THEORIES OF CRIME

 

[[RECALL: WHEN SOCIOLOGISTS STUDY CRIME AND DEVIANCE, THEY ATTEMPT TO LEARN WHAT TYPES OF BEHAVIOR ARE DEFINED AS DEVIANT, WHO DOES THE DEFINING, HOW AND WHY PEOPLE BECOME DEVIANTS, AND HOW SOCIETY DEALS WITH DEVIANCE ==

 

THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IS ONLY ONE RESPONSE TO DEVIANCE == IT IS ONE OF A RANGE OF FORMAL RESPONSES THAT WE HAVE COME TO RELY UPON TO GUARD AGAINST CERTAIN FORMS OF UNWANTED CONDUCT]]

 

LET’S LOOK AT SEVERAL “EXPLANATORY THEORIES” OF CRIME AND DEVIANCE GENERALLY FALLING WITHIN THE FUNCTIONALIST, SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONIST, CONFLICT AND FEMINIST PERSPECTIVES == WHILE EACH FOCUSES ON THE ROLE OF SOCIAL GROUPS IN CREATING DEVIANCE, THESE THEORIES ARE QUITE DIFFERENT FROM ONE ANOTHER == HOWEVER, EACH CONTRIBUTES IN ITS OWN WAY TO OUR UNDERSTANDING OF DEVIANCE == NONE OFFER A COMPREHENSIVE EXPLANATION OF ALL DEVIANCE, BUT, IN MANY RESPECTS THEY CAN BE CONSIDERED COMPLIMENTARY {{KENDALL PP. 200}}

 

 

FUNCTIONALISM:

 

1)      STRAIN THEORY

 

ACCORDING TO ROBERT MERTON (1938 1968), IN A SMOOTHLY FUNCTIONING SOCIETY, DEVIANCE WILL BE LIMITED BECAUSE MOST PEOPLE SHARE COMMON CULTURAL GOALS AND A DEGREE UPON THE APPROPRIATE MEANS FOR REACHING THEM == HOWEVER, SOCIETIES THAT DO NOT PROVIDE SUFFICIENT AVENUES TO REACH THESE GOALS MAY ALSO LACK AGREEMENT ABOUT THE APPROPRIATE MEANS BY WHICH PEOPLE MAY ACHIEVE THEIR ASPIRATIONS == DEVIANCE MAY BE COMMON IN SUCH SOCIETIES BECAUSE PEOPLE MAY BE WILLING TO USE WHATEVER MEANS THEY CAN TO ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS.

 

ACCORDING TO “STRAIN THEORY,” PEOPLE FEEL STRAIN WHEN THEY ARE EXPOSED TO CULTURAL GOALS THAT THEY ARE UNABLE TO OBTAIN BECAUSE THEY DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO CULTURALLY APPROVED MEANS OF ACHIEVING THOSE GOALS.

 

THE GOALS MAY BE MATERIAL POSSESSIONS AND MONEY; THE APPROVED MEANS MAY INCLUDE AN EDUCATION AND JOBS. WHEN DENIED LEGITIMATE ACCESS TO THESE GOALS, SOME PEOPLE SEEK ACCESS THROUGH DEVIANT MEANS.

 

EX: MARGARET BEARE (1996A) HAS USED MERTON’S STRAIN THEORY TO EXPLAIN THE INVOLVEMENT OF CANADIAN MOHAWKS IN THE ORGANIZED CRIME OF SMUGGLING IN THE EARLY 1990S == IN ORDER TO RAISE REVENUE AND TO DISCOURAGE SMOKING, CANADIAN GOVERNMENTS HAS FOR DECADES IMPOSED HIGH TAXES ON CIGARETTES == AS A RESULT, THE COSET OF CIGARETS HAD BECOME MUCH HIGHER IN THIS COUNTRY THAN IN THE USA == TO SAVE MONEY, MANY OF THOSE ADDICTED TO CIGARETTES TURNED TO THE “CONTRABAND MARKET” == BTY 1993, MORE THAN ONE-QUARTER OF THE CIGARETTES CONSUMED IN CANADA WERE PURCHASED ILLEGALLY == IN ONTARIO AND QUEBEC, RESIDENTS OF SOME FIRST NATIONS COMMUNITIES WERE AMONG THE MAJOR SOURCES OF THESE CONTRABAND CIGARETTES.

