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"Crime as a social construction"

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    I am completely stuck, I need to write a bit about why crime is a social construction and I don't have a clue :confused: , anyone want to shed some light please?? :confused:

    I'm totally stuck and don't even know what social construction is getting at :no:
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    does it mean that crime is just the fault of somebody's social conditions i.e. somebody only commits crime because they live on a council estate?
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    No, you need to think about Interactionists and labelling etc. As in, what makes a crime a crime. And how it changes in society, and as time passes- e.g. homosexuality was once a crime, and now it's not. That's the social construction of homosexuality as a crime. If you get me?
    Include as many perspectives as you can, such as Marxists and what they would see as crimes.

    I think that's right anyway... haven't thought about Sociology since June!
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    What makes a crime criminal.
    -how crime changes in our society
    -how crimes are different in other cultures - some things are criminal elsewhere that aren't here, e.g. homosexuality still being punishable by the death penalty
    Think about how laws are produced.

    What are you writing about? May be able to be more specific
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    Also think about self-fulfilling prophecy perhaps? If you're categorised as a troublemaker and a hopeless case then chances are you'll act like one. Poverty and poor education are also instrumental in certain types of crime such as antisocial disorder and violence. That's not to say every crime is - e-crime is commited by relatively wealthy/clever individuals for example and is largely faceless, which means it's harder to demonise.

    Crime from a theoretical perspective is definitely a social construct. The label crime classifies social disorder to isolate and villify the behaviour, preventing more people from acting in a similar fashion. It's basically a mechanism to control people to act in a socially acceptable way, guarding the ideals that the society holds: namely self-preservation and property in the West.
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    (Original post by Jhawkins)
    No, you need to think about Interactionists and labelling etc. As in, what makes a crime a crime. And how it changes in society, and as time passes- e.g. homosexuality was once a crime, and now it's not. That's the social construction of homosexuality as a crime. If you get me?
    Include as many perspectives as you can, such as Marxists and what they would see as crimes.

    I think that's right anyway... haven't thought about Sociology since June!
    that makes more sense than mine
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    What about the changes of social attitudes and how this affects crime?

    For example, in recent years we're seeing a rise in the amount of people who aren't brought up to have respect for others, not to take responsibility for their own actions, etc, and guess what, we're facing rises in antisocial behaviour, gang related crime, underage sex, etc.
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    (single mothers) Women are locked up due to benefit crime, yet companies who commit tax fraud are given lesser penelities.
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    The famous quote you want to use here is 'social groups consitute deviance by making the rules whose infraction consitutes deviance' (that's the not exact wording, it's something like that). In other words, change what counts as crime, and therefore you change what is criminal or not. Changes in crime rates don't just reflect changes in how the rules are broken, but also reflect changes in the rules themselves. And who decides what the rules are? Usually the more powerful to control the less powerful.
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    i have to write also about the social construction of crime... so if i understand well ... the definition of crime, violence. etc.. is diferrent in each society because what is crime is constructed by individuals...
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    (Original post by jjoeje)
    i have to write also about the social construction of crime... so if i understand well ... the definition of crime, violence. etc.. is diferrent in each society because what is crime is constructed by individuals...
    yes...not by individuals but by groups in society or society as a whole I would argue. If the PM said that bare back sex was illegial, do you think society woukd agreee... espically his labour party as the PM himself has had a few children, so did Gordon Brown (RIP one died) and the rest of society do it or society would die away.
    Except for drugs and drink... do you think there are any other laws which should be changed?
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    it could be argued crime is both socially produced and socially constructed.

    look up strain theory, subcultural theory, anomie.

    then contrast it against say howard becker, michel foucault for social constructionism.

    also, Foucault argued knowledge was socially constructed... so that could tie in too.

    good luck.
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    In my opinion, social disorganization, differential association, social bonding and social capital are also important theories/concepts regarding this matter..
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    thankyou im gunna do this now!! xx
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    Well, in the words of the great Howard Becker:

    "Social groups create deviance by creating the rules whose infraction (breaking) constitutes deviance, and by applying those rules to particular people and labeling them as outsiders".

    Hope this helps

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