After a century of criminological theory, why does crime still exist
After more than a century of criminological theory, a central question remains: why does crime still exist? To answer this question one must first come to a clear definition as to what crime actually means. In essence crime can be considered a social concept; a specific word attributes an individual to a particularly undesirable group. This allocations is based upon an event; some sort of wrong-doing or deviance from the norm which results in social, physical, mental, property or financial harm. The fact is, there is no singular definition to crime- there are multiple views and opinions yet none stands as a concrete definition. From a formally legal perspective, crime can be defined as by the state; that is if a specific …show more content…
The strongest point classicism holds is its emphasis on equality. In the eyes of the law classicism enforces that everyone be viewed and treated the same. Whilst in theory this notion may seem appealing as it rids the legal system of bias judgements such as lifting the laws for the rich, it also has a dark side. Classicism ignores the specificity of the defendant. Some people such as mentally ill or children are clearly not rational yet classicism overlooks this. Classicism incorrectly assumes that people are equal in terms of life chances and it does little to address the causations of crime. Thus although the deterrence policy adopted by classicism has been proven to work, the theory refuses to acknowledge external factors which may influence crime. Even though classical systems of crime are still used today, such theoretical models became largely unfavourable in the mid-19th century when a new paradigm of human behaviour became dominant (Tibbets 2012). This view became known as school of positivism.
Positivism was first proposed by Auguste Comte (1968) – his theory sought to quantify, classify and acknowledge humanities individual differences when dealing with criminal acts. The core concept underlying positivism is that individual behaviour is shaped by both external and internal factors. The focus of positivism is of the individual and not the crime. Conversely to