 

BECAUSE OF HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT AND LACK OF LEGITIMATE OPPORTUNITIES IN MOST FIRST NATIONS COMMUNITIES, DEVIANCE HAD BECOME AN ATTRACTIVE OPTION == SMUGGLING BECAME A MEANS OF ACHIEVING THE GOAL OF FINANCIAL SUCCESS.

 

[[FACTORS == CIGARETTE MANUFACTURERS WERE EAGER TO SHIP CANADIAN BRANDS INTO THE USA KNOWING THAT THEY WOULD BE SMUGGLED BACK == THE LOCATION OF SOME RESERVES WAS IDEAL {THE MOHAWK RESERV AT AKWESASNE, FOR EXAMPLE, STRADDLED THE ONTARIO-QUEBEC AND CANADA-US BORDERS == FIRST NATION PEOPLE CAN PURCHASE FOR PERSONAL USE UNLIMITED AMOUNTS OF TAX-FREE TOBACCO IN USA == JURISDICTIONAL DISPUTES OVER LAW ENFORCEMENT REDUCED THE ABILITY OF THE POLICE TO WORK EFFECTIVELY== IN BEARE’S OPINION – THE SMUGGLING WAS ALSO FACILITATED BY FEELINGS OF INJUSTICE AGAINST THE FEDERAL AND PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENTS ON THE PART OF THE MOHAWKS, WHICH SOME FELT JUSTIFIED THEIR DEVIANCE]]].

 

SOME SOCIOLOGISTS FEEL THAT STRAIN THEORY CAN HELP EXPLAIN UPPER-CLASS DEVIANCE AS WELL == EX: PRESSURE TO INCREASE CORPORATE PROFITS MAY LEAD EXECUTIVES TO TURN TO ILLEGAL WAYS OF DOING BUSINESS == COMPANY DOCUMENTS SUGGEST THAT THE PRESIDENT OF IMPERIAL TOBACCO KNOINGLY SUPPLIED TOBACCO TO SMUGGLERS ==

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FILED A $1 BILLION LAWSUIT AGAINST RJR-MACDONALD CANADA AND THE CANADIAN TOBACCO MANUFACTURERS COUNCIL BECAUSE OF THEIR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT IN SIMILAR ACTIVITIES == IN FEBRARY 2003, CRIMINAL CHARGES WERE FILED AGAINST RJR MACDONALD CANADA AND SEVERAL OF ITS SENIOR EXECUTIVES == THESE COMPANIES WERE MOTIVATED BY THEIR DESIRE TO MAINTAIN THEIR MARKET SHARE BY ENSURING THAT THEIR CIGARETTES WERE THE ONES SMUGGLED BACK INTO CANADA AND BY THEIR DESIRE TO UNDERMINE THE GOVERNMENT’S POLICY OF REDUCING TOBACCO USE BY INCREASING THE PRICE OF CIGARETTES.

 

 

2)      OPPORTUNITY THEORY:

 ACCESS TO ILLEGITIMATE OPPORTUNITIES

 

[EXPANDING ON MERTON’S THEORY, SOCIOLOGISTS RICHARD CLOWARD AND LLOYD OHLIN (1960) HAVE SUGGESTED THAT FOR DEVIANCE TO OCCUR PEOPLE MUST HAVE ACCESS TO ILLEGITIMATE OPPORTUNITY STRICTURES – CIRCUMSTANCES THAT PROVIDE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR PEOPLE TO ACQUIRE THROUGH ILLEGITIMATE ACTIVITIES WHAT THEY CANNOT GET THROUGH LEGITIMATE CHANNELS.

 

EX: MEMBERS OF SOME COMMUNITIES MAY HAVE INSUFFICIENT LEGITIMATE MEANS TO ACHIEVE CONVENTIONAL GOALS OF STATUS AND WEALTH BUT HAVE MUCH GREATER ACCESS TO ILLEGITIMATE OPPORTUNITY STRUCTURES – SUCH AS THEFT, DRUG DEALING, OR ROBBERY – THROUGH WHICH THEY CAN ACHIEVE THESE GOALS == THE SITUATION AT AKWESANNE PROVIDED A VERY LUCRATIVE OPPORTUNITY STRUCTURE FOR THE MINORITY OF COMMUNITY MEMBERS WHO CHOSE TO USE IT.

