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SC3039C Punishment and Modern society - Essay Example

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This paper “Durkheim’s and Marx’s Theories” compares and contrasts the views of Emile Durkheim and Karl Marx on punishment in modern society. It discusses how Marx has explained the role of punishment in a society through his theory of alienation…
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SC3039C Punishment and Modern society
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Download file to see previous pages The purpose of punishment is to give justice to the victim and to discourage other people from following the same action in the future. If there is no authority involved then the action is more of a revenge than or an act of hostility rather than a punishment (Rusche et al 1939: 4). Durkheim is considered the founding fathers of sociology and his theories have greatly influenced the sociological side of criminology. To fully understand his point of view, we must first understand what his assumptions behind the analysis were. Durkheim believed that a society can be understood scientifically. In his first book, the Division of Labour in Society, Durkheim suggested that a society was like a body; a body works with all its parts working in harmony i.e. the hands need the head and the head needs the hands. Similarly, a society cannot function without the individual and the individual cannot function without the society (Durkheim 1984: 58). Durkheim was also of the view that majority of the individuals share a common moral structure in the society, and this defines the individual’s role in the society (Durkheim 1964: 108). However, there is always a group of people that choose to non-conform to the values set by the society. Durkheim saw the non-conformist functional for the society. In his book The Division of Labour in Society, Durkheim talks about anomie, which is social instability caused by lack of moral standards (Durkheim 1984: 38). It can be described as a situation where rules on how to behave. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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