Soc. Prospect

Soc. Prospect

From a sociological perspective, explanations for criminality are found in two levels which are the subculture and theThe sociological explanations emphasize aspects of societalarrangements that are external to the actor and compelling. A

sociological explanation is concerned with how the structure of

a society or its institutional practices or its persisting

cultural themes affect the conduct of its members. Individual

differences are denied or ignored, and the explanation of

the overall collective behavoir is sought in the patterning of

social arrangements that is considered to be both "outside"

the actor and "prior to him" (Sampson, 1985). That is, the

social patterns of power or of institutions which are held to

be determinative of human action are also seen as having been

in existence before any particular actor came on the scene.

In lay language, sociological explanations of crime place the

blame on something social that is prior to, external to, and

compelling of any particular person.

Sociological explanations do not deny the importance of

human motivation. However, they locate the source of motives

outside the individual and in the cultural climate in which he

Political philosophers, sociologists, and athropologists

have long observed that a condition of social life is that not

all things are allowed. Standards of behavior are both a pro-

duct of our living together and a requirement if social life

The concept of a culture refers to the perceived standards

of behavior, observable in both words and deeds, that are

learned, transmitted from generation to generation and somewhat

durable. To call such behavior "cultural" does not necessar-

ily mean that it is "refined," but rather means that it is

"cultured"-- aquired, cultivated, and persistent. Social

scientists have invented the notion of a subculture to describe

variations, within a society, upon its cultural...

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