1 (Crowther,2007)2(Rai and Panna, 2010)3(Stewart and Goldfarb, 2007)4(Crowther, 2007)5(Simon, 1979)6(Pratt, 2008)7 (Leclercand Wortley, 2014)8 (Cornishand Clarke, 1986)9(Clarke and Felson, 2007; Opp 1997)10 (Akers,1990)11(Mail Online, 2013)12(Mail Online, 2013)13(Carrabine et al., 2004)14(Kendall, n.d.
) 15(Carrabine et al., 2004)16(Plummer, 1979)17(Thompson, 1998; and Critchely, 2003)18 (Best,1990)19(Best, 1990)20(Carrabine et al., 2004)21 (Carrabineet al., 2004)22 (Carrabineet al., 2004)23 (Carrabineet al., 2004)24(Merton, 1938)25(Merton, 1938)26(Study.com, 2018)27(Downes, Rock, McLaughlin, 2016)28(Freedman, 2013)29(Merton, 1938)30(Merton, 1938)31 (Walsh and Hemmens, 2011)32(Merton, 1938)33(Downes, Rock, McLaughlin)34(Davis)35(sociologysaviour, 2018)36 (smccormac7, 2018)37(Castells, 1998)38(sociologysaviour, 2018)39(Castells, 1998)40(sociologysaviour, 2018)41(sociologysaviour, 2018)42 (smccormac7, 2018)43 (smccormac7, 2018)44(sociologysaviour, 2018)45 (Taylor,1997)46(Taylor, 1997)47(Taylor, 1997)48 (smccormac7, 2018)49 (smccormac7, 2018)50 (smccormac7, 2018)51 (Departmentfor Communities and Local Government 2017)52(Pratt, 2008)53(Kendall) Cultural difference within families can have asignificantly important impact on the increase of crime.
Through analysing theother theories, it is clear to see that Social Strain Theory supports thissignificantly more than the others. There is and always will be constantpressure on individuals to commit crime, regardless of your culture, familyhistory and general identity. Pressure comes from families, friends, andsociety in general because there is always a need to please those who surroundyou. We are arguably a society that not only wants to please but one that feelsthe need to live up to the reputation we uphold, thus creating a lasting impacton individuals which could be stronger than the law itself.
Regardless of thishowever, there is a Troubled Families Agenda in place where 185,000 (so far) familieswith multiple problems are receiving dedicated help; hoping to increase this to400,000 by 2020.51 Thisdoes not mean that crimes are not committed after “rationally deciding that thereward outweighs the punishment”, or that people don’t “pursue deviantlifestyles because they’re labelled as deviant”, however it does mean that theSocial Strain Theory has a stronger support system when considering the linksbetween cultural difference, families, and crime.5253Socialist Ian Taylor (1997) arguesthat by giving free reign to market forces globalisation has led to greaterinequality and rising crime.45He argues the “deregulation and marketisation create insecurity and wideninginequality that encourage people, especially the poor to commit a crime”.46Following that, he adds that “the lack of legitimate opportunity destroysself-respect and drives the unemployed to look for illegitimate ones such asthe drugs trade”, however globalisation does become a positive environment formore elite groups; “deregulation of financial markets creates opportunity formovement of funds across the globe to avoid taxation”.
47This positive outcome of globalisation strongly links onto Hobbs andDunningham’s theory of a “‘Glocal’ Organisation” which argues the way crime isorganised is linked to globalisation.48Individuals with contacts acting as a ‘hub’ around which a loose-knit networkforms, often linking legitimate and illegitimate activities.49These new forms of organisation have global links, but crime is still rooted inits local context.50Globalisation arguably plays a partin the Labelling theory around the media creating moral panics, highlighted byHoward Becker.
It provides a “negative coverage of immigrants thus leading tohate crimes towards those individuals”; individuals that have no control in thelife they’re bought into and only want to lead a better one.40Unfortunately, the consequences of the moral panics created have led tointensification of social control at the national level, for example, the UKtightening their border controls; the increasingly materialistic culturepromoted by the global media portrays success in terms of a lifestyleconsumption.4142These factors create insecurity and widening inequalities that encourage peopleto turn to crime e.
g. lucrative drug trade (deindustrialisation in LA led togrowth in drug gangs).43Another result of globalised risk is the “increased attempts at internationalcooperation and control in various ‘wars’ on terror, drugs and crime”.
