Paper 1

Topics: Sociology, Crime, Criminology Pages: 2 (299 words) Published: May 1, 2013
Emile Durkheim writes that crime is something that is present in all types of societies. You

wont find a society that hasn't been confronted with criminality. It can be in different forms, but

there always has been this one man who behaves differently and calls upon attention. The higher

up you go in society, the lower the crime rate because it loses its character of normality. But by

the 19th century, statistics show that crime has increased. Durkheim says that crime is normal

because a society that is exempt from it is impossible. Each society has its own rate and type of

crime. In other words, crime is normal and inevitable. He wrote that to bring strong reactions

against criminal behavior, we would then have to look into the minor behaviors as well. If there

was a society of saints, crime over there would be unknown. But there will be faults somewhere

and society will look upon these acts as criminal and take action. Just like this, even the perfect

man will judge his failings as a big crime. But, society only judges by the nature of the offense.

Crime is useful because without it society does not progress. To make progress, individual

originality must be able to express itself. Crime brings changes in society and plays a useful role

in life, which is the reason that it can not be replaced. Durkheim points to the fact that all

societies have experienced crime, which means crime is a condition of normality and not a

pathological phenomenon. With crime comes punishment and if there is no crime then there

wouldn't be any punishment and society would never reestablish the values that the crime

offends. A crime is a crime not because it is wrong but because it offends values.
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