CRIME AND SOCIAL HISTORY - Essay Example

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As Culberson (1990) describes, vigilantism can happen when government is insufficient to control violators of public peace (2). Were the government sufficient to do so, the peace would not be violated in the…
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CRIME AND SOCIAL HISTORY
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Download file to see previous pages Since vigilantism has its focus on the control of crime and other social standards, its manifestation is likely to occur in atmospheres rife with crime problems and social inequities (Dumsday 2009, p. 50). When the public watches as their government fails to sufficiently uphold the values and norms it was designed to protect, they are likely to engage in acts of vigilantism (Dumsday 2009, p. 50). The vigilante group form and function because they understand that some established rules are threatened or could possibly be threatened and transgressed (Dumsday 2009, p. 55). Vigilantism also surfaces after a period of organization, rather than by spontaneous eruption (Dumsday 2009, p. 50).
South African vigilantism reflects these descriptions. As Buur (2006) describes, South African vigilantism arose in response to the failure of formal law (p. 735). Paradoxically, the one element the vigilantism was primarily responding to was crime (Buur 2006, p. 736). The public’s view of the law enforcement capabilities of their government was very poor, and so they lacked confidence in the accepted and institutionalized norms. In South Africa, a long history of vigilantism exists, including the formation there of a group of vigilantes that rose up to fight a group of hijackers that wore police uniforms in order to more effectively accomplish their goals (Buur 2006, p. 741).
The Irish Republican Army (IRA) organized itself to carry out vigilantism in response to British occupation of Northern Ireland (Pruitt 2007, p. 1521). The people resented British presence there for many years, but didn’t organize vigilantism until 1968, after four decades of tension had built (Pruitt 2007, p. 1521). The people of Ireland who shared this common goal of eliminating British rule and reuniting Northern Ireland with the rest of the country organized at nonviolent demonstrations at that time (Pruitt 2007, p. 1521). When the police responded violently to the demonstrations, chaos ensued ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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