Conflict and Labeling Theory Labeling theory is concerned less with that causes the onset of an initial delinquent act and more with the effect that official handling by police, courts, and correctional agencies has on the future of youths who fall into the court system. Labeling theory states that youths violate the law for a number of reasons; these reasons are poor family relationships, neighborhood conflict, peer pressure, psychological and biological abnormality and delinquent learning experiences. Cesar Lombroso was called the father of Modern Criminology, originally came up with the labeling theory. Labeling Theory) Cesar Lombroso classified criminals into four major categories: born criminals, insane criminals, occasional criminals and criminal of passion. Born criminals are a form of human sub-specie with arrested development and degeneracy. Lombroso believed that recurrence of previous behavior could be identified by a number of measurable physical traits, which included protruding jaw, drooping eyes, large ears, twisted and flattish nose, long arms relative to the lower limbs, sloping shoulders, and a resembled tail.
Insane criminals are not “born criminals”; they become criminal as a result of an alteration of the brain, which completely upsets their moral nature. Occasional criminals unlike borne criminals are individuals that passively are looking to commit crimes and they lack in physical power. Those individuals are the once that crime is not committed on daily bases yet whenever the occasion comes up. Criminals of passion constitute the smallest percent of crimes, and in their cases the previous three categories take part in rounding up these individuals. Criminalizing War 🙂 Labeling theory focuses mainly on society’s reaction to the persons and their behavior and effects of their behavior. Labeling theorist believe that the treatment of offenders in the labeling process depends on their behavior than on others may view their acts. (Labeling Theory) Criminal behavior is not only applied to minorities or the poor. Individuals in today society become aware that crime exists in all classes of society and that at any moment a person may become deviant. Horton the elephant is a criminal 🙂 The criminal justice system and criminal law are operating on behalf of rich and powerful social elites, with resulting policies controlling the middle-lower class. The criminal justice establishment aims at implementing standards of morality and good behavior created by the whole of the society. Focus is on separating the just from the once that would steal from others protecting themselves from physical attacks. In this process the legal rights of the lower class are ignored.
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The middle class are also actively involved in the community thinking they might themselves rise to the top, by supporting their status. Street crimes that covered minor monetary crimes are routinely punished, while large scale financial and business crimes are treated much more leniently. (Horton the elephant is a criminal 🙂 Radical criminology is a branch of conflict theory, using Marxist ideals. (Critical Perspectives on Crime) In his speeches, Carl Marx indicated the criminal justice system’s specific role in keeping the system in place.
From his point of view, certain types of crime transform with a different character. Stealing could be seen as an attempt to take away from the rich, yet the law enforcement community followed a different path in which police officers concentrated on civil rights protesters. Modern capitalist societies are controlled by wealthy individuals who controlled the factories, raw materials, equipment, technology, and others while everyone else is reduced to being day workers. A number of other varieties of conflict theory are visible since the 1960s.
Some of them include radical feminism and peacemaking criminology. Peacemaking criminology is the idea that American justice system most often works. The purpose is to understand why individuals commit crime and how their shamming acts affect others. The main concept of peacemaking criminology is based on the idea that every act of victimization happens because the perpetrator was victimized at one point in time. Social conflict theory can be described as favoritism. Society tends to show favoritism to the prestigious members of that particular society. Social Conflict Theories) Social inequality is shown throughout the world from situations of race, ethnicity, gender, and age. These factors may dictate wealth, schooling, power, and prestige. The social conflict paradigm views the patterns that benefit some people more than it would others, due to their social standings. (The Social and Cognitive Structure) Karl Marx was a sociologist who embraced the social conflict paradigm. Marx made his main goal to not just understand society but to reduce social inequality.
Karl Marx devoted his life to explaining a contradiction in society, “How in a society so rich, so many could be poor. ” Marx makes a good point, and that is if America is supposed to be a rich country and a free country where the streets are “paved” with gold and opportunity is knocking around every corner, then why is it that there are many poor people. Social conflict is a potential theory that could support the statement made. (Social Problems and Social Control) America does not provide the same opportunities to people from a poor family as they do with people who come from a rich and prestigious family.
For instance, a child from middle lower class with limited resources for education will have a difficult time being accepted into a prestigious university that an upper class student which parents made donations to the school and that potentially graduated from that school. (Deterrents or Labeling; Labeling Deviant Behavior) From real life characters we can see that if given the opportunity change is possible, even for a criminal to learn from their mistakes and become a good and productive member of a society. Deviance can be reformed not only by punishment or incarceration but also through strong social bonds.
Judging people and labeling certain individuals as criminals is one of the aspects society does. Instead of spending millions of dollars on incarcerating deviant individuals, the government should create high-quality and educational programs where criminals can learn to love themselves and find activities to occupy their time so when they are released they do not become recidivists. References: Farrell, R. , & Holmes, M. (1991, December). The Social and Cognitive Structure of Legal Decision-Making. Academic Search Premier. Sociological Quarterly, 32(4), 529-542. Gallian, A. J. (1990, February). Open Problems in Grid Labeling.
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