Crime Is Defined And Based On Social Construction Essay

1499 Words Nov 5th, 2016 6 Pages
How we view crime is constantly changing as the year goes by, and that is why they aren’t an absolute definition of a crime. The Oxford English dictionary defines crime as: “An action or omission which constitutes an offence and is punishable by law” .What we know about crime isn’t always accurate, due to factors such as media & social norm.
Crime is a complex issue to discuss this is because two people could commit the same crime but the context determines who gets prosecuted. For example killing someone is considered a crime in the community, one could be prosecuted for it. But when people kill during wars they aren’t being prosecuted for it instead, society sees them as heroes. Based on this we could argue that crime is defined and based on social construction.
Reasons why people commits crime varies, it could be due to lack of knowledge on new legislation or our status in society. The strain theory argues that cultural goals and our ability to achieve these goals can push individuals to commit a crime. Robert Merton (1957) followed the concept of the strain theory. He argued that our urge to be socially accepted and respected could lead to individuals committing criminal acts. For example, in today’s society, everyone wants to live in a nice house and be wealthy. Unfortunately, not everyone has the opportunity to be wealthy. So individual that desperately want to be wealthy but doesn’t have the opportunity may result in other means of becoming wealthy. For example,…

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