 

 

3)      DELINQUENT SUBCULTURES THEORY

 

ACCORDING TO COLOWARD AND OHLIN – THREE DIFFERENT FORMS OF “DELINQUENT SUBCULTURES” – CRIMINAL, CONFLICT, AND RETREATIST – EMERGE BASED ON THE TYPE OF ILLEGITIMATE OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE IN A SPECIFIC AREA == {1} THE CRIMINAL SUBCULTURE FOCUS ON ECONOMIC GAIN AND INCLUDE SUCH ACTS AS THEFT, EXTORTION, AND DRUG DEALING == {SOCIOLOGIST ELIJAH ANDERSON (1990) SUGGESTED THAT THE “DRUG ECONOMY IS AN EMPLOYMENT AGENCY SUPERIMPOSED ON THE EXISTING GANG NETWORK” FOR MANY YOUNG MEN WHO LACK OTHER OPPORTUNITIES. FOR YOUNG MEN WHO GROW UP IN A GANG SUBCULTURE, RUNNING DRUG HOUSES AND SELLING DRUGS ON THE STREET CORNERS BECOMES A SOURCE OF ILLEGITIMATE OPPORTUNITY. USING THE MONEY FROM THESE “JOBS,” THEY CAN SUPPORT THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES AS WELL AS PURCHASE MATERIAL POSSESSIONS TO IMPRESS OTHERS.

 

== {2} WHEN ILLEGITIMATE ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES ARE NOT AVAILABLE, GANGS MAY BECOME CONFLICT SUBCULTURES THAT FIGHT OVER TURF (TERRITORY) AND ADOPT A VALUE SYSTEM OF TOUGHNESS, COURAGE, AND SIMILAR STATUS-ENHANCING QUALITIES.

 

== {3} THOSE WHO LACK THE OPPORTUNITY OR ABILITY TO JOIN ONE OF THESE GANGS MAY TURN TO RETREATIST FORMS OF DEVIANCE SUCH AS DRINKING AND DRUG USE.

 

 

4)      CONTROL THEORY:

SOCIAL BONDING

 

LIKE STRAIN THEORY, SOCIAL CONTROL HAS ITS ROOTS IN DURKHEIM’S ANOMIE THEORY == THE EARLIEST SOCIAL CONTROL THEORIES EXPLAINED HOW SOME TYPES OF SOCIAL STRUCTURES LED TO HIGH RATES OF DEVIANCE. COMMUNITIES CHARACTERIZED BY POVERTY, PHYSICAL DETERIORATION, AND INTERNAL CONFLICT WERE TOO DISORGANIZED TO EXERT EFFECTIVE CONTROL OVER BEHAVIOUR OF RESIDENTS == THESE COMMUNITIES OFTEN HAVE HIGH RATES OF SUICIDE, MENTAL ILLNESS, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, AND CRIME

 

{MOST THEORIES OF DEVIANCE ASK THE QUESTION: “WHY DO THEY DO IT?” CONTROL THEORISTS REVERSE THIS QUESTION, ASKING: “WHY DON’T WE ALL DO IT? WHY DO PEOPLE NOT ENGAGE IN DEVIANT BEHAVIOUR? }

 

WALTER RECKLESS (1967) DEVELOPED A THEORY OF SOCIAL CONTROL, WHICH STATES THAT CERTAIN FACTORS DRAW PEOPLE TOWARD DEVIANCE WHILE OTHERS “INSULATE” THEM FROM SUCH BEHAVIOR == PEOPLE ARE DRAWN TO DEVIANCE BY POVERTY, UNEMPLOYMENT, AND LACK OF EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY.  THEY ALSO MAY BE INFLUENCED BY MEMBERS OF DEVIANT SUBCULTURES, MEDIA DEPICTIONS OF DEVIANT BEHAVIOUR, AND THEIR OWN FEELINGS OF FRUSTRATION, HOSTILITY OR INFERIORITY == HOWEVER, MANY PEOPLE DO NOT TURN TO DEVIANCE BECAUSE THEY ARE INSULATED BY OUTER CONTAINMENTS, SUCH AS SUPPORTIVE FAMILY AND FRIENDS, REASONABLE SOCIAL EXPECTATIONS, AND SUPERVISION BY OTHERS, AND BY INNER CONTAINMENTS, SUCH AS SELF-CONTROL, A SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY, AND RESISTANCE TO UNLAWFUL DIVERSIONS.

