Criminological Theories

Social disorganization theory- this type of organizational theory attribute those crimes committed to the absence or breakdown of social institutions like family, school, church or local government. Environment factors were necessary under this theory that is why under environmental criminology study of crime, criminality and victimization as they relate to particular places, and the way that individuals and organizations shape their activities spatially, and in so doing are in turn influenced by place-based or spatial factors.

The criminal event has five dimensions: space, time, law, offender, and target or victim. These five components are a necessary and sufficient condition, for without one, the other four, even together, will not constitute a criminal incident (Brantingham & Brantingham: 1991) Anomie theory This is the theory founded by Emile Durkheim, his theory provides an explanation of the concentration of crime. He used the term anomie to describe the lack of social regulation in modern society. Anomie theory provides an explanation of the concentration of crime.

The theory leans heavily on the work of one of several founders of sociology, Emile Durkheim, who used the term anomie to describe the lack of social regulation in modern societies as one manner that could elevate higher suicide rates. Later, a criminologist named Robert Merton applied the definition of Durkheim’s anomie to modern industrial societies with emphasis towards the United States, specifically, redefined the term. According to Merton, anomie is the form that societal incoherence takes when there is a significant detachment “between valued cultural ends and legitimate societal means to those ends” (Akers, 2000).

He developed the strain theory. He claims that crime and deviance may be a natural response in egalitarian societies, where the legitimate means to achieve goals are not made universally available. 3. Subcultural delinquency This theory has been mainly conceptualized using the Anomie and Strain theories. Although in theory asserts that individuals typically do not feel strained or frustrated therefore strain is not a likely source of delinquent behavior (Cote, 2002).

He also further said that Cloward and Ohlin proposed a differential opportunity model for subcultural delinquency which argues that just as legitimate opportunities to achieve goals is not available, illegitimate opportunities to these goals are also socially structured. They have combined three theories namely anomie, differential association and social organization to explain the deviant adaptation in terms of the persons position in legitimate and illegitimate structure (Cote, 2002)

Work on delinquent and violent subcultures in criminology has focused primarily on the relationship between holding values and attitudes in support of delinquency or violence and actual involvement in these activities. Empirical research on this relationship, however, is inconsistent. The temptation appears to be increasing for criminologists to abandon subcultural approaches to delinquency and violence in favor of less “obviously” beleaguered structural theories. I propose that a more promising solution is to examine and attempt to remedy the flaws in existing subcultural approaches, rather than abandon these approaches altogether.

(Kalkholf, 2002) Subcultural delinquency were attributed to the development of subterranean values. Several values that can be considered as subterranean values are: 1. Search for thrill and adrenalin rush 2. Normal works are not worth working hard for when getting money is much more easier doing illegal acts. Mostly, subcultural delinquency can also be attributed to those crimes committed by youth offenders or what we called juvenile delinquent. These youth drifts from one extreme action to another extreme action resulting sometimes to committing serious crimes at that early age.

Delinquent subcultures Matza (1964) believes that there is a subculture of delinquency, but it is not a delinquent subculture. But for Cohen sticking with the wrong crowd is the main factor for juvenile crimes not the economically oriented career criminals. Youth result to juvenile vandalism, graffiti, truancy, fighting, and low profit activities because they stick to the wrong group. People tend to have psychological defenses against failures in attaining their goals thus at times producing reaction-formation just to satisfy their wrong acts. Lower Class Culture Hypothesis

Theory of lower class culture was published by Miller. He agreed that there is a delinquent subculture but he believes it is not mainly the independent middle class values but the lower class way of life counts. According to Miller, lower class parents are not so concerned with their child’s achievement, but are more concerned with: • Trouble – if their kids are “staying out of trouble” is a major concern for lower class parents, not getting pregnant for girls, not getting in fights for boys (less concern over achieving good grades) • Toughness – an obsessive concern with masculinity (being a tough guy)

• Smartness – “street smarts”, the ability to out fox others and not get “conned” • Excitement – long periods of boredom broke up by short periods of high excitement, often exaggerated “crises” • Fate – a belief in fate or luck, lacking any sense of personal control or self-efficacy (what ever is going to happen will happen) • Autonomy – not really independence, but a denial of dependence is valued, a deep resentment of external controls Lower-class culture hypothesis Miller published a similar theory of lower-class culture or lower class values.

In it, he agreed with Cohen that there was a delinquent subculture, but felt it stood independent of middle class values and drew its ideas entirely from the lower class way of life. Miller says that the lower class uses a completely different set of focal concerns for defining the world. Miller states that achievement is a major focal concern for middle class individuals (achieving in work, in marriage relationships, in school). From the website Pennstate (2006) they said that according to Miller, lower class parents are not so concerned with their child’s achievement, but are more concerned with:

• Trouble – if their kids are “staying out of trouble” is a major concern for lower class parents, not getting pregnant for girls, not getting in fights for boys (less concern over achieving good grades) • Toughness – an obsessive concern with masculinity (being a tough guy) • Smartness – “street smarts”, the ability to out fox others and not get “conned” • Excitement – long periods of boredom broke up by short periods of high excitement, often exaggerated “crises” • Fate – a belief in fate or luck, lacking any sense of personal control or self-efficacy (what ever is going to happen will happen)

• Autonomy – not really independence, but a denial of dependence is valued, a deep resentment of external controls Althought the theory has some weak points. First, in this theory Miller failed to consider the question of money. Second, he cannot explain the middle class crimes or the white collar crimes and the theory is focused mainly on males. Psychological Abnormality Theories There are theorist that says that the cause of crimes and illegal actions were due to the persons state of mind. Psychoanalytic Theories Crimes committed were sometimes explained using this theory.

