seductive it would not matter because a person would have been born good or bad. Throughout this essay I will be studying and evaluating these different theories and ideas to see whether or not crime is enticing and tempting and that this is the reason why people do commit offences. Cultural Criminology is a theory that studies the link between cultures and crime. ‘The notion of ‘culture as crime’ denotes the reconstruction of cultural enterprise as criminal endeavour’ (Ferrell J, 2009:205). The study of cultural criminology offers us a way of explaining how society can criminalise different cultures. Ferrell and Sanders define cultural criminology as a way of unravelling and making sense of the process where cultural forms and expressions become criminalised (Ferrell and Sanders 1995). This suggests that those in different subcultures are at risk of being criminalised as society changes. Cultural criminology is therefore an important study to relate to when exploring the question of ‘is crime seductive’; it provides a reasonable reason as why subcultures become criminalised and also suggests reasons as to how crime can be seductive. Subcultures such as mods, rockers and punks were groups of young people who represented different genres of music, they had their own ‘uniform’ which was recognisable by most people and had traits that made each group individual. However, these subcultures began to be viewed by society as deviant and the individuals within the groups were labelled and criminalised. As society changes and criminalises subcultures, this could explain how crime could be seductive as it is a part of the subculture. Jack Katz studied how crime could be seductive. According to Katz there are three seductions of crime. These are generating an experience, re-conquering fears and the thrill. This suggests that committing an offence allows the offender to feel exhilarated and excited. They are able to create the thrill of knowing that are doing wrong and it generates an experience that they are unlikely to forget. It also allows the offender to re-conquer any fears they have such as being caught and sent to prison. An individual that shoplifts is able to generate an experience by stealing what they want but cannot necessarily afford. It allows the shoplifter to gain a thrill by pushing boundaries and trying to not get caught. It also allows them to re-conquer fears, fears such as being caught. Jack Katz and his three seductions of crime suggest that crime is indeed tempting and enticing to others. Through the study of cultural criminology came a piece of research called Edgework. Edgework was research that was taken to try and understand similarities and differences in risk taking, thrill seeking and trouble making (Jackson-Jacobs C 2004:242). This study explains how crime offers a way for people to regain control in their...
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