 

TRAVIS HIRSCHI (1969) [[EXTENDING THE THEORY]] SUGGESTED THAT DEVIANT BEHAVIOUR IS MINIMIZED WHEN PEOPLE HAVE STRONG BONDS THAT BIND THEM TO FAMILIES, SCHOOL, PEERS, CHURCHES, AND OTHER SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS == SOCIAL BOND THEORY HOLDS THAT THE PROBABILITY OF DEVIANT BEHAVIOUR INCREASES WHEN A PERSON’S TIES TO SOCIETY ARE WEAKENED OR BROKEN

 

ACCORDING TO HIRSCHI, SOCIAL BONDING CONSISTS OF (1) ATTACHMENT TO OTHER PEOPLE; COMMITMENT TO CONVENTIONAL LINES OF BEHAVIOUR, SUCH AS SCHOOLING AND JOB SUCCESS; (3) INVOLVEMENT IN CONVENTIONAL ACTIVITIES; AND (4) BELIEF IN THE LEGITIMACY OF CONVENTIONAL VALUES AND NORMS.

 

 

 

SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONIST PERSPECTIVES ON CRIME

 

[[ACCORDING TO SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISTS, DEVIANCE IS LEARNED IN THE SAME WAY AS CONFORMITY– THROUGH INTERACTION WITH OTHERS]]

 

DIFFERENTIAL ASSOCIATION THEORY == MORE THAN A HALF CENTURY AGO, EDWIN SUTHERLAND (1939) DEVELOPED A THEORY TO EXPLAIN HOW PEOPLE LEARN DEVIANCE THROUGH SOCIAL INTERACTION]]

 

1)      DIFFERENTIAL ASSOCIATION THEORY

 

 DIFFERENTIAL ASSOCIATION THEORY” STATES THAT INDIVIDUALS HAVE A GREATER TENDENCY TO DEVIATE FROM SOCIETAL NORMS WHEN THEY FREQUENTLY ASSOCIATE WITH PERSONS WHO FAVOUR DEVIANCE OVER CONFORMITY.

 

DIFFERENTIAL ASSOCIATION IS MOST LIKELY TO RESULT IN DEVIANT ACTIVITY WHEN A PERSON HAS FREQUENT, INTENSE, AND LONG-STANDING INTERACTION WITH OTHERS WHO VIOLATE THE RULES == WHEN THERE ARE MORE FACTORS FAVOURING VIOLATION OF THE LAW THAN THERE ARE OPPOSING IT, THE PERSON IS MORE LIKELY TO BECOME A CRIMINAL. TIES TO OTHER DEVIANTS CAN BE PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT IN THE WORLD OF ORGANIZED CRIME, WHERE WILLINGNESS OF PEERS TO STAND UP FOR ONE ANOTHER CAN BE CRITICAL IN MAINTAINING POWER IN THE FACE OF VIOLENT OPPOSITION FROM COMPETITORS ==

 

 [[CRITICS ASSERT THAT THE THEORY DOES NOT ADEQUATELY ASSESS POSSIBLE LINKAGES BETWEEN SOCIAL INEQUALITY AND CRIMINAL BEHAVOUR]].

 

 

2)      LABELLING THEORY

 

LABELLING THEORY == SUGGESTS THAT DEVIANTS ARE THOSE PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFULLY LABELLED AS SUCH BY OTHERS == LABELLING IS PART OF THE SOCIAL CONTROL PROCESS == RELATED TO THE POWER AND STATUS OF THOSE PERSONS WHO DO THE LABELLING AND THOSE PERSONS BEING LABELLED

 

ACCORDING TO HOWARD BECKER (1963) “MORAL ENTREPRENEURS” ARE PERSONS WHO USE THEIR OWN VIEWS OF RIGHT AND WRONG TO ESTABLISH RULES AND LABEL OTHERS AS DEVIANT == SO == MORAL ENTREPRENEURS ARE PEOPLE OR GROUPS WHO TAKE AN ACTIVE ROLE IN TRYING TO HAVE PARTICULAR BEHAVIOURS DEFINED AS DEVIANT ==

