Social Offences

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In India, for men to be involved in adultery is a criminal offence punishable by up to five years in prison. What does this tell us about the Indian’s state perception of wrongdoing? What does it tell us about emotional and social breakdown and their representation in legal systems across the globe?

Social offences, regardless of levels of legality, are the most influential factors in societal or individual breakdown. Members of the community become hurt because they feel they have been offended and wronged by another member. Laws are instated because of the social and emotional significance offences contain. For example, murder is a criminal offence, but only because the loss of a hugely meaningful social component – in this case, a person – has been intentionally caused.

As a member of society, I see the damage that emotionally loaded gestures, phrases and actions can have on the fabric of it. If somebody is in possession of visible malevolence, relationships can be scarred and broken even if a criminal offence is not committed.

Firstly, I’d like to talk about planning to trick or deceive. Although intent in this situation is socially unacceptable, it must be considered that planning a crime is different to committing a crime. Planning is something that can be done under stress or in a particularly bad mood. It is true that malevolent words are always the products of malevolent thoughts, but planning deception and trickery are indirect and uncertain in terms of how much social damage they will indeed do. Surely, planning does not rank as highly in offensiveness as actual socially criminal action.

It is important that the issue of marriage is raised here. David Popenoe, a director of the National Marriage Study at Rutgers University speaks of marriage in consideration of financial prosperity as successful. “They work harder, they advance further in their job, they save more money, and maybe invest more wisely. That’s because, one can speculate,...
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