Definitions of concepts pose a lot of problems to scholars. This problem is more enhanced with criminology as it cuts across various disciplines. Despite the difficulties involved in coming up with a definition, attempts have been made by various scholars. HOWARD JONES defined it as the science that studies the social phenomenon of crime, its causes and the measures which society directs against it. FOX defines it as the study of law, broken law and the lawbreaker. PROF. ADEYEMI in what can be described as an encompassing definition, defines it as the science involving the study of crime and its causation; the pattern, distribution, perpetrators and victims ; and the methods of dealing with crime together with the agencies for the administration of criminal justice including their structures, techniques and personnel sequel to the foregoing. MANNHEIM says it is the study of crime and punishment which takes three forms; the descriptive, casual and normative. The descriptive involves the observation and collection of facts about crime and criminals; the normative is aimed at the discovery of universally scientific laws and conformities; and the casual is the interpretation of the observed facts which can be used to search for the causes of crime, an aspect referred to as etiology. This part is what shall be discussed in this paper. TAFT AND ENGLAND stated that criminology is the study which includes all the subject matter necessary to the understanding and prevention of crimes and to the development of law, together with the punishment or treatment of delinquents and criminals. According to them, criminology attempts to answer the question “how and why do individuals become criminals?”
AETIOLOGY OF CRIME.
The etiology of crime can be discerned under three major approaches; a) The individual approach which deals with physique, temperament, chromosomal studies, twin studies, heredity etc. b) the social approach which deals with economy, ecology and anomie. Economy deals with how economic factors affect crime. It revolves around theories of cupidity, depression, poverty, affluence, political economy etc. Ecology refers to human ecology. It deals with how spacial influences impact on the individual. Theories of urbanism, ruralism, concentric circle theory etc. are discussed. Anomie deals with how society drives people to break its rules which eventually leads to social dislocation. Discussed are theories of conformity, innovation, ritualism, retreatism and rebellion . c) the socio-psychological approach which deals with hoe psychological factors emerge from the social approach to predispose to criminality. It studies stimulus (i.e. what within the social environment stimulates the psychological reaction), the transmission process of delinquency (which consists of imitation, differential association which is the process of choosing between positive and negative values; and delinquent subculture); and the result. Stimulus has two major types;
The family is the foundation of human society. Families are the strongest socializing forces of life . According to IRWIN DEUTSCHER (1962), the concept of symbolic interaction assumes that misbehaviour is of the same nature as any other kind of behaviour and arises through the same general processes of socialisation. Regardless of personal traits or characteristics, any individual given the proper configuration of circumstances and associations can become a delinquent. It is this same fact that MARSHALL CLINARD (1963) seeks to establish when he claims that any form of deviant behaviour, e.g. juvenile delinquency, is one kind of social behaviour as conforming behaviour is another kind. According to OLORUNTIMEHIN , In an ideal family (e.g. a home where relationship between the parents on the one hand and the children on the other is cordial and where parental roles are fully activated) the attitudes that one would expect to...
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