Deviance is an act perceived to be against one cultural belief and the act cannot be tolerated. Deviance acts are different from one community to another and also can vary depending on generational time.
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For example, the homosexuality is allowed in American society, but in Africa the act is seen as satanic and can make the victims to be stoned to death. In some decades ago, divorce was seen to be against the rule of the church society, but with modernization, divorced has grown to be accepted as part of marriage life (Lukes 28).
Crime is an act that is against the norm of a society and the registered law of the entire country. If a person breaks a certain section of a country law, there is a correction sanction to that person. A person is usually taken to the court of law where the offence is listened to, by the judge and the person is either proven guilty or innocent.
A criminal can be put in jail for some time or for life, sentenced to death and even pay some money as a penalty (Lukes 28). A country law which is constitution is mostly formed by the parliament of that country.
Introduction. Sociologists have tried to understand crime and deviance in different ways. Most of the ancient sociologists have come up with different sociological perspectives that try to explain crime and deviance.
Emile Durkheim came up with rule of sociological methods that explained crime as part of society norms. Durkheim believed crime to be higher in modernized and industrialized society as compared to less modernized. In industrialized society, division of labor is the norm of life and each person is exposed to different work experiences (Moyer 54).
Division of labor exists in two ways, one is mechanical solidarity whereby the members of the society are similar and the organic solidarity in which society members creates a relationship among themselves through the division of labor. As in the division of labor, society people have different influences and situational experiences that distinguish one person from the other.
The personal differences make some people to be criminals and other to be good. No society lacks deviance or crime however perfect it could be. Every community has norms and traditions that put the members together and if the norms are broken, there is state of anomie and lawlessness.
Advantages of the perspective. Durkheim argued that besides division of labor helping to make production rise and improve the human capital it also possessed a moral character that created a sense of solidarity in humans. He explained with a married couple arguing that sexual desire would only exist after the material life has disappeared if the division of labor was to be reduced between the marriage partners.
Durkheim suggested that division of labor has more of social and moral order therefore married couple is bided by their common things they do. Durkheim saw that crime was beneficial to the society in some instances. Crime builds future morality by showing what law is to be followed.
For example a committed crime will lead to establishment of an order that will be followed by the people to avoid repetition of the same crime. Crime corrections or rewards were put not to punish a criminal and make the person stop the crime, but the punishment was to strengthen the entire law to help control crime. Durkheim saw that punishment and crime go together and cannot be separated (Marsh 98).
Drawbacks of the perspective. Crime is has negative impacts and dangerous to the people and the community at large if is at high levels. If crime is not controlled and increases more and more each day, the society can be unable to prevent the criminals. On the other hand, if the crime rate is too low, the society maybe abnormal.
According to Durkheim the breaking of the society way of living or the norms is what brings in the social change which is very important in community development. Otherwise the social change should be controlled or moderate to avoid social problem. In any case the deviance which motivate the social change should be regulated so that to prevent the loss of criminal identity which it is important in the future (Marsh 95).
Durkheim failed to explain how for example division of labor would be used to control crime in the society. Also not all crimes would be beneficial to the society because if a crime resulted to killing or a big damage then the society will drag behind on development.
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Lukes, Steven. The rules of the sociological method. New York: Free press, 2007.
Marsh, Ian., Melville, Gaynor. Theories of crime. Canada: Routledge, 2006
Moyer, Imogene. Criminological theories: traditional and non traditional voices. London: sage publishers, 2001.