A.N.Nuckchady PGCE 09-10 Social Studies

Define Crime.

Crime means the breaking of rules that have been made into laws by the rulers or government of a society.

Example of a crime:

Killing a person is considered a dangerous and serious deviant act, therefore a law has been designed against it, thus it becomes a crime.

What is a crime?

A crime is an action committed by a person which is not only against the norms and values of a society but also against the rules of the society. In most societies some deviant actions are too severe and dangerous that rules are designed against it in the forms of laws. The laws describe clearly the severe deviant act and also state the particular punishment to be taken against it. Most crime are internationally approved of as dangerous and are more or less sanctioned the same way. For example killing a person is considered a dangerous and serious deviant act, therefore a law has been designed against it. Murder is internationally recognized as a crime but is Euthanasia(mercy killing) a crime? However in some societies some actions can be considered as criminal when is may not necessarily be a c rime in another country for example drinking alcohol is a crime in Saudi Arabia but it is not a crime in the USA. Marijuana smoking is not a crime in the Carribean countries but it is a crime in most part of the world.

Define Deviance.

Deviance means behaviour that most or all people disapprove of in the society. They consist of behaviour that are against society’s norms and values. Deviance is different according to different countries as different societies shave different norms and values.

Example of deviance:

A deviant act is an action against the unwritten forms of behaviour(norms) and values of a society. If a person is not conforming to the norms, like walking on the streets nude, thus he can be said to be deviant.

What is deviance?

The word deviance means behaviour that most people disapprove of in the society. Such behaviour will not conform to the society’s norms and values. Therefore deviance is behaviour against the norms, that is the unwritten rules for behaviour which are based on values and which define what is thought of as good and right in a society. Different cultures have different norms and values and so deviance varies between cultures and time.

Deviance applies to a wide range of behaviour and crime is a category within this type of behaviour that is so strongly disapproved that there is a law against it. It can be argued that not all deviance is crime, that is all action which are disapproved of in the society are not punished by the law. For example not brushing one’s teeth is not punishable by the law.

Is all crime deviant?

All crimes ought to be deviant but in fact it can be argued that there are some offences as being a criminal or even deviant. For example, it is against the law to park on double yellow lines, and a magistrate could fine a motorist who does this, but we would not think of the motorist as a criminal.

Are actions deviant in all parts of the world?

The relativity of Deviance.

How is deviance relative?

Deviant acts vary according to the person, the social situation, in between countries and over history.

A deviant act can vary between different person according to factors like age and gender. Thus it is normal for adults to drink alcohol or smoke in some countries while it is deviant for children to drink or smoke. Similarly it is normal for married adults to have sexual intercourse whereas it is deviant to have sexual intercourse between unmarried adults, depending on the culture. It is also regarded as deviant for a teacher to have sexual relationship with his or her students or a doctor with his or her patients.

Many of the acts that count as deviance would not be deviant in another situation. For example, it is normal not to wear clothes while taking a bath but it is not normal to be undress while walking on the street. It would be deviant to be dressed on a nudist beach. However nudity in any other situation can be deviant in other situations and can be treated as criminal for example nudity in public places.

Whether an act is deviant or not depends on the social or cultural situation.

A deviant act depends also on the countries and on the cultures of the country.

Define Delinquency

Delinquency is a term to describe deviant behaviour committed by young people. Most delinquents do break the laws as well.

Example of delinquency:

A delinquent act is similar to a deviant act but it is committed mostly by young people, for example bunking of class or school.

Define Rules

Rules are more explicit than norms as they written down forms of accepted and expected behaviours. Rules tell people how to behave in different situations. Rules exist in the form of request and warnings.

Example of rules:

Rules are different in different countries but most of them are common like rules against murder, that is what is murder and the sanctions that a person can have if he/she has committed a dangerous deviant act.

Example of a rule in form of a request:

Rules can be in forms of requests that is without any sanctions like ‘ Please do not distract the attention of the driver’

Example of a rule in the form of a warning:

Most rules are in forms of warning like ‘Do not smoke’ with forms of sanctions attached to it.

Define Sanctions

Sanctions are actions to be taken whenever a person has committed an action against the norms or rules of a society. Sanctions can be either very severe or not severe. Sanctions can either be formal or informal and can be in the form or punishment or reward.

Physiological or Biological Theories of Crime and Deviance

The Physiological or Biological theories of crime and deviance emphasize the importance of the structure of the body as well as genetic in the explanation of criminal behaviour.

Some individual are more prone to criminal behaviour than others because of their genetic make-up.

Criminals are people who have inherited genetic characteristics which predispose them to crime.

Cesar Lombroso: