criminology Essay

927 Words Oct 26th, 2014 4 Pages
This essay is going to discuss the causes of crime and evaluate the theories of criminalisation using one theory for each of the following themes. The themes are labelling and deviant identity of criminalisation, theory of delinquency and criminalisation, theory of political economy and criminalisation, and finally radical theory of criminalisation. This essay will also show some of the weaknesses of each of the theories used for these themes.

The first theme is labelling and deviant identity theory of criminalisation, one of the main contributors to this theory was Howard Becker who in 1963 wrote the book “Outsiders” which provided the foundations of labelling theory. Becker looked at how social groups created deviance by creating the
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This has made a greater divide between the classes as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer causing conflict. This in turn can cause deviant and delinquent behaviour if a individual does not achieve the wealth that they would like then they could turn to criminal activity to achieve it. There is an inequality in capitalism between the social group who have all the personal wealth and private ownership and the social group lower down who do not. The rules and laws are made by the social group at the top of the capitalist ladder and causes more conflict between the upper and lower classes in society.

The final theme is radical theory of criminalisation which is an extension of conflict theory and also known as neo-marxist criminology. In 1973 Ian Taylor, Paul Walton and Jock Young published “ The New Criminology this was a radical alternative to existing theories of crime and deviance.” (Haralambos, p343) Taylor et al argue that society and the inequality between the individuals that hold the wealth and power are the main contribution to the cause of crime and deviant acts. They argue :
“ Deviants are not just the passive victims of capitalism: they are actively struggling to alter capitalism.” (Haralambos, p343)
They also argue that if a poor individual steals from a rich individual then they are helping to change society, they want to see capitalism replaced with a

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