3 February 2012
Personal Criminological Theory Paper
Through out the years Criminologists has conducted a great amount of research and through that research Criminologist has developed different theories in order to better understand and explain criminal behavior. Theories try to help make sense out of many observations that are conducted presenting the facts of the principal that connects and explains the theories. If good theory has been developed; then it becomes very valuable to Criminologist, because it shows the knowledge that is beyond the facts that has been presented; which will show Criminologist how to predict how others might behave (Andrews, D and Bonta, J., 2010).
Biological explanations of crime assert that particular individuals are more prone to deviance than others because of their genetic makeup (Haralambos, van Krieken, Smith & Holborn, 1996 p.514). These explanations of human behavior became popular in the nineteenth century. An Italian army doctor; Cesare Lombroso was one of the first writers to link crime to human biology. Psychological theories of criminology share several similarities with biological theories. Firstly, they see criminals as different from the population as a whole. Second, the criminal is abnormal in a normal population. Third, the criminal's abnormality predisposes him to crime (Harambolos & Heald, 1980, p. 409). However, they differ in the respect that psychological theories of criminality claim that the criminal's abnormality is learned as opposed to being genetically determined. They see abnormal experience rather than abnormal genes as the basis for crime (Scully, 2012).
Strain theories contend that human beings are fundamentally conformists who are strongly influenced by the values and attitudes of the society in which they live. According to strain theory, American society advocates that the accumulation of wealth or status is all important and represents the symbols that that all members of society should strive for (Scully, 2012). Furthermore it states that humans, being conformists readily buy into these notions. However, access to the means for achieving these goals is not equally available to everyone. Some have the education, social network and family influence to attain these goals. The socially and economically disadvantaged do not have the opportunity, education or necessary social network for attaining material wealth and economic or political power. Thus the strain theory predicts that crime occurs when there is a perceived discrepancy between these goals and the legitimate means for reaching them. Individuals who experience a high level of this strain are forced to decide whether to violate laws to achieve these goals, to give up on the goals pushed upon them by society, or to withdraw or rebel.
Interactions theories stress the socially constructed nature of identity and the consequent importance of labeling processes for some persons and groups becoming deviant (Scully, 2012). Control theories stress the significance of controls against deviance. They are often divided into those of social kind; for example when accompanying children to school or keeping tabs on who they are playing with, and those of a situational kind; for example locking our doors at night. Instead of specifying different motives to account for crime or concentrating on the adverse effects of labeling, control theories contend that without rules or laws that draw punishment or retaliation if broken, humans would commit crime indiscriminately. They suggest that all people have the potential to commit crime (Scully, 2012).
Research in criminology is conducted for the purpose of understanding criminal behavior. If we can understand the behavior, we will have a better chance of predicting when it will occur and then be able to take steps to control, eliminate or prevent the behavior. Good research has a...