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What causes crime and deviance in society, biological or social factors?

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´╗┐What causes crime and deviance in society, biological or social factors? Crime and deviance refer to the breaking of laws and unwritten rules. What counts as criminal and deviant varies over time and between societies, and depends on the social situation in which the act takes place. Deviation is defined as abnormal behaviour from cultures norms, values, or laws so different cultures have different values and norms. For example it is deviant for women to smoke in Islamic countries but in western society it is normal therefore, deviance is behaviour that is not seen as appropriate and acceptable. It is considered as banned and controlled behaviour which mostly attracts informal social controls such as disapproval, stigmatization and in some cases punishment. On this point sociological research illustrates how a particular form of behaviour may in one situation be classified as deviant and yet in different circumstances may viewed as perfectly accepted, Plummer (1979) stated this point in his distinction between ?society, and ?situational? deviance ?Societal deviance refers to those categories of behaviour which are either ?commonly sensed? by most members of society to be deviant or deviant dominant beliefs and institutional practices such as law?. (The book) According to Durkheim, when people act against societal values and norms, then general a system of informal control controls to force them back into conformity for example, disproval and stigmatisation. ...read more.


Linnoila and colleagues have reported that ?within the context of a Finnish forensic population, violent offenders and impulsive fire-setters evidenced lower mean CSF 5-HIAA than normal controls?. (Virkkunen et al., 1989) A criticism of Brunner research concerns the sample of this experiment which is un-representative so the result cannot be generalized to the wider population e.g., women or men of any other age group because the experiment contains cultural and gender bias. Brunner only selected Dutch male participants. It can be also be argued that the research studied only a small sample because Brunner?s work was carried out on three brothers and cannot be generalised to wider population. Thus, this experiment is limited. However, this experiment is reliable and can be repeated many times to get the same results. Criticisms of Linnoila?s study are also that it uses a limited sample and cannot be applied to the general population, or used to explain the high rate of violence in the United States as it only focused small sample, only compared to whole population. A further critique in this study is uses un-representative sample as the result cannot be generalised to other cultures because the nationality of the samples were American. However, this experiment is reliable and can be repeated many times to get the same results. Labelling theory is founded on the idea that behaviours are deviant only when society labels them as deviant. ...read more.


In Gumpert and Gumpert (1968) a comment on ?Pygmalion in the classroom? they use this example to describe a self-fulfilling prophecy. The criticisms of this study that it uses is limited samples because the research only studied white children and therefore cannot be generalised to every child because it has culture bias and the nationalities of the samples were Americans. It can also be criticized because this study has high ecological validity because it was carried out in a school setting. A confounding variable could affect the research because the study did not measure if the children had same level of intelligence. It can also be argued that this experiment is ethically wrong because these labels could affect the children. The disadvantages of labelling are that it fails to explain why people commit primary deviance previous to labelling, implies deviance would not exist without labelling, fails to explain the origins of labels, not everyone who commits crime is labelled, and laws can be enforced selectively. Conclusion: According to varies researchers crime and deviance are caused both in biological and social. According to H Becker (1963) argued that crimes are caused by society because, individuals get labelled by criminal and act as criminal ?someone labelled as ?criminal? may be discriminated against and find it difficult to get employment?. From a Marxist ?Capitalism creates inequalities which lead to conflict. Greed, selfishness and want are associated with capitalism, and it is these which lead people to committing crime?. ...read more.

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