Trends In Criminology

733 Words 3 Pages
The field of criminology in the United States has always been engrossed in accurate and precise ways of both ascertaining trends in crime and how to circumvent it. At a glance, one could assume that there may not be a connection between the media, public, and crime. However, this supposition could not be any further from the truth. The media pursues high TV ratings by inflating numbers and distorting storylines concerning crime. This in turn persuades the public into believing the popular erroneous stereotypes that there is an upswing in crime that is directly associated with race, gender, and social class. This fear-mongering propaganda by the media has led to the public directly influencing police work to appease their inaccurate opinions …show more content…
Proponents of the self-report studies claim that this reveals that the other ways of quantifying crime in the United States are flawed. Some have even stated that they prove that there is no correlation between one’s social class and the probability of committing a criminal offense as previous law enforcement statistics have shown. Tittle, Villemez, and Smith claimed in their article that their study showed there was little proof connecting crime and social class (1978). Out of the 363 studies they analyzed, they found that there was no “historical trend” of crime regarding class and that self-report studies for the past few decades supported their findings (Tittle et al., 1978, p. 651). Tittle et al. also concluded that due to the validity of the self-report, the only explanation for report trends showing a connection to class and delinquency is “biases in the criminal justice system” (1978, p. 654). The use of self-report studies with high school students has offered valuable insight into how inaccurate other reports may be. In 1957 a self-report involving high school students showed “a surprising amount of delinquency had been committed by non-delinquent students” and came to the conclusion that “delinquency remains hidden from legal officials” (Barkan, 2015, p. 45). Conversely, there are also cons to the self-report …show more content…
A blatant flaw is how self-reports often focused on “minor and trivial offenses”, but there has been a conservative effort to now include rape and robbery (Barkan, 2015, p. 45). Another criticism is that minorities fail to report their crimes out of fear. One study found that “African-American youths are more likely than white youths to underreport their offending” (Barkan, 2015, p. 45). A third criticism mentioned by Barkan is that self-report studies have the exact same flaw as other criminal studies, they fail to focus on white-collar crime (2015). It also seems highly unlikely that anyone, not just minorities, would report crimes they have committed. This concept especially goes for prison inmates, who could have to spend extra time in prison if found guilty of another

Related Documents