In this essay, I will first define the relative focus of the two perspectives – sociological and modern pathological perspective. Then, I will explain the term problem gambling through the two perspectives. The third part of my essay will be the explanation of the findings in the reports of Caritas A G Counselling Centre on problem gamblers in Hong Kong.
The sociological perspective
The sociological perspective focuses on social contexts. People with a sociological perspective do not simply study individuals or their social context itself but also how people are influenced by the social context in which they live.(Henslin 2009:8) A sociological perspective is a macro one. When studying a social phenomenon, people with sociological perspective incline to focus on how such phenomenon is influenced by a group of people who share the same culture or have common similarities rather than the motive of individuals. (Henslin 2009:8, Chung 2012a)
Take the incident of the Express Rail Link as an example, a plethora of people took the streets to protest against the proposal. If we examine this issue with a sociological perspective, we will not stress why an individual wanted to take part in the protest. At the centre of sociological perspective towards this issue is the social context which possibly forces the group of people to come out to the protest and how such social context causes their act. The social contexts may be the similar treatment of the society to the protesters. Many of the protesters are so-called post-80s. They have a great deal of grievances and feel upset for the very large gap between the rich and the poor. These things which can affect people’s ideas and behavior are the focus of the sociological perspective.
The pathological perspective
Whereas for the pathological perspective stresses the traits of individuals. Pathological perspective is rooted in the organic analogy. (Chung 2012b) Based on Herbert Spencer’s view, society is like a living organism. (Chung 2012b) In the pathological perspective, “social problem is the failure of the individual and institution to fulfill moral expectation about what healthy social conditions and arrangements should be” while what is moral equals what is healthy. (Chung 2012c) Since “social sickness is social problem”, the deviant behavior which also is the violation of moral expectation is defined as a sickness. (Chung 2012c) The pathological perspective has gone through two stages - classical and modern pathological perspective.
The classical pathological perspective stresses the nature of people. In its point of view, people become criminals because of their inherently defective quality. (Chung 2012c) The classical pathological perspective portrayed criminals as defective, dependent, or delinquent. (Chung 2012b)
Cesare Lombroso wrote in The Born Criminals that “there is criminal type of people exited in the society” after analyzing several criminals’ facial characteristics. Criminals usually born with peculiar shape of the skull and forehead, large jaw bones, high cheek bones and large ears etc. (Chung 2012c) Their offspring is also likely to inherit the criminals’ genes. Therefore, the born criminals’ offspring is more likely to be criminals than other people’s offspring.
And later there is another group people who are called modern pathologists see a bit differently towards the cause of criminals’ anomaly. They also believe that the defective quality of human being counts for the anomaly of criminals. But when they are dealing with some abnormal data related to the facial characteristics of criminals, they suggest that it is possible to take the defective social environment around the criminals into account. (Chung 2012c) It is because they believe people’s behavior can be changed by nurture. (Chung 2012c) Therefore, the main difference between the central study of classical and modern pathological perspective is that the latter one sees...
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