44Globalisation refers to the”increasing interconnectedness of societies: what happens in one locality isshaped by distant events and vice versa”.35It is argued that globalisation “creates new opportunities for crime, new meansof committing crime and new offences, for example, various cyber-crimes”.36Manuel Castells (1998) argues there is a global criminal economy worth over £1trillion per annum.37The smuggling of illegal immigrants, i.e the Chinese Triads, make an estimated£2.
5 billion annually, alongside the drugs trade which is worth an estimate£300-400 billion annually at street prices.38Many argue that there is both a demand side (West) and a supply side (ThirdWorld Countries), indicating the global criminal economy could not functionwithout a supply side that provides drugs, sex workers etc.39Merton continues to argue that “certainaspects of the social structure may generate countermores and antisocialbehaviour precisely because of differential emphases on goals and regulations”.
29He continues to state that “fraud, corruption, vice, crime, at the minimum, andthe entire catalogue of proscribed behaviour, becomes increasingly common whenthe emphasis on the culturally induced success-goal become divorced from acoordinated institutional emphasis”.30″Antisocial behaviour most frequently derives from biological drives breakingthrough the restraints imposed by society” stating that those who may live in apoor/ “rough area” are more likely to become antisocial (vandalism, bingedrinking etc.) due to the label that communities place on that area or thosepeople that live within it.31In contrast to this idea, Merton argues against the idea that poverty plays alarge part in antisocial behaviour and crime. He states that “poverty is notsufficient to induce a conspicuously high rate of criminal behaviour… povertyand associated disadvantages in competition for the culture values approved forall member is linked and seen as a symbol of success in antisocial conduct.
Thus, poverty is less highly correlated with crime south-eastern Europe thanthe Unite States”.32In contrary, the collapse in LA provides a strong argument against this idea –it allowed “the rich to buy private safety, meaning the poor were exposed onlyto perfunctory policing which kept them under control but offered no security.The poorest areas had now become free-fire zones where crack dealers and streetgangs settle their scores with shotguns and Uzis”.33″Both cops and gang members already talk with chilling matter-of-factness aboutthe inevitability of some manner of urban guerrilla warfare”.34Social Strain Theory also aids ourunderstanding of the links between cultural difference, families, and crime.Robert K. Merton states that “social structures from within society putpressure on individuals to commit crime”.
24He argues that “members of society are placed in different positions in thesocial structure; don’t have the same opportunity of realising the collectivesentiments thus an anomie”.25An anomie is “the lack of normal ethical or social standards” shown clearly inthe collapse of the mining dam in Buffalo Creek, West Virginia, 1972. 26It is said that approximately “132 million gallons of mud rushed down the creekcarrying away houses, people, roads, and possessions. There was a loss of moralregulation and a decline in cooperativeness soon leading to a large increase inthe rates of alcohol abuse and illegitimate births”.27It can be argued that due to the intensity of the situation and the uproar itwould have caused, a majority of the illegitimate births were a consequence ofrape as the Marital Rape act of 1991, was not bought in at that point.
EstelleB. Freedman states that “Rape is a legal term that encompasses a malleable andculturally determined perception of an act… the meaning of rape is thus fluid”.28Aside from these problems, therehave been developments within the Labelling Theory which have come from keythemes within it. One of these is the Theory of Moral Panics, highlighted byHoward Becker over the concern of drugs in America.
Thompson and Critchely statethat the focus here “becomes the exaggerated responses of control agencies(largely the media) in stirring up concern and anxiety”.17The more anxiety and panic about a certain group, they higher the labelling andconcern around them will rise thus creating a hostile environment for thoseinvolved. The theory of Social Constructionism is another theme argued by Joel Best,of which he states that “conditions must be bought to people’s notice in orderto become social problems'”.18It “looks at the way individuals, groups and societies come to label certainphenomena as problems and how others then respond to such claims”, for example,Joseph Gusfield (1981) traced the drink-driving problem.
19There seems to be “a ‘social problems marketplace’ in which people struggle toown social problems”.20This theory continues to “examine the rhetoric’s, the claims, and the powerstruggles behind such definitional processes”.21 Labelling theory became “particularlyprominent in the 1960s and 1970s”, and since then it has become something of an”orthodoxy”.22 Currently,”the theory of moral panics, social constructionist theories and theories ofsocial control have become its modern-day reincarnations”.
