Criminology Essay

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‘Shoplifting is a crime born of poverty’. Discuss.
Shoplifting means someone involve stealing from the shop during business hour. Shoplifting is an old problem for merchants. There are lots of reasons to shoplift, range from very poverty and satisfy the desires or mental illness. Although there are lots of anti-shoplifting devices in place and the increase in police patrols and offers the retailers guidance on preventive measures, the rate of shoplifting in the world is still increasing. According to the Home Office crime statistics, there was a 10 percent increase in shoplifting in United Kingdom in the year of 2009. According to the Global Retail Theft Barometer research (2009), total global shoplifting in 41 participating countries costs economic lost for around $114,823 billion. Therefore, shoplifting is a serious problem not just in the United Kingdom. The statistics from the Home Office and the research form the Centre for Retail Research showed that the shoplifting is being a serious problem in contemporary society, and this essay is going to discuss, is shoplifting is a crime born of poverty. If not, then what is the reason for people to shoplift? For the issue of shoplifting is a crime born of poverty, there are several factors that may related to the increase of shoplifting and the argument of shoplifting is a crime born of poverty, such as high unemployment rate, Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs theory, underclass and the relationship between capitalism and crime. Against the issue of shoplifting is a crime born of poverty, there are several factors against the argument, such as peer pressure in adolescent, drug addict, psychological elements or other adolescent psychological factors. The rest of the essay is going to analysis all the factors either for or against. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs theory, this is a theory in psychology and proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation.

Figure1: Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
His theories parallel many other theories of human development psychology and focuses on describing the stages growth in humans. He presented his theory in a pyramid and defined the stages with Physiological, Safety, Love/belonging, Esteem and Self-actualization needs to explain the pattern that human motivations pass through. The base floor of the hierarchy represented basic human need, which are breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis and excretion. These are necessary for human to survive in order to achieve the upper level of human wants. Moving on to the next part, which is safety needs and it included security of body, employment, resources, morality, the family, health and property. This part represents a civilization of human beings, which they are chasing for a better living standard. Then next part is Love or belonging needs, which are friendship, family and sexual intimacy. After that, Esteem needs included self-esteem confidence, achievement, respect of others and respect by others. The last part is self-actualization needs, which included morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice and acceptance of facts. This is the ethical and spiritual level that Maslow believed. Taking Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as an accurate portrayal of individual evolution, we could apply that to the evolution of human society, which included economically, socially and politically. Therefore the argument of this essay can be clearly explained. If a person lives without food, water and homeostasis, he may not be able to reach the upper levels of the pyramid, which included morality, safety and self-actualization. Therefore, he will commit crime like shoplifting or theft to get what he needs to survive. Most of the humans’ lacks of physiological needs are in poverty. Thus shoplifting can be said as a crime born of poverty in Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs theory. Secondly, the relationship between capitalism and crime is a factor that makes...
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