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When attempting to explain the question of what is crime?

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TMA7 X3112220 When attempting to explain the question of what is crime? Two predominate theories emerge, that of a structural explanation and that of an agency. These theories form one of the fundamental debates in Social Science and each offers its own perspective on how free individuals are to act as they chose with out social intervention. As such in this essay I intend to illustrate the key points of each explanation and in turn highlight key methods of evidence used to support them. Those who would describe crime with the foundation on social structures, focus on the collective influences, which drive individuals to behave or conform in certain manners. These structures can vary from an individual's family background and genetics to their cultural surroundings and beliefs. Even with in this one branch of explanation there may be several contrasting opinions. ...read more.


With out the claims could be thought of as speculation and could be considered less reliable. Evidence can be produced from a many different research methods. They may take the form of interviews, participant or non- participant observation, questionnaires, case studies, or even experiments. Evidence in social science is vitally important as it can on occasion provide the basis for an opinion or argument as well as provide support for a previously formed idea or opinion. For example David Farrington supported the theory that a persons family can propel them into crime. He used longitudinal studies as a primary method of evidence, which proved to be most effective. The studies focused on several individuals' family circumstances and the criminal behaviour they displayed. He found using these studies that a strong pattern emerged between those who shared similar "problem family" situations and those who committed criminal acts. ...read more.


justifies the ends (i.e. stolen goods). As with the structural opinion this theory can only be considered relative if there is evidence to support the claims. Open questioned interviews with criminals and observation methods are key approaches when trying to compile evidence for the rational choice theory. This is because they ask or observes first hand why criminals commit crime. Again these are qualitative methods of research but the findings can be used to draw out statistical or quantitative evidence if required. Quantitative methods of research are useful when bring information together as it tends to be easier to draw conclusions and percentile information from. X3112220 As you can see although there are many proposed theories for why people turn to or commit crime no one explanation can offer a concrete answer. Nevertheless if supported with credible evidence and equitable research two fundamentally different theories can be considered to provide plausible explanation. ...read more.

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