• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Crime and deviance in Trinidad and Tobago

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Tanille Spicer Sociology Upper 6 2 Mr. Ramdass Essay: Crime and Deviance in Trinidad and Tobago is attributed to the limited access to the ?legitimate opportunity structure?. Crime, according to Brown (2001), is an act in violation of the criminal law that is subject to official punishment by the state. Whereas a deviant act, is simply an act which goes against the mainstream norms and value of society. With reference to Robert K. Merton, a functionalist theorist, and Cloward and Ohlin, subcultural theorists, both of whom argue to a large extent that the cause of crime and deviance is due to the lack of access to the ?legitimate opportunity structure.? On the other hand, Walter Miller, another functionalist theorist, disagrees with them. In this essay, it will be attempted to discuss whether the lack of access to the legitimate opportunity structure is the main cause of crime and deviance in the Caribbean, specifically, Trinidad and Tobago. According to Robert K. Merton, deviance results from the culture and structure of society itself. ...read more.


In Trinidad and Tobago, Sangre Grande and Mayaro are among the poorest areas in the country with the lowest annual household income and the lowest levels of education, as well as, most criminal offenders come out of these areas. As well as, the Port of Spain division, the most industrialized area in Trinidad and Tobago, one person in each family has experienced some sort of crime within 2009, according to Trinidad and Tobago National Human Development Index 2012. Therefore, this supports Merton?s view that the lack of access to the legitimate opportunity structure leads to anomie and increases the existence of crime and deviance. According to Cloward and Ohlin; Differential Opportunity Structures(1961), they believe in the existence of an ?illegitimate opportunity structure,? which is just as well-defined and access can be just as limited, just as the legitimate opportunity structure, which also contributes to crime and deviance. In the Caribbean, specifically Trinidad and Tobago, there exists an illegitimate opportunity structure in the form of activities such as illegal drug trade, kidnapping and prostitution. ...read more.


Fourthly, fate, which depicts the future as a matter of fate rather than from gratificational methods, such as education and finally, autonomy which represents freedom from external authority. This theory suggests other causes for the occurrence of crime and deviance however it is not very common in the Caribbean, particularly Trinidad and Tobago. Nonetheless, it can still be seen in Trinidad and Tobago, to a certain extent, where, as there are many matrifocal families that contain no male role model, young male adolescents commit these crimes to prove themselves as masculine. As well as there is not many stable families in the lower class which can lead to a lack of educational attainment and success on the whole as the children are encouraged to work and make money as soon as possible and in any way. In conclusion, from the statistical evidence given above to support the criminological theories it can be seen that to a large extent that a lack of access to the legitimate opportunity structure is a huge cause of crime and deviance in Trinidad and Tobago, however, there are still other factors to consider when evaluating the reasons for crime. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Crime & Deviance section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Crime & Deviance essays

  1. Sociological Theories on Crime and Deviance

    Radical feminists such as Heidensohn (1986) suggest this is because of the domination of sociology by men. The result is that crime issues relating to males, social class and ethnicity have been at the centre of most sociological theories of deviance.

  2. Evaluate Functionalist Theories of Crime and Deviance

    They claimed that the "zone of transition" or inner city had higher crime than others- due to what they termed "high human turnover" as migrant groups moved in and out. This led them to argue that crime was not a consequence of one group but a consequence of no single group being able to settle in properly.

  1. Compare and Contrast the Main Sociological Theories of Deviance.

    This will lead to a materialistic capitalist system that may force working people to commit crime as they have a lower income and may not be able to afford to buy things like the rest of the society. Marxists helped to explain the different types of crimes besides the most obvious ones.

  2. Outline and Assess Subcultural Theories of Crime and Deviance

    The final adaption is known as Retreatist, and this tends to be an individual response which occurs when the individual has no exposure or opportunity to be involved with the other two subcultures of Criminal and Conflict. The result therefore, is a retreat into alcoholism or drug dependency.

  1. What have theories of deviance added to our understanding of crime? Why are there ...

    As Laurie Taylor (1971) puts it, individuals are in a rigged fruit machine (society), with the more deprived having the option to cheat to increase their chance of success (innovation), play on for the sake of it (ritualism), give up (retreatism) or propose a new game (rebellion).

  2. Examine the role of access to opportunity structures in causing crime and deviance (12 ...

    They no longer realise the positive opportunity structures that are available to them and may engage in deviant behaviour. The third mode of adaptation of deviant behaviour, known as Retreatism, is where individuals in society no longer accept the means or goals of society.

  1. What is a gang?

    When a new member joins a gang, he must usually go through an initiation. Initiations don't usually involve elaborate ceremonies or formalities, but the initiate will have to endure certain rites. The most common is "jumping in," a beating issued by all the gang members.

  2. Examine the role of access to opportunity structures in causing crime and deviance

    The next is known as the Innovation mode of adaptation which is where the goals of money success are accepted but illegitimate means of achieving them e.g. theft or fraud are used instead. This mode of adaptation typically occurs at the lower end of the class structure where factors like

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work