There are adult criminal behaviors that can be explained in terms of childhood legacy. First, the disruption of the development of the child’s superego can be a factor on his deviant behavior. Second, lack or absence of close maternal relationship of the mother and child can also lead to deviant behavior later in life. But the problem with this theory were the assumptions it made that female are likely to develop less their superego. If this were so then it would follow that there should more female who will commit the crimes. But as we can see it is the other way around

Deviant personality Crimes and criminal acts can be attributed to the deviant personality a person might have. Psychopathy (sociopathy) Psychopathy encompasses an emotional component in addition to the behavioral component. This can be characterized by lack of empathy or conscience, poor impulse control and manipulative behavior. Hare et al (1993) said that psychopaths are more criminally active throughout much of their life span than are other offender. They are more violent and commit more repetitive crimes and violence. Arousal

A person that is prone to criminality were people who were bored quickly, always seeking for new and more intense stimulation even if it risky, deviant or criminal act as long as that activity can bring thrill and excitement to satisfy their stimulus need. This thrill, excitement and search for new adventure is called “subterranean values (Matza & Sykes, 1961) Psychological Learning and Developmental Theories Although few criminologists adhere to the belief that the only explanation of crime is low intelligence, the idea remains popular among the general public and the media as something believed in and entertaining.

Some people view intelligence along demonological lines much like the idea that ugly is evil (for physical deformity), the parallel being that mental slowness or dullness must be a curse of God (for mental deficiency). People with low intelligence are often seen as not knowing any better (Holmes, 2005) • Feeble-mindedness thesis This is another term for “moron”, imbecile, and “idiot’. Under this concept which was developed by H. H. Goddard in 1912. He said that feeble mindedness was hereditary and people who has it are potential criminals. (Holmes, 2005) • IQ-crime hypotheses

It was said that IQ is related to crime, that people with low IQ are highly possible to commit crime that those who have high IQ’s • Behaviorism and learning theories Some theories in criminology believe that criminality is a function of individual socialization, how individuals have been influenced by their experiences or relationships with family relationships, peer groups, teachers, church, authority figures, and other agents of socialization. These are called learning theories, and specifically social learning theories, because criminology never really embraced the psychological determinism inherent in most learning psychologies.

They are also less concerned for the content of what is learned (like cultural deviance theories), and more concerned with explaining the social process by which anyone, regardless of race, class, or gender, would have the potential to become a criminal. Social Learning, Control, and Labeling theories are all examples of social process theories (Hale, 2005) 4. Labeling and Conflict Theories: Labeling Theory Labeling theory focuses on the reaction of other people and the subsequent effects of those reactions which create deviance.

When it becomes known that a person has engaged in deviant acts, she or he is then segregated from society and thus labeled, "whore," thief," "abuser," "junkie," and the like. Becker noted that this process of segregation creates "outsiders", who are outcast from society, and then begin to associate with other individuals who have also been cast out. When more and more people begin to think of these individuals as deviants, they respond to them as such; thus the deviant reacts to such a response by continuing to engage in the behavior society now expects from them. (De Melo, 1999) Conflict Theory

Under this theory, the fundamental causes of the crimes were based on the social and economic forces. There are points of social organization theory and anomie theory that can be found under this concept. One of the prevalent sociologist who developed conflict theory was Karl Marx and it was Marx who said "there must be something rotten in the very core of a social system which increases its wealth without diminishing its misery, and increases in crime even more than its numbers. " References Akers, Ronald L. (2000) Criminological Theories: Introduction, Evaluation and Application (3rd ed. ) Los Angeles: Roxbury Press Brantingham, P. J. & Brantingham, P. L. (1991). Environmental Criminology.

Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press. Cote, Suzanne (2002) Criminological Theories: Bridging the Past and Future. United Kingdom: Sage Publication Inc. 3:66 De Melo (1999) An Overview to Labeling Theory. Comcast. http://home. comcast. net/~ddemelo/crime/crimetheory. html Hale, Robert (2005) Learning Theories of Crime. Northern Wesleyan College. http://faculty. ncwc. edu/TOConnor/301/301lect10. htm Holmes (2005) Mental Deficiency and Crime. Northern Carolina Wesleyan College. http://faculty. ncwc. edu/TOConnor/301/301lect04. htm

Kalkholf, Will (2002) Delinquency and Violence as Affect-Control: Reviving the Sub-cultural Approach in Criminology. Electronic Journal of Sociology (2002). /CAAP. http://www. sociology. org/content/vol006. 003/kalkhoff. html Matza, D. & Sykes, G. M. (1961) Juvenile Delinquency and Subterranean values. American Sociological Review. 26: 712-17. Rushton, Philippe (1990) Race and Crime. Canadian Journal of Criminology. 32: 315-334 Pennsylvania State University (2006) Cultural Theories of Crime and Deliquency. PennState. http://www. personal. psu. edu/faculty/w/m/wmm11/Cultural%20Theories%20of%20Crime%20and%20Delinquency. htm