Societies are made up of social structures with cultural norms which each socially fit individual is expected to uphold. The world has very many sets of social structures for different nations, races, ages and social status. Despite the presence of a fixed set of rules and norms for particular cultures there are some individuals who decide to go against them. These ones may be subjected to some kind of disciplinary actions as provided by the society norms or law. Those who fail to take up the correction may be called deviants or criminal.
Many sociologists have studied the existence of crime. Emile Durkheim is one such sociologist credited for his research in crime. Emile formulated a theory that insisted that crime is necessary in the society and that it can not be avoided. In his work he felt that crime acted as a ‘relief valve’ through which the society releases stress and dissatisfaction. Crime can be used to satisfy desires such as anger, revenge, jealousy, greed and pride. Crimes resulting from anger are more violent because they are made to be vengeful.
For example, rape, assaults, murder, bombing, suicide, and cyber crimes. Emile categorizes society as either unhealthy or healthy. Health society it the one in which adaptation to emerging changes takes place commensurate to the rate of change. Unhealthy societies are rigid to change and therefore abnormal. In this regard, he argues that the society must grow or evolve just like animals and plants. In order for the society to evolve it must be forced by a certain force which in most cases is derived from crime. According to Emile, crime functions to sustain healthy society.
A healthy society is achieved through the maintenance of boundary or limitations and adjustments. Crime serves to introduce new ideas within the society which trigger development in the society. Therefore without crime the society would stagnate in old concepts and ideas. It is through crime that the society is able to identify wrong from right, hence setting boundaries. Crime has a collective nature through whose response aid in the setting of laws consequently upholding social solidarity. Crimes like terrorism have resulted in the contemplation on anti-terrorism programs.
Punishment serves to correct the society; thus the formation of institutions of law in societies. Emile advocates for strong social control in the society in order for the society to reduce crime, (Durkheim E. 1970). For example, he compared crime rate within the Catholic Church and the protestant church. He realized that suicide rate is higher in the protestant church than in the Catholic Church because the Catholic Church has a strong social control than the protestant church. Social integration plays a great role in the control of crime.
Social disintegration on the other hand leads to high crime rate. Sociological studies show that the protestant church has low level of integration than the Catholic Church hence more suicide level. I strongly agree with Emile that although we fight to eliminate crime it is inevitable and necessary in the society. This does not mean that we should propagate crime. Crime challenges the society to learn its causes and solutions. It is through the existence of crime that educationists have developed criminology as a study subject in institutions of learning.
More so, the existence of crime has resulted in the formation of police strategies to curb crime. Security checks and crime investigation departments are have been put in place in most governments and societies. Law is a creation of crime and crime is subject to the law. In conclusion, crime is necessary to trigger development in the society. However, it should be maintained as low as possible. References Durkheim E. (1970). Suicide: A study in sociology. London: Routledge &Kegan Paul.