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Hi, need to submit a 750 words essay on the topic What are the pros and cons of applying sterotypes to identify potential criminals and do the costs outweigh the benefits, or vice versa.Download file
Hi, need to submit a 750 words essay on the topic What are the pros and cons of applying sterotypes to identify potential criminals and do the costs outweigh the benefits, or vice versa.Download file to see previous pages
Many theories have been put forward to explain the occurrence of criminal acts. Some of these theories include conflict theory, structural-functional theory, symbolic interactions and labeling theory.Criminal behavior is an act that violates the norms of a society according to Sociologists-Criminal act can also be an act that violates the laws of the land in a formal setting according to oxford dictionary of law. Criminology is a violation of socially constituted laws, norms or values. In this paper, I will analyze criminal behavior based on stereotypes as have been put forward by sociological theorists. I will discuss the pros and cons of applying stereotypes to identify the potential criminal.
Lombroso had put forward a theory of crime and deviant. Lombroso suggested ways in which society can identify a criminal based on genetic, biological and psychological characteristics. Lombroso had suggested some genetically and biological characteristics which identify a criminal for example, a person with six fingers left-handed eyebrows that meet at the bottom, squinted eye to be criminals (Ashmore and Longo, 22.Hamilton,191) .Based on Lombroso theory it is possible for police or community to victimize individuals based on the characteristics given by Lombroso yet they are innocent. This has been so in the U.S where African Americans are often perceived as criminals as seen in the case that appeared in the Kentucky Supreme Court in 2002. In the court, the police argued that the man, black, must be the one who had sold cocaine to state's informant since he sounded black. The stereotype that it's African Americans who engage in crime has led to increase of crime causes. The young African Americans argue that they are perceived as criminals even when they are innocent (Randall, 88. Irving 63). The occurrence has led to many young African Americans who are potential criminals to engage in crime (Schissel, 71. Thornberry, 14. Duffy and Scotts, 29).
Empirical studies have been done by sociologists to verify the truth of the theory and it has been found that there are individuals who possess the given characteristics yet they are morally upright. Media has played a role in strengthening certain stereotypes by highlighting crimes committed by certain group of people and emphasize how police die in line of duty (Gray, Fishman and Gruyter, 21 .Oliver, 88 .Weitzer, 11).
Lombroso theory of description of criminals formed the basis of development of labeling theory. The theory of labeling focuses on the linguistic tendency of individuals to act in accordance to how society has described them based on norms and stereotype.
Howard Becker has put forward ways in which individuals adhere to the labeling and become delinquent or criminals. For example, when a teenage is told by everyone that he resemble a thug. the particular teenager can even begin by picking other people's items like books with the notion "after all everyone perceives me as a thief". Psychologically, the teenager is oriented to criminal behaviors due to labeling and this is an adverse effect on society.
When a potential criminal is described or labeled a criminal according to Becker, it becomes very hard to reform the individual through imprisonment and rehabilitation facilities since the individual already perceives that the society already perceive him as criminal so whether he/she changes, whenever a criminal act occurs the society will suspect him first. An empirical study on criminal maniacs or prison maniacs has given data on the theory which verify the theory (Presdee, 44).