23The labelling theory, which wasclosely allied to the development of the sociology of deviance, proves to alsoaid us in the quest for links between cultural difference, families, and crime.13It argues that “people come to acquire a deviant social identity and pursue adeviant lifestyle because others have labelled them deviant and cut them offfrom the social mainstream”.14Problems have arisen with the theory (as they do with many of things), for example,”the theory failed to provide any account of the initial motivations steeringindividuals towards deviance; it ignored the origins of deviant action”.15People aren’t born deviant, there will always be circumstances that drive anindividual to take part in that lifestyle. Deviance is arguably an escape fromwhat is going on around them. Sexual abuse can cause anger and aggressionwithin individuals, thus leading them to take on that sort of life whether itbe starting fights are joining gangs. It’s that lifestyle that then generatesthe social identity that is surrounded by that way of life, arguably leading tomore crime due to the labelling of the individual.
Plummer (1979) argues that “closelylinked to the above argument that labelling theorists had rescued the deviantsfrom the deterministic constraints of biological, psychological and socialforces only to enchain them again in a new determinism of societal reactions”.16There are situations withinfamilies that can lead to the thought of committing such a crime can outweighits consequence, for example, a teenager could be part of such a hostile, pooror abusive environment that committing a crime and going to prison couldactually be a better life for them. Another strong example is kids who commitmurder on a parent to stop abuse that themselves or a family member aresuffering. In 2009, a “‘desperate’ boy, 14, ‘shot dead his father to stop thebeatings he and his sisters suffered'”.
11In that moment, it is arguable that the boy thought shooting his dad would bethe best option to stop the abuse that had been occurring for years, however itwasn’t until after the shots were fired he “made a frantic 911 call asking foremergency services to come and save his dying father”.12It is clearly shown that the crime of shooting someone for the young boy wasworth taking, however the intent of murder was not. The theories of crime help provideus with a greater understanding of the links between cultural difference, families,and crime. Defined by Herbert Simon (1978) as “purposive behaviour”, RationalChoice Theory examines that “an individual commits a crime when they haverationally decided the reward outweighs the punishment of crime”.56Leclerc and Wortley state that: “the rational choice perspective has in equalmeasure been one of the most influential and criticised criminological modelsto emerge in the latter quarter of the twentieth century”.
7Through different mindsets and judgements of what committing a crime can entailin regard to their consequences, there is a variety in arguments from differentcriminologists. Conservative/ “administrative criminologists” (Young 1994)arguably “ignore the root causes of crime (such as poverty and relativedeprivation) and thereby undermine the social reform agenda of sociologicalcriminology… thus contributing to an unfair and divided society”.8By ignoring the root causes of crime, we are arguably becoming naïve to theidea that something other than random acts or deep-seated drives are the causesof crime.
Clarke and Felson (2011; Opp 1997) argue that “offender’s choices canhardly be rational when they are so often self-defeating (e.g. resulting inarrest and imprisonment)” alongside “some crimes such as sexual abuse are notthe product of rational calculation but of deep-seated drives”.9With the likes of Akers (1990) who assume the policy is to “strengthenpunishments”, they ignore the clear contradiction that is “clearly stated in The Reasoning Criminal, that RPC wasintended to provide a more secure theoretical underpinning for situationalcrime prevention”.10Cultural difference arguably playsa significant part in the shaping of families (“a married, civil partnered orcohabiting couple with or without children, or a lone parent with at least onechild”), and individuals in the confines of crime itself.
1″Culture includes all aspects of human activity from the fine arts to popularentertainment, from everyday behaviour to the development of sophisticatedtechnology” for example, mixed-ethnicity, immigrant, step-families, disability,fostering, children in care.2 The purpose of this paper is to look atthe cultural differences within families and how that impacts individuals’choices. Steward and Goldfard argue that “whilst culture has been historicallydefined in terms of race and ethnicity, individuals joining by factors such assexual orientation, religion and disability status may also be said to possessdistinct cultures”.3 Crowther(2007:31) “defines and understands crime in terms of: legislation, inparticular the criminal law; personal experience, as well as the experiences offamily, partners and friends; media led accounts; political debate; theoreticalperspectives”.4