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Investigate a Social Issue - Essay Example

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Name: Title: Course: Tutor: Date: Crime 1. Describe the social issue in which you are interested. Be specific. The selected social issue would be crime, specifically focusing on its causation based on sociological theories and racial difference. Crime has always been a universal problem around the world and has been increasing in incidence and complexity in the recent past…
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Investigate a Social Issue

Download file to see previous pages... 2. Determine how your issue fits into the field of sociology. Which sociological theories and terminology from the text apply to your social issue? Sociologists use various theories to explain crime, particularly focusing on its causes. Among these, three theories are popular: routine activities theory, control theory and differential association theory (Zembroski, 2011). According to the differential association theory, crime definitions play a critical role in causing criminal behaviors with these definitions being learned by interacting with social groups. Being in a group that legitimizes crime causes one to become a criminal due to the looser definition of the right and wrong by such social groups. On the other hand, control group evaluates the reasons for people not committing crime, postulating that people bound to their respective societies and those that support the observed morality will keep off crime. Finally, the routine activities theory explains criminal activity as dependent on availability of opportunities to commit crime, with unsupervised and unorganized activities presenting the greatest opportunities. An analysis of these theories would indicate that while people socially interact, they could construe the behaviors of one another as criminal (Hester & Eglin, 2008). Additionally, the meaning conferred upon an action would be interpreted based on the definition of participants of an interactional setting. This therefore makes crime a sociology concern. 3. Discuss what is known and unknown about your particular issue. Important to note in crime from a sociology perspective is that considerable research has been conducted to determine the observed disparity in the level of crimes committed by different races. The reason for there being more Blacks than Whites represented in crime perpetuation has been facilitated by their lifestyles. It has also been linked to poverty which has caused frustration among the youth causing delinquency and aggression. Risich (2007) add to this body of knowledge pointing out at various factors that make Blacks engage more in crime than Whites, including extreme social isolation, family disruption and unsupervised teenage peer groupings among others. Pager (2003) observed that in the US, 1% of the crimes would be committed by Whites as contrasted to 10% committed by Blacks. But Hester and Eglin (2008) point out at the huge discrepancy in these statistics as documented by various sociological researchers due to inconsistencies in jurisdictions, timeframes and designs. According to this scholar, a majority of the official data on crimes would be based on street crimes, majorly committed by Blacks as opposed to all the crimes, including white collar crimes widely committed by Whites and comprise a majority of the crimes. In fact, it has been argued that these data systems in themselves perpetuate racism by statistically stereotyping Blacks. As such, the true picture of the difference in crime levels among races remains unknown. Additionally, Risich (2007) acknowledges that much remains unknown on the causes and results of criminal offending and victimization. Therefore, there would be need for innovative research models that would disentangle complex interactions and explain the dynamics of criminal justice system. 4. Discuss the value of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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