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Monday, May 8, 2017

Criminology: The Crime Causation Therories (2 described)

     The Crime Causation Theories are as follows:
     Strain Theory, Social Learning Theory, Control Theory, Labeling Theory, Social      Disorganization Theory, Critical Theories, Integrated Theories, and of course there will be future crime theories. 

     The first one I wish to address with you will be:

The Strain Theory:

     Looking at this theory you see the word stain. What do you think when you see it? Maybe to strain your muscle, correct? 

     This is what it means, to strain. In other words, you are suffering, or struggling, or even stressing about something. 

     This sets you up just a little to perceive the beginning of what the strain theory is about. Now let’s move on a little more so that you may continue to understand more thoroughly.

     Individuals who are subject to the strain theory are usually those who are enduring harassment from work, or school or even home, who are trying to escape it. Now don’t get me wrong, this is just one example for you. It could be something else. For instance: it may be a child dealing with constant screaming from their parents, this may happen in two ways. Maybe the child is being screamed at, or witnessing the parents scream at one another. The strain theory could also be a way for an abused child to escape the abuse of the beatings, or name calling. Whatever the case may be, these individuals are seeking revenge for those who have wronged them (in their rational eyes) and they are using the crime of say petit theft and getting away with it, as an illicit drug to make them feel better about themselves. 

     Money is the biggest cause of the strain theory. No matter how much you make, the bills keep coming. Utilities never end, the bills keep piling up, and there is no escaping them. You pay them to zero, and next month they are even higher. There are individuals out there who will then think that selling drugs, or even themselves will help them make money faster. Before they even think about the consequences, they are thinking about cleaning up their debts. Next thing you know, they are trying it, and actually succeeding, and making a profit, so they do or try more, and what happens next? They get caught. That high they were feeling of paying off that debt, the accomplishment, just managed to get them deeper in debt, and give them a criminal record too. Was it worth it?

     You see, not only is or was it the money, but with the money, comes respect. You see, while the newly found drug dealer, who thought he had it kept under hat, was catching up his bills, people would actually now be able to come him and ask for money. Now he could lend it and feel good about himself. He was feeling good, and his friends now thought of him a better light, or so this newly drug dealer thought. His wife was going out more, smiling more, and there was less fighting between the two of them. He thought things were better, and maybe they were. But now that he is arrested and in jail, how does he look and feel?

      Strain theory is one that life leads you there. When you are down and out, and feeling like there is nothing else you can do. You are left with no other choice but to act out, and make changes. Life made you do this, no one else. Those abusive parents, the economy, the boyfriend that dumped you, your cheating husband, being left alone all day and all night. Your kids are grown, you have empty nest syndrome, no one cares about you, no one knows you exist, your depressed, what the heck. No one will notice…

The next theory I would like to address is: Social Learning Theory:

     First let us look at the first word in this theory. We see the word social. Therefore, we know this theory is going to have to do with more than one person. Next, we see learning, therefore we know that this theory is something that someone is being taught or learning. Put the two together and we then realize that it will be a learned behavior. 

     Now let’s look a little deeper, shall we? This is when you are exposed or maybe even raised with or by, or hang out with a person who does things that are against the law. Maybe you don’t know for certain, but as you learn, you will eventually know that this individual is committing wrong doing. This is when we as people need to learn to ask when we are uncertain, even if it’s a teacher or a friend.

     “Hey, my Dad just took me to the grocery store, and I thought it was kind of weird, but we walked out of the store with the entire cart full of groceries and didn’t pay. He said it was ok, that he knew the Manager. But I never seen my Dad throw groceries in the car so fast in my life. He didn’t even check to see if I was buckled. I think he did something wrong. Did he?” A child asks his teacher. 

     If only it were this simple, but it’s not, because more often than not, children are very protective of their parents. 

     Later down the road, this child becomes an adult and is having problems feeding his family. They applied for food stamps, but its taking forever to get a response. He and his wife are both out of work, she is injured, and he has been trying to find work. This young man remembers his father walking in and out with groceries and getting away with it. He even remembers tattling, and nothing happened. This young man hopes he can be this lucky, because he must provide for his children, he is the man of the house. So, he goes to the store, and tries to do the same thing his father did. The only thing different, is he gets caught. This is a learned behavior, Dad got away with it, so will I. This young man even prayed beforehand, “God you know I am desperate and my family is hungry, protect me just as you did my Father. Amen.” 

     Although it was a learned behavior, the world learned too. His father conducted this crime in the 80s when there were no cameras. The Son committed in the 90s when there were cameras and security. Fail. 

     A mother and her daughter are in the mall walking and talking. The daughter is thirteen. The mother walks beside a stand full of balls and pushes it over, and balls roll everywhere all over the mall. The mother puts her hand over her mouth, “Oh my! I am so sorry!” She exclaims. The mother and daughter proceed to walk away, and down to another floor of the mall. As they get to this floor, the mother spots a stand of several gumball machines, and pretends to lose her balance and knocks them all over. Gumballs, and toys go everywhere. “Oh my I am such a klutz today!” she says. The daughter looks at her mother. As they walk away she proceeds to chuckle and nudges the daughter. On the next floor, the daughter spots a shelf full of jewelry, Knick knacks, and other pretties. The daughter falls into it, and completely falls down. “Oh honey, are you ok?” The mother asks. “Yes, Mom. I think I inherited your klutziness.” The mother bends down to help the daughter up, giggling, and stuffing things into her purse. As they both stood up to brush themselves off, a security officer, cleared his throat and said, “Will you two please come with me?” 

     Although at first, the daughter didn’t know what was going on, she eventually caught on. And now she will regret it, because the two are caught. She was taught a learned behavior by the social learning theory, just that quick. Like the snap of a finger.

     Although it isn’t this quick and easy to teach, sometimes it can take years, months, and it truly just depends. Bullies teach their descendant bullies at Schools to take over when they leave. They don’t want a School left without someone being pushed down the stairs, or their head being flushed in the toilet, or being locked into the locker. You see? Social learning theory. Although School bullying is a minimal crime, it is still sad and annoying. Someday, hopefully it will end, but let’s face it, many of us have been put through it. In fact, bullying continues in the Armed forces. It is something that never ceases, and often leads people to suicide, while at the same time, makes others stronger. 

     Social Learning Theory even happens online, as with cyber bullying and cyber stalking. More often than not, this theory is a lot like ‘Monkey see, monkey do.’ Kind of thing. When people see, someone picking on someone, there will be a crowd and some will join in and follow. While others will walk away. Now mind you, they won’t defend your honor, or go to the principal, or facebook or twitter, and explain that they witnessed, it but yes, they will turn their back and walk away. Not everyone follows the bad crowd. 

     Do my theories explain all incidents of crime? No, of course not. There are a lot of crimes, and a lot of ways they can happen, and a lot choices, and these two are far from the most common. The theories were created for a reason, and just as I have stated, there will be future crime theories. Just as there will be future crimes, because we live in an ever-changing world. Crime is not going to stop, not now, not ever. As criminologists, we just have to keep adapting, and resolving issues, to learn with their crimes. 

      I do not think my theories best explain incidents of crime, I just understand these theories best, because I have been victimized on several occasions. I have had my identity stolen, to the point that the IRS assigns me a number yearly. I have been wrongfully arrested and charged. Fortunately, those were dropped, but unfortunately, they will remain on my record because of a computer program that allows users to text themselves and pretend that another user did it. These kinds of things disgust me, and because of this, I have learned there is no such things as: ‘Innocent until proven guilty.’ 

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