Topics: Sociology, Crime, Criminology Pages: 4 (1507 words) Published: May 27, 2014
This essay aims to draw upon some of the elements which make up the idea of crime. There are many aspects to consider, including the definition, hidden crime and conflict within society.

According to the Sage Dictionary of Criminology, the ability to define crime is a difficult concept. It depends at what stage of time we are in and how we perceive things. The idea of crime also draws upon how an individual, or a set of individuals are linked with society, in that they show, or do not show solidarity within civilisation. The definition also draws upon the idea of ‘consensus’ meaning how much an individual agrees with societies’ norms and values (McLaughlin & Muncie, 2012, p.85).

Crime is a difficult concept to define. This is because it varies so greatly. It is not entirely about law-breaking, but also includes a number of other factors, such as the solidarity within society. It is important to remember that the term ‘law’ takes its own definition of, as Des Rosiers & Bittle (2004, p.7) cites within their chapter, “law can be said to have a distinctly social basis; it both shapes – and is shaped by – the society in which it operates.” This means that there are a variety of factors which shape our behaviour within society and how we respond to these behaviours (Des Rosiers & Bittle, 2004, p.7). In addition, crime is further difficult to define due to conflicting definitions within society. As Henry and Lanier (2001, p.1) state, there are narrow and broad definitions. For example, Henry and Lanier (2001, p1) use the idea of broad and narrow definitions. Firstly, through narrow definitions certain acts may be seen as exclusive, such as domestic abuse and crimes committed by the powerful, including fraud. Secondly, the idea of a broad definition deals with every act deemed as being abnormal, is a crime. This, therefore, suggests that we, as individuals, have a different sense of crime and this makes it difficult to have a generic meaning within society. This,...

References: Cohen, S. (2011). Folk Devils and Moral Panics : The Creation of the Mods and Rockers. Retrieved from
Coleman, C., & Moynihan, J. (1996). Understanding crime data, Haunted by the dark figure. Buckingham: Open University Press
Davis, M., Croall, H., & Tyrer, J. (2005). Criminal justice: An Introduction to the Criminal Justice System in England and Wales (3rd ed.). Essex: Pearson Education Ltd
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