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Criminology ( the writer may create a topic ) - Essay Example

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Running Head: SAMPSON AND LAUB’S LIFE COURSE PERSPECTIVE THEORY SAMPSON AND LAUB’S LIFE COURSE PERSPECTIVE THEORY Name Tutor Marker’s Introduction The study of crime and the underlying causes of criminal behavior have often preoccupied many researchers…
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Criminology essay( the writer may create a topic )
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Download file to see previous pages Among those that have emerged from the many researches and studies made are the Social Control Theories that stresses on the role and function of social institutions, values and beliefs that help control and dissuade potential criminals from committing crimes. The Social Control Theories is an umbrella of various theories written and formulated by several researchers and sociologists, one of which is the Life Course Perspective Theory by the tandem of Sampson and Laub (1992). This theory is distinct from other theories within this umbrella not only because it does not subscribe to some of the principles adhered to by the theorists of the Social Control school of thought, but also because of its potential broader utility in the study of criminology. Sampson and Laub’s Life Course Perspective Sampson and Laub (1992) formulated a theory that seeks to remedy the ‘either or focus’ of researchers in explaining the origin of criminal behavior, one that attempts to resolve two opposing research findings by harmonizing them. Calling this theory life course perspective, these two researchers observed that one group of researchers emphasizes youth in crime in a theory called age-crime curve where criminality starts and peaks during teen years while the other group believes that criminal behavior persists even in adulthood. The ‘overemphasis’ of these two groups on their respective theories result in the failure of sociologists, as a whole, to link childhood propensity to criminality to adult criminal behavior. Life course perspective, which Sampson and Laub (1992) defined as “pathways through the age differentiated life span” (p. 65), synchronizes the aforesaid theories by taking a comprehensive view of the criminal behavior from childhood to adulthood particularly noting the various events that incite changes in the course of an individual’s and affects criminal propensity. The life course perspective is a theory under the broad umbrella of social control theory, but differs from all others in the group by advocating, not for a single factor, but for a more comprehensive multi-factor underpinnings of criminal behavior (Sacco & Kennedy p. 74). It is underpinned by two elements: trajectories, and; transitions. Trajectories, according to Sampson and Laub (1992), are the general direction that an individual is expected to take on the basis of his overall pattern of behavior while transitions are significant life events that occur in a person’s life that cause changes in the general trajectory of his life. Furthermore, life events, however significant, may or may not cause transitional change, but depends on “timing, duration and ordering of major life events and their consequences for later social development” (p. 66). The way a person reacts to a significant life event is underpinned, according to this theory, to his childhood past, but also acknowledges that events in themselves can be a cause for a redirection of life trajectory. Overall, the life course perspective concerns itself with the study of life trajectories, the connection between childhood and adult behavior, the social implication of age, the transmission of social patterns from one generation to another, and the effects of significantly big events such as international catastrophes (Sampson & Laub, p. 66). Sampson and Laub’s (1992) theory necessarily departs from the general theory of crime of Gottfredson and Hirschi’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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