 

[[EX: GROUPS SUCH AS MOTHERS AGAINST DRUNK DRIVING (MADD) HAVE PLAYED A ROLE IN GETTING GOVERNMENTS TO INCREASE THE PENALTIES FOR DRUNK DRIVING AND IN EDUCATING THE PUBLIC ABOUT THE DANGERS OF THIS BEHAVIOUR == COMMUNITY HEALTH ADVOCATES ACCOMPLISHED THE SAME KIND OF “STIGMATIZATION” OF CIGARETTES AND SMOKING (NOW VIRTUALLY IN ALL PUBLIC PLACES)

 

THESE RULES ARE ENFORCED ON PERSONS WITH LESS POWER == LABELS HAVE AN IMPACT ON SELF-IMAGE, LIFE-CHANCES AND SOCIAL ADJUSTMENT == EX: BEING LABELLED (STIGMATIZED) A “DRUG ADDICT” CAN LEAD TO MAJOR DIFFICULTIES IN GETTING A JOB EVEN AFTER SUCCESSFUL TREATMENT. IF THE LABEL PREVENTS A DRUG ADDICT FROM RE-INTEGRATING INTO THE CONVENTIONAL COMMUNITY, HE OR SHE MAY ACCEPT THIS DEVIANT STATUS AND RETURN TO HIS OR HER FRIENDS IN THE DRUG WORLD.

 

[[CRITICS ARGUE THAT LABELLING THEORY DOES NOT EXPLAIN WHAT “CAUSES” THE ORIGINAL ACTS THAT MAKE UP DEVIANCE. NOR DOES IT PROVIDE INSIGHT INTO WHY SOME PEOPLE ACCEPT DEVIANT LABELS AND OTHERS DO NOT.]]

 

 

 

CONFLICT THEORY

 

CONFLICT THEORIST ARE INTERESTED IN HOW CERTAIN KINDS OF PEOPLE AND BEHAVIOUR, AND NOT OTHERS, COMES TO BE DEFINED AS DEVIANT == ACCORDING TO CONFLICT THEORISTS, PEOPLE IN POSITIONS OF POWER MAINTAIN THEIR ADVANTAGE BY USING THE LAW TO PROTECT THEIR OWN INTERESTS == LIFESTYLES CONSIDERED DEVIANT BY THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC ELITE ARE OFTEN DEFINED AS ILLEGAL.

 

[[EX: == IN OUR SOCIETY, THOSE WHO COMMIT WELFARE FRAUD ARE MORE LIKELY TO FACE CRIMINAL CHARGES THAN ARE PROFESSIONALS WHOSE MISCONDUCT IS GENERALLY DEALT WITH BY DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEES OF THEIR PEERS RATHER THAN BY CRIMINAL COURTS. THE RELATIVE DEGREE OF SOCIAL HARM CAUSE BY EITHER OF THESE GROUPS SEEMS TO HAVE LITTLE RELEVANCE IN THE DETERMINATION OF WHO IS DEFINED AS CRIMINAL; WHAT MATTERS MORE MAY BE THE POWER OF SOME GROUPS TO RESIST SANCTIONS.

 

{{ACCORDING TO KARL MARX == INSTITUTIONS (SUCH AS LAW, POLITICS, AND EDUCATION) MAKE UP A SUPERSTRUCTURE IN SOCIETY THAT LEGITIMIZES THE CLASS STRUCTURE AND MAINTAINS THE CAPITALISTS’ SUPERIOR POSITION IN IT. CRIME IS AN EXPRESSION OF THE INDIVIDUAL’S STRUGGLE AGAINST THE UNJUST SOCIAL CONDITIONS AND INEQUALITY PRODUCED BY CAPITALISM}}

 

ACCORDING TO RICHARD QUINNEY (1980), PEOPLE WITH ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL POWER DEFINE AS CRIMINAL ANY BEHAVIOUR THAT THREATENS THEIR OWN INTERESTS. THE POWERFUL USE THE LAW TO CONTROL THOSE WHO ARE WITHOUT POWER ==

 

