CJ 340: Applied Criminal Justice Ethics
Professor: Timothy Kozyra
There are many views on corruption. Transparency International (TI) has defined it as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain” (Transparency International, 2012). “Corruption is a Western concept and is not applicable to traditional societies, where corruption does not have such as negative meaning. Many traditional societies with a “gift culture” have a different understanding of civil responsibilities and etiquette. The social structure and political traditions of many countries are based on the beneficial exchange of rewards for services rendered, and cannot survive in its absence.” (iDebate.org) Corruption can happen in any area of the world, not just the western part of the world, but it can also happen on the Eastern part as well. For that reason I do not agree that corruption is a Western concept. Corruption is most prevalent a problem in the South according to (Transparency International, 2009), while the Scandinavians countries are on the top of that list, most of the sub-Saharan Africa ranks at the bottom of it. Here in America we see corruption in all areas of office; the public and private sectors and also in the government. As we look into corruption there are several things we might considered while doing so. First, transparency refers to “a business or financial situation which is done in an open way without secrets, so all involved can trust that they are fair and honest” (Cambridge Dictionary). Second are accountability, generalization and reciprocity. As we know “gift giving” is a part of many cultures and we here in America consider it as just that “a gift”. When I am given a gift I am appreciative and I am thankful for receiving it as just that “a gift”. I see gift given as a social practice that many cultures practice to show their gratitude to someone, business, family and even someone in political authority. In the article
Pocket Cultures, the author goes on to say “in India, a gift are generally given on a variety of occasions such as a wedding, house warming gift, baby shower and this is how they display etiquette in their country”. As for America we generally give gifts for the same reasons and we here in America also face all aspects of corruptions with receiving gifts for personal satisfactions. As corruptions grows within the Western hemisphere we here in United States have experiences it in all aspects. For instant, our government is worldly known for its share of corruption as for our law enforcement officials. It is sometimes difficult to recognize and differential when it is appropriate to receive a gift. The kind of gift you are receiving and for what cause, if the gifts is expensive and what is the obligation behind it. Although, in many societies and cultures whether it be a poverty stricken country receiving a gift is always welcomed as long as it does not violate any laws for the person or business. A “gift” can be seen as corruptions when it is given for someone’s personal or private advantages to get ahead. It is also improper and unacceptable to switch gifts so that it can turn into a negative situation for the receiving parties. Corruption is where temptation meets and permissiveness, and “people are the corrupt as the system allows them to be” (Transparency International, 2009). In some countries civil social workers and officials and people who are considered with low economic status are ones who will try in any ways to meet their needs, and it can lead into corruption. As an example, these officials will require the people to give gifts (abuse culture, thus bribery) so that they can “speed up the granting of permissions, licenses and permits to carry out activities that ate perfectly legal” (Asia-Pacific, 2000). In conclusion, as we know corruption exists all around the world. Whether you live in the Western,...
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