Is crime an abnormal Act? Is crime an abnormal act committed by an abnormal person? An average person confronted with the question, "Is crime an abnormal act committed by an abnormal person"?, would undoubtedly say, ÔÇ£YesÔÇ?. They would consider themselves, perhaps not angelic, but certainly law-abiding members of society; however, if these so-called, ÔÇÿlaw-abidingÔÇÖ citizens were to take a little time to analyse the question, their answer might be very different; moreover, they might discover the ÔÇÿgeneÔÇÖ of criminality is in us all! Crime and deviance is not only a normal part of society, it is undoubtedly a product of its very existence! We shall see how such is the case through the work of some great individuals (Durkheim & Merton) who took the time to ÔÇÿthinkÔÇÖ about the question, and used a variety of theories to explain their subsequent answers. We shall explore their theories that will direct us towards a realistic answer. In pursuit of an answer to the aforementioned question, one must first understand the question itself and its very meaning. Crime itself is a very transient term; it is something that varies through the passage of time, society, geography, and by who commits the act. A sad, yet perfect instance would be the taking of life. In times of war we are taught the finer skills of killing, awarded medals and held in high esteem for our bravery in the taking of life. The same act committed in peacetime is held with the uppermost reproach, inevitably gaining you a life-sentence or two. From hero to murderer! Take for instance the IRA, a group that has fought for the independence of Ireland and in doing so been involved in the ÔÇÿkillingÔÇÖ or ÔÇÿmurderÔÇÖ of many innocent people; to the Irish Nationalists they are heroes, to the English government they are murderers. The point being that what constitutes a crime is not necessarily its ÔÇÿrightnessÔÇÖ or ÔÇÿwrongnessÔÇÖ but whether it has been classified as a crime. The same act committed in one place, at one time, by a certain person, is open to
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question whether it is illegal by its very classification and by whom it has been classified by. In all such contested situations, it is the views of the powerful that prevail, as they have the ability to make their views count. It would then appear that what constitutes a crime is open to debate; moreover, the criminals who we choose to despise, are they no more than mere victims of our own perceptions? ÔÇ|our own social conditioning? To see why this is, we must look to the very basis of society and how it decides what is ÔÇÿrightÔÇÖ or ÔÇÿwrongÔÇÖ. ...

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