[[EX: DRUG LAWS ENACTED IN EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY WERE PASSED AND ENFORCED IN AN EFFORT TO CONTROL IMMIGRANT WORKERS, PARTICULARLY CHINESE WORKERS, WHO WERE MORE INCLINED THAN OTHERS TO SMOKE OPIUM == THE LAWS WERE MOTIVATED BY RACISM MORE THAN BY A REAL CONCERN WITH DRUGS]]

 

ACCORDING TO CONFLICT THEORISTS, THE POOR COMMIT STREET CRIMES IN ORDER TO SURVIVE; THEY FIND THAT THEY CANNOT AFFORD THE NECESSARY ESSENTIALS SUCH AS FOOD, CLOTHING, SHELTER, AND HEALTH CARE. THUS, SOME CRIME REPRESENTS A RATIONAL RESPONSE BY THE POOR TO THE UNEQUAL DISTRIBUTION OF RESOURCES IN SOCIETY == FURTHER, LIVING IN POVERTY MAY LEAD TO VIOLENT CRIME AND VICTIMIZATION OF THE POOR BY THE POOR {EX: VIOLENT GANG ACTIVITY MAY BE A COLLECTIVE RESPONSE OF YOUNG PEOPLE TO SEEMINGLY HOPELESS POVERTY}

 

[[CRITICS POINT OUT THAT THIS THEORY EXPLAINS SOME TYPES OF LAWS, BUT NOT OTHERS. PEOPLE OF ALL CLASSES SHARE A CONSENSUS ABOUT THE CRIMINALITY OF CERTAIN ACTS == LAWS THAT PROHIBIT MURDER, RAPE, AND ARMED ROBBERY PROTECT NOT ONLY MIDDLE- AND UPPER-INCOME PEOPLE BUT ALSO LOW-INCOME PEOPLE, WHO FREQUENTLY ARE VICTIMS OF SUCH VIOLENT CRIME (KLOCKARS, 1979) == WHILE SOME LAWS DO PROTECT THE RICH AND POWERFUL, OTHERS REFLECT THE INTERESTS OF ALL CITIZENS.]]

 

 

 

FEMINIST PERSPECTIVES ON CRIME AND DEVIANCE

 

CAN THEORIES DEVELOPED TO EXPLAIN MALE BEHAVIOUR HELP US UNDERSTAND FEMALE DEVIANCE AND CRIME?

 

ACCORDING TO SOME FEMINISTS SCHOLARS, THE ANSWER IS NO. THE FEW EARLY STUDIES THAT WERE CONDUCTED ON “MONE’S CRIMES” FOCUSED ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY ON PROSTITUTION AND ATTRIBUTED THE CAUSE OF THIS CRIME TO WOMEN’S BIOLOGICAL OR PSYCHOLOGICAL “INFERIORITY”.

 

AS LATE AS THE 1980S RESEARCHERS WERE STILL LOOKING FOR UNIQUE PREDISPOSING FACTORS THAT LED WOMEN TO COMMIT CRIME, WHICH WAS OFTEN SEEN AS INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOPATHOLOGY RATHER THAN AS A RESPONSE TO THEIR SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT. THESE THEORIES, WHICH REINFORCED EXISTING FEMALE STEREOTYPES, HAVE HAD A NEGATIVE IMPACT ON BOTH OUR UNDERSTANDING AND OUR TREATMENT OF FEMALE OFFENDERS.

 

A NEW INTEREST IN WOMEN AND DEVIANCE DEVELOPED IN 1975 WHEN TWO BOOKS – FREDA ADLER’S SISTERS IN CRIME AND RITA JAMES SIMON’S WOMEN AND CRIME – DECLARED THAT WOMEN’S CRIME RATES WERE GOING TO INCREASE SIGNIFICANTLY AS A RESULT OF THE WOMEN’S LIBERATION MOVEMENT ==

 

ALTHOUGH THIS SO-CALLED EMANCIPATION THEORY OF FEMALE CRIME HAS BEEN STRONGLY CRITICIZED BY SUBSEQUENT ANALYSIS (COMACK, 2000) ADLER’S AND SIMON’S WORK ENCOURAGED FEMINIST SCHOLARS (BOTH WOMEN AND MEN) TO EXAMINE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GENDER, DEVIANCE AND CRIME MORE CLOSELY.

