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Sociology and criminology - Essay Example

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Mainstream criminology vs critical criminology Mainstream criminology has existed much before the critical criminology was espoused. Critical criminology is that theoretical perspective that places emphasis on challenging the conventional understandings and revealing the false perceptions regarding criminal justice and crime…
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Sociology and criminology
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Sociology and criminology

Download file to see previous pages... Critical criminology views the punishment of crime and law as constituents of a system of social inequality and the reinforcers of inequality. In critical criminology, crime is seen as a result of workers’ oppression especially of those who belong to the poorer sections. Any area related to the topic of criminology that criticizes the topics that fall in the domain of the mainstream criminology or considers the contextual factors of crime can be defined as critical criminology. Mainstream criminology, on the other hand, places emphasis on the behavior of the criminal, refutes the perception that political authorities create crime, and approves of the legal interpretations and definitions of crime. Hence, the criminologists play the role of information givers for the government; the government uses this information to take action against those who offend others. A vast majority of the mainstream criminology theories are indeed, theories that address the problem at the level of a street crime and tend to overlook more affluent crimes. Labeling theory Deviance is violation of the norms of the society. Deviant is somebody who exhibits a socially unacceptable behavior. The label is successfully applied on the deviant after the display of the socially unacceptable behavior. ...
Labeling develops a tendency in people to act according to people’s expectations from their label. The label gets internalized when the individual accepts others’ expectations from him under that label (Wiesen, 2013). Classical vs neoclassical theory The classical theory of criminology is based on the assumption that man is hedonist and thus tries to avoid all means of pain. Punishment can thus help reduce crime as it would prevent the offenders from committing it again after receiving punishment. The neoclassical theory of criminology suggests that crimes should be prevented by increased policing, stiffened penalties, and increased supervision of the prisoners. It asserts that criminals should be locked in prison to keep the society safe. Furthermore the classical theory of criminology asserts that people have choices and they deliberately choose the wrong path and commit crime e.g. a person calling another a racially offensive name whereas the neoclassical theory asserts that people vary in their tendency to commit crime because of the influence of a range of factors including their mental condition and maturity e.g. a child killing another child cannot be held accountable in the same way as an adult killing a child can be. I agree more with the classical theory than the neoclassical theory because the former believes the power of punishment to deter people from committing crimes again whereas the neoclassical theory does not offer an objective solution to the problem. The neoclassical theory emphasizes on keeping the criminals locked up which could be financially and ethically unfeasible for the government. In my opinion, punishments should be made strict and the offenders should be ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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