Sociological Theories Of Crime Essay

683 Words3 Pages
Five of the main crime theories that have gained acceptance are choice theories, trait theories, sociological theories, social process theories, and social conflict theories. Each offers a unique perspective as to why people commit crimes. A variety of these theories focus on correlation between certain factors and their affect on people. Each theory has been studied and tested with varied results, in hopes to narrow down what prompts an individual to commit a crime. Choice theory is the idea that a person commits a crime because they choose to do so. Oftentimes when a person is on trial for a crime, their attorney will argue things such as “He/she was under the influence of peer pressure,” or “He/She is mentally unwell.” Where there are cases in which those statements are true, under choice theory it is still believed that person made a conscious decision to commit the crime they are being charged with. Understandably, there is some allure to committing a crime. For crimes such as robbery, said criminal can stand to gain wealth or possessions. For some people, just the adrenaline rush they receive…show more content…
A study was conducted by sociologist Elijah Anderson on two types of families, “street” families, and “decent” families. In his research, Anderson found that “decent” families usually had an older male with a steady job, who was a good role model as both husband and father. “Street” families, on the other hand, lacked such a role model and youth violence was escalated. There is also the factor of strain theory. Strain theory implies that citizens not having the means to achieve educational or financial freedom results in frustration and strife, causing people to lash out and commit crimes. This is turn, causes people to see themselves as a lower class, and some may even say destined for that
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