 

[[THERE IS NO SINGLE FEMINIST PERSPECTIVE ON DEVIANCE AND CRIME, BUT THERE ARE THREE SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT THAT HAVE EMERGED]] ==

 

1)      LIBERAL FEMINISM

 

LIBERAL FEMINISM EXPLAINS WOMEN’S DEVIANCE AND CRIME AS A RATIONAL RESPONSE TO GENDER DISCRIMINATION EXPERIENCED IN WORK, MARRIAGE, AND INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS == SOME FEMALE CRIMES MAY BE ATTRIBUTED TO WOMEN’S LACK OF EDUCATIONAL AND JOB OPPORTUNITIES AND STEREOTYPICAL EXPECTATIONS ABOUT WHAT ROLES WOMEN SHOULD HAVE IN SOCIETY == [[EX: A WOMEN IS NOT MORE LIKELY TO BE A BIG-TIME DRUG DEALER OR AN ORGANIZED CRIME BOSS THAN SHE IS TO BE A CORPORATE DIRECTOR {SEE DALY AND CHESNEY-LIND, 1988; SIMPSON, 1989}]]

 

2)      RADICAL FEMINISM

RADICAL FEMINISM SUGGESTS THAT PATRIARCHY (MALE DOMINATION OVER FEMALES) KEEPS WOMEN MORE TIED TO FAMILY AND HOME, EVEN IF WOMEN ALSO WORK FULL TIME == BASED ON THIS APPROACH, PROSTITUTION MIGHTY BE EXPLAINED AS A REFLECTION OF SOCIETY’S SEXUAL DOUBLE STANDARD, WHEREBY IT IS ACCEPTABLE FOR A MAN TO PAY FOR SEX BUT UNACCEPTABLE FOR A WOMAN TO ACCEPT MONEY FOR SUCH SERVICES == ALTHOUGH PROSTITURTION LAWS IN CANADA DEFINE BOTH THE PROSTITUTE AND THE CUSTOMER AS VIOLATING THE LAW, WOMEN ARE FAR MORE LIKELY THAN MEN TO BE ARRESTED, BROUGHT TO TRIAL, CONVICTED AND SENTENCED FOR PROSTITUTION RELATED OFFENSES.

 

3)      SOCIALIST FEMINISM

 

SOCIALIST FEMINISM CONTENDS THAT WOMEN ARE EXPLOITED BY CAPITALISM AND PATRIARCHY == BECAUSE MOST FEMALES HAVE RELATIVELY LOW-WAGE JOBS AND FEW ECONOMIC RESOURCES, CRIMES SUCH AS PROSTITUTION AND SHOPLIFTING BECOME A MEANS TO EARN MONEY OR ACQUIRE CONSUMER PRODUCTS == INSTEAD OF FREEING WOMEN FROM THEIR PROBLEMS, HOWEVER, PROSTITUTION INSTITUTIONALIZES WOMEN’S DEPENDENCE ON MEN AND RESULTS IN A FORM OF FEMALE SEXUAL SLAVERY (VITO AND HOLMES, 1994)

 

[[RECENT FEMINIST CRITICS HAVE OBSERVED THAT THESE SCHOOLS OF FEMINIST THOUGHT HAVE NOT PLACED SUFFICIENT EMPHASIS ON RACE AND ETHNICITY IN THEIR ANALYSES == STUDIES NOW ARE BEGINNING TO FOCUS ON THE SIMULTANEOUS EFFECTS OF RACE, CLASS, AND GENDER ON DEVIANT BEHAVIOUR == {EX: REGINA ARNOLD (1990) ATTRIBUTES MANY OF THE WOMEN’S OFFENCES TO LIVING IN FAMILIES IN WHICH (HISTORY OF ) SEXUAL ABUSE, INCEST, AND OTHER VIOLENCE LEFT THEM WITH FEW CHOICES EXCEPT TO ENGAGE IN DEVIANCE == ECONOMIC MARGINALITY AND RACISM ALSO CONTRIBUTED TO THEIR VICTIMIZATION == THESE CONCLUSIONS HAVE BEEN REINFORCED IN SEVERAL RECENT STUDIES EXAMINING THE {PATTERNED} RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN WOMEN’S EARLIER VICTIMIZATION AND THEIR SUBSEQUENT INVOLVEMENT THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM {COMACK, 2000}]].