A Few Kind Words And A Loaded Gun Analysis

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Introduction: One question that is so commonly asked when studying criminology is Why do criminals commit crimes? Is it because of bad upbringing? Social or environmental influences? Noel ‘Razor’ Smith’s autobiography ‘A few kind words and a loaded gun’ shows us a first person perspective of the life of a criminal and the trials and tribulations faced throughout it. We are shown how he got caught up in petty crimes such as stealing milk and gradually throughout the book escalated to offences such as GBH. I will be mainly focusing on four main types of theories being ; Psychodynamic Theory, Social Contract theory, Utilitarianism and the labelling theory. These theories will allow me to give an explanation as to why he behaved the way he did…show more content…
(Delinquents and Criminals, 1983).During the research they done together, it was found that circumstances within a household may well be favourable for one child but not the sibling. Noel mentioned that his father was never around much as a kid. (A few kind words and loaded gun, 2005). From Healy and Bronner’s study we can come to the conclusion that Noel had not made an emotional attachment to a ‘good parent’, hence impeding the development of a superego. Another example of this is much later on in the book when he states that he felt like he was on a different planet from everybody else and did not want to grow up nor fully accept his responsibilities. (A few kind words and loaded gun, 2005). However the disadvantage to this theory is that it does not take full account of other factors i.e Free Will. This weakness is caused by the fact that this theory is very deterministic. The idea about the ID, Ego and Superego which creates the personality completely eliminates the belief of free will meaning that we do not have any decision in any of the choices that we make (Criminology: Theory, research and policy, 2011). Another weaknesses of this theory is that most of Freud’s research is found using case studies which are individual cases and so it has made it hard to generalise it to the rest of the population. Freud started off his research on people around him and this created a weakness for his theory as the people in Freuds social and cultural surrounding were upper class jewish women. Through this research he then released his book the seduction theory. This is a prime example of how his approach was very narrow and did not take into account cultural variations. People from different backgrounds tend to have different beliefs and values and therefore it would not make sense to generalise this theory on everybody when the research had only been done

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