Crime :What is a crime? The question is simple but its answer is complicated because this is such an action of human beings by assigning any meaning to social values, cultural norms, state criminal procedures are to be considered. Criminologist of modern age Sui Titus Reid has given its comprehensive definition in these words:
“Crime is an intentional act or omission in violation of criminal law, committed without defense of justification and sanctioned by the state as a felony or misdemeanor” in common words, it means that act that‘is punishable according to the laws of a state. Any deviation from mores norms as a social action is not a crime till the state does not fix a punishment for such an action. For example, in a marriage party feast is a mores that if state makes it a law then it will be a crime. Divorcing wife is against mores but not a crime, according to state law with no punishment. Similarly, it is not crime to beat, injure or murder a thief or a dacoit for self-defense.
Social Deviation or Deviancy :No society of the world has ever been able to have such a social environment to make its individuals to lead a life according to social norms. So social deviation is continuous and an individual may fail to comply with social norms that lead to a deviation. Social deviation is a normative behaviour at one place but another place this may be thought a deviation. Therefore, the study of deviation demands culture, time and place. A famous sociologist Wickman, says about deviation, “Deviation is that behaviour which is against the expectations and norms of a society.”
Theoretical causes of deviancy and crime :Deviation and crime are such acts the reasons there of have been under investigation since long time by the specialists of different departments of knowledge and disciplines and as such have different views about its occurrences a brief detail is given which is helpful in knowing the real reasons thereof.
1. Biological factors and crime :
i. According to Aristotle, the very physical build of human being determines its being criminal and having such behaviour. In his own words, “Criminal behaviour is determined by the shape of the skull.”
ii. Lombroso believed in the fact that criminals are different physically than non-criminal. Moreover, they are inferior. He claimed to have found such biological properties that distinguish them from non-criminals.
iii. Sheldon says that body type helps in determining the crime. He divided body type into three kinds:
a. The Ectomorph, is tall, skinny body.
b. The Endomorph, the short fat body.
c. The Mesomorph, the athletic body.
He conducted his research over 500 criminals and 500 non-criminals and concluded that mesomorphic body was criminal professionally.
iv. According to Chromosomal Abnormality, man has xy chromosomes and women have xx chromosomes. In 1961, Scotch researchers conducted a research on men having xyy chromosomes. They proved that men with xyy chromosonal had introvert and negative social tendency and. are inclined to aggressive behaviour.
2. Psychological factors and crime :
i. Segmend Freud thinks that “human beings have mental conflicts, because the desires and power repressed in their unconscious are not allowed to be expressed because of social morality and indirect ways to express these are adopted learnt by socialization and create a capability to control these and the people who do not have or lack this capacity they adopt criminal behaviour.”
ii. James says that there is a constant and clear relation between crime and less intelligence. In other words, low intelligence causes crimes.
3. Social factors and crime :
i. The change in social structure and environment is a cause of crimes. The city characteristics in terms of overpopulation and strangeness and division of citizens on economic, cultural, religion and social basis and
their behaviour help in understanding crime.
ii. According to Durkheim's theory of Anomic normlessness is caused due to decreased homogeneity congenial to crime and antisocial activities.
iii. Robert. K. Merton says that “There is a deep relation between goals and means. When people keep the aim in view and give no importance to norms to the extent of normlessness, then crimes become serious.”
iv. According to the theory of ‘Family structure and crime’, there is deep relation between family structure and crime-structure, size and broken family. This theory explains that “the more the importance to an individual in a society, the more one remains away from criminal activities.”
v. According to routine