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

Does Grady's chapter on domestic violence tend to support the claim that the phenomenon of crime is 'socially constructed'?

Extracts from this document...


3. Does Grady's chapter on domestic violence tend to support the claim that the phenomenon of crime is 'socially constructed'? When conducting a discussion on the relationship between crime and morality or crime and social conscience the debate could be said to be akin to that of the chicken and the egg. Which came first? Social constructivists would say that every crime is a product of social construction or stereotype. The opposing argument would be that legislation is guided by other external principles and that these shape our social beliefs and make us acknowledge that this or that crime is socially unacceptable. Various studies could (and have) been conducted which may show that one side or the other is right, or whether there is some truth in both of the arguments. One such study is that of Ann Grady1. In the process of this essay it will be my task to decide whether this study supports the social constructivist viewpoint and whether it can be used as an argument to prove the same. It may be pertinent to first talk about Grady's study and the findings that resulted. As it obvious from the title the study was about the prevalence of female-to-male domestic violence in households in this country. ...read more.


A consequence of both these reactions is that domestic violence becomes a crime perpetrated against women and not men. It would seem from this that Grady's article could definitely be used to support the idea that a crime can be socially constructed (at least in the realm of domestic violence) but can it be used to support a wider view that all crimes are socially constructed? As has been seen in Grady's article a social ideal or stereotype can affect the perception of a crime through the actions of the police but, as I have said above, there is another way in which it could be said that society influences (or creates) crime; through direct legislation. When you look at the past criminal legislation in this country one can see that much of it has come about through pressure on the legislature and executive to reflect popular opinion through the law. A good example is the introduction of the Dangerous Dogs Act and the Terrorism Act as a 'knee-jerk' reaction, so to speak, to popular opinion. Laws based predominantly on morality can also be proof of the theory, such as the laws on incest in the Sexual Offences Act and laws disallowing euthanasia. ...read more.


However, in a totalitarian or extreme dictatorship regime there may be little incentive or need to reflect the opinions of society. There are, seemingly situations in which the phenomenon of crime in a society may not be a social construct and if that is the case it would be untrue to say that all crimes are socially constructed. However, there is weight in Grady's argument that the influence the public can have on the police culture and activity and on the legislature can result in crime being defined in accordance with that influence. This may be true with a vast amount of the law. Grady certainly does not seem to be saying (or implying) that she does not believe this statement although neither does she expressly agree with it. But an argument and thought process can be extracted from her work which does indeed tend to support the idea purported in this essay title. I would say that perhaps the answer to the question is that Grady's chapter tends to support the idea that crimes can be socially constructed but does not necessarily support the view that the phenomenon of crime is. 1 Grady, 'Male Victims of Domestic Violence: Uncommon or Ignored?' in C Hoyle and R Young (eds) New Visions of Crime Victims (Oxford: Hart, 2002) pp 71-96. Kate Johnson Week1 Social Constructon of 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. Crime: Social construction or reality?

    (Muncie, 2004:126). Parker's study of youths can be applied to Taylor et al's 'Social theory of deviants'. The youths need to deviate in order to gain money, in the way the capitalist society is constructed they have little education so little hope of gaining employment.

  2. Examine the pattern of, and reasons for, domestic violence in society.

    In their perspective, they argued that the male dominated of the state explains why the police and the court fails to deal with cases of domestic violence efficiently. Similarly, social workers were reluctant to threaten the continuance of the family unit even where violence is occurring.

  1. Examine the patterns of, & reasons for, domestic violence in the society.

    Stanko's (2000) survey found that one incident of domestic violence is reported by women to the police every minute in the UK. Again Mirrles-Black (1999), using data from the British crime surveys, found that women were more likely to suffer violence than men- 70 per cent of reported domestic violence is violence by men against their female partners.

  2. Does the media heighten fear of crime?

    Wober (1978) and Gunter (1985) argue that British attempts to replicate the findings of Gerbner have been unsuccessful: Even though the debate about empirical validity of the cultivation hypothesis continues, though there is only a limited amount of evidence to confirm this plausible idea that ones exposure to the media is associated with a fear of crime.

  1. The following essay will explore the question; What is the relationship between policing governance ...

    it has moreover criticised the lack of local community involvement in policing and this is now seen as an essential ingredient in building the confidence of communities, particularly ethnic minority communities, in their local police[15]. As well as the tripartite structure of police accountability the police are also subject to

  2. How far does Becker's account (The Outsiders 1963) of the processes underlying the selective ...

    However, they may also choose cases that are more easily solvable and creditable for that officer. This is a brief introduction to show what selective enforcement is, now it is important to look at it from the perspectives of domestic violence and white collar crime.

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