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Sociology Ia

By neelamlaw Jun 20, 2013 2603 Words
I would like to acknowledge and thank my teacher Mr. Sewalia for helping me on this school assessment for guiding me, also I would like to thank my parents for the support and lastly , God , for giving me the knowledge and strength .


Introduction / Definition of the Research Problem

The community members of Point Pleasant Park, Cunupia belong to mainly two ethnic groups, those people of East Indian descent and those of African descent. There are a few members of the community who are descended from both origins. There are over five hundred members of the community. This community has been in existence over the past thirty years. Although I have not been a personal victim of crime, I am aware that other members of society have been aware or a victim of crime, which led to a desire to investigate whether it is reality in my community.

Statement of the Problem

Are the people in my community in Chagunas aware of the social problem crime, in respect to the causes, consequences and solutions of the growing problem?

Aim and Objectives of Study

* General Objectives of Study
To determine the causes of crime in my area as it impacts on the youths.

* Specific Objectives

-To find out the main causes of crime.

-To determine if crime is a problem in the community.

-To find out what can be done to stop crime.

Literature Review
The study was done by Michael R. Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi. By articulating a general theory of crime and related behaviour, the authors present a new and comprehensive statement of what the criminological enterprise should be about. They argue that prevalent academic criminology—whether sociological, psychological, biological, or economic—has been unable to provide believable explanations of criminal behaviour. The long-discarded classical tradition in criminology was based on choice and free will, and saw crime as the natural consequence of unrestrained human tendencies to seek pleasure and to avoid pain. It concerned itself with the nature of crime and paid little attention to the criminal. The scientific, or disciplinary, tradition is based on causation and determinism, and has dominated twentieth-century criminology. It concerns itself with the nature of the criminal and pays little attention to the crime itself. Though the two traditions are considered incompatible, this book brings classical and modern criminology together by requiring that their conceptions be consistent with each other and with the results of research. The authors explore the essential nature of crime, finding that scientific and popular conceptions of crime are misleading, and they assess the truth of disciplinary claims about crime, concluding that such claims are contrary to the nature of crime and, interestingly enough, to the data produced by the disciplines themselves. They then put forward their own theory of crime, which asserts that the essential element of criminality is the absence of self-control. Persons with high self-control consider the long-term consequences of their behaviour; those with low self-control do not. Such control is learned, usually early in life, and once learned, is highly resistant to change. In the remainder of the book, the authors apply their theory to the persistent problems of criminology. Why are men, adolescents, and minorities more likely than their counterparts to commit criminal acts? What is the role of the school in the causation of delinquency? To what extent could crime be reduced by providing meaningful work? Why do some societies have much lower crime rates than others? Does white-collar crime require its own theory? Is there such a thing as organized crime? In all cases, the theory forces fundamental reconsideration of the conventional wisdom of academies and criminal justice practitioners. The authors conclude by exploring the implications of the theory for the future study and control of crime. The authors] present a tour de force critique of past research and offer nothing less than a theory that 'explains all crime, at all times.' . . . The intellectual weight of Gottfredson and Hirschi's efforts is . . . a 'must read' . . . provocative, brilliantly argued, and always challenging."—Robert J. Sampson, University of Chicago

"Most researchers who formulate theories of crime are timid, seeking to explain a small piece of the puzzle (e.g., gangs, female delinquency) at a specific point in time. Not so with Michael Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi. In A General Theory of Crime they present a tour de force critique of the past research and offer nothing less than a theory that "explains all crime, at all times." Normally such a claim would be dismissed by criminologists as wishful thinking, perhaps worse. But the intellectual weight of Gottfredson and Hirschi's efforts is forcing criminologists to take notice and rethink some cherished assumptions. Indeed, this book is a "must read" that is provocative, brilliantly argued, and always challenging."—University of Chicago

"This book is well worthy of study and provides a comprehensive and challenging reading of theory and data."—British Journal of Criminology

"This book presents powerful arguments, turns many neat phrases, shows that much criminology is confused about its purpose or blind to its inconsistencies, demonstrates the profound implications of its argument for criminology, generally, and for the ways it is studied, specifically, and will almost convince a reader that black is white. . . .This is an excellent book. Nobody interested in crime and deviance can afford to ignore it."—American Journal of Sociology

"A General Theory of Crime effectively battles misconceptions about crime, criminals, and appropriate law-enforcement techniques that have all too long dominated thinking in the United States."—Criminal Law Bulletin

"This book is clearly the most thought-provoking general criminological work since James Q. Wilson and Richard Herrnstein's Crime and Human Nature."—American Library Association

"[Out] of the various psychological theories of crime, none has had the comprehensive and cogent nature of this general self-control theory. This book is the most significant reconsideration of crime in decades. . . .Must reading for all social scientists interested in crime."—Contemporary Psychology

Research Design

The Research Design and Plan
The term, “Research Design” may be defined as the scientific process whereby data is collected. This study was designed using quantitative method. The data was collected from a primary source which was the questionnaire. The reason for choosing the questionnaires is that it is less time consuming and was cost effective. Also, they are a reliable source of gathering the direct information needed and it was easy to distribute. However, some disadvantages of using questionnaires are that some respondents may be dishonest, forget or lack information upon answering the questions. Throughout the questionnaires I used a series of both open ended and closed ended questions. To effectively complete this project, the study was done during the period of 15th January to the 25th January, 2013. In order to attain data randomly, the sample population was selected by process. Fifty questionnaires were distributed to every third house in the village from beginning to end.

Sociological Perspective

A crime is an action or omission that constitutes an offence that may be prosecuted by the state and is punishable by law. During my research I have noticed a great increase in the crime level in my community. Some functionalist argued that crime is a normal aspect of social life and others say that it is a threat to society. Emile Durkheim developed an argument with his discussion of crime in the Rules of Sociology Method. He argued that crime is an inevitable and normal aspect of social life. Crime is present in all types of society indeed the crime rate is higher in the more advanced, industrialized countries. According to Durkheim, crime is an ‘integral part of all healthy societies. ’ It is inevitable because not every member of society can be equally committed to the collective sentiments of society. Durkheim imagined a ‘society of saint’s populated by perfect individuals.’ In such a society there might be no murder or robbery, but there would still be deviance populated by perfect individuals.’ In such a society there might be no murder or robbery, but there would still be deviance. The general standards of behavior would be so high that the slightest slip would be regarded as a serious offence. Thus the individuals who simply showed bad taste, or was merely impolite, would attract strong disapproval from other members of that society. Crime is not inevitable, it can also be functional. Durkheim argued that it only becomes dysfunctional, when its rate is usually high or low. He argued that all social change begins with some form of deviance. Since a certain amount of change is healthy for society, so is deviance. Durkheim regarded some crime as ‘an anticipation of the morality of the future.’ In the way, terrorists or freedom fighters may represent a future established order consider the example of, Nelson Mandala. Durkheim argued that its function was not to remove crime in society but to maintain the collective sentiments at their necessary level of strength. In Durkheim’s words, punishment ‘serves to heal the wounds done to the collective sentiments.’ Without punishment the collective sentiments would lose their power to control behavior, and the rate would reach the point where it becomes dysfunctional. Thus, in Durkheim’s view, a healthy society requires both crime and punishment, both are inevitable, both are functional. Durkheim suggested that society itself generates deviance for its own well-being. However, he also believed that excessively high rates of crime reflected a breakdown in the collective sentiments which bound together.

Selection of Sample
A sample may be defined as a portion of a large population and it is often used to represent the large population. For this study ‘random sampling’ was used. Fifty questionnaires were distributed in Point Pleasant Park, Cunupia to residents who willingly participated in the study. Fifty questionnaires were distributed to every fifth house in the village from beginning to end. This would be considered systematic random sampling. It is considered such because the subject units were chosen in a logical order. This method of sampling is practical because it is time-effective when selecting the sample from a large population.

Data Collection / Research Instruments Techniques
Questionnaires were used to collected data. The use of questionnaires was both cost-effective and time-effective. The use of the questionnaires assured that maintenance of increased objectivity and accuracy in the study. The data gathered from the questionnaires can be more easily analysed. The community has approximately 500 houses. It was calculated that a sample of 10% was necessary in order to ensure accurate information and have a better understanding of the issue. A total of 50 questionnaires were papered for distribution. All questionnaires was completed and returned.

Presentation and Analysis of Data

Figure 1 shows the causes of crime.

Figure 2 shows the Consequences towards crime.

Figure 3 shows solutions towards crime.

Figure 4 shows how many members of my community was a victim of crime. Analysis of Findings

In Figure 1 it is seen that Poverty (37%) was chosen as the highest cause of crime, while Lack of parental guidance (25%) was the second highest, Peer pressure (22%) and Lack of education (16%) being the lowest, to the question “What do you think causes crime?” Michael R. Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi said that crime occurred because of criminal behaviour, and due to poverty, individuals intend to behave in that manner of wanting something so they decide to thief. It is noted that in Figure 2 that 43% chose Exestuation as a consequence of crime, second highest being Jailed for life (38%) and the lowest being Community service (19%). Figure 3 shows that as a solution towards crime Police Patrol (50%) was the highest chosen, secondly Educational programs (22%), Involvement on co-curricular (16%) and last being Harshly punishment (12%). Figure 4 showed how many members of my community were victims of crime with 93% saying Yes and 7% were saying No.

Discussion of Findings

From the conducted investigation, it was found that:
* Crime in my community exists in a great extent.
* Most members of the community were victims of crime.
* More Police Patrols in order to help stop crime.

Discussion of Findings
With relation to the first finding, Emile Durkheim said that crime is an inevitable and normal aspect of social life. Crime is present in all types of society indeed the crime rate is higher in the more advanced, industrialized countries. With 100% saying that crime do exist in the community. With regards to the second finding, 93% said that they were victims of crime while 7% said no.On the other hand Durkheim imagined a ‘society of saint’s populated by perfect individuals.’ In such a society there might be no murder or robbery, but there would still be deviance. This however has not yet become a reality in this community of Point Pleasant Park. In connection to the third finding, figure 3, the pie chart shows that most individuals chose Police Patrols as a solution to crime. They believe that if criminals know that there are patrols taking place they would not commit a crime. According to Durkheim, crime is an ‘integral part of all healthy societies. ’ It is inevitable because not every member of society can be equally committed to the collective sentiments of society. Durkheim imagined a ‘society of saint’s populated by perfect individuals.’ In such a society there might be no murder or robbery, but there would still be deviance populated by perfect individuals.’ This is in existence because when a person know that patrols are taking place they don’t commit a crime due to the consequences.

In conclusion, crime is a major problem in my community and it also affects the members. However, the government should provide more police patrols in order for the members to feel safer.


HARALAMBOS & HOLBORN Seventh edition Sociology.
Themes and Perspectives.

Barnard, A, Burgess, T, Kirby, M (2009) Sociology: AS level and A level. United Kingdom: Cambridge Press .

1. Age: 25-35 ( )
35-45 ( )
45-55 ( )

2. Gender: Male ( )
Female ( )

3. Ethnicity: Indian ( )
African ( )
Chinese ( )
Other ( )

4. How long have you been residing in Chaguanas?
Under a year ( )
1-5 years ( )
6-8 years ( )
Over 10 years ( )

5. Do you think crime exist in your community?
Yes ( ) No ( )

6. Have you ever been a victim of crime?
Yes ( ) No ( )

7. What do you think causes crime?

Peer Pressure ( )
Lack of parental guidance ( )
Lack of education ( )
Poverty ( )

8. Do you think the Government is doing enough to prevent crime? Yes ( ) No ( )

9. What percent of the population do you think is affected by crime? 10%-20 % ( )
30%-50% and over ( )

10. How many people do you think are involve in crime from your community? 5-10 ( )
10-20 ( )
20-30 ( )
40 and more ( )

11. What do you think are some solutions towards crime?
Harshly Punishment ( )
Involvement in co-curricular ( )
Police Patrol ( )
Educational Programs ( )

12. What is the most common crime?
Rape ( )
Murder ( )
Kidnapping ( )
Burglary ( )
Other ( )

13. What can be done if a criminal is caught?
Jailed for life ( )
Execution ( )
Be placed in an environment to work ( )

14. What can we do to stop crime?
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 15. As a community what can we do to help criminals?

16. Why is it important for us to help stop crime?

17. Do you think if we change the Government, crime would stop occurring? Yes ( ) No ( )

Table of contents

Literature Review
Research Design
Sociological Perspective
Selection of sample
Data collection / Research instruments techniques
Presentation and Analysis of Data
Analysis of Findings
Discussion of Findings

Cite This Document

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