Distinguish Between Crime as a Social and a Sociological Problem, to What Extent Should Sociologists Attempt to Combat “the Social Problem of Crime”

1940 Words Nov 28th, 2012 8 Pages
In this essay we shall look at what crime is, what social problems are, and what sociological problems are , how they overlap and we will also look into what sociologists do and look into Robert Merton’s strain theory, and also other sociologists views like William Chambliss’s ‘roughnecks and saints’.
A crime is the breaking of certain rules laid out by a society i.e. the Government. Crime is said to be ‘activities that break the law and are subject to official punishment (Holborn and Haralambos, 2000, pg. 330)

All social norms are accompanied by sanctions that promote conformity and protect against non-conformity. A sanction is any reaction from others to the behaviour of an individual or group that is meant to ensure compliance to a
…show more content…
Although the information helps us to understand what crime is? The fact is that sociologist can help us understand and maybe prevent crime, but the government are the only ones who have the power the implicate the laws that we live by. They say who the deviants are, and they are the ones who have the power to impose the sanctions for not conforming to society’s rules.

So is crime a social problem or a sociological problem? Well social problems are problems that effect members of society. Some examples would be drug problems, domestic violence, lack of education, asbo’s, vandalism, unemployment, obesity, drinking, and racism. Sociological problems would be questions or problems that interest sociologists or the study of society.

“We define social problems as the activities of individuals or groups making assertions of grievances and claims with respect to some putative conditions. The emergence of a social problem is contingent upon the organisation of activities asserting the need for eradicating, ameliorating, or otherwise changing some condition”
(Spector and Kituse citied Hester and Eglin, 1992.p.1)

So this states that social problems are problems that are currently not wanted, and are in need of eradicating. Sociologists job would be to find out why the social problem occurs, how to understand and fix it, what the cause might be, and whether it affects society. Sociology can teach valuable insights into crime and how the study of crime can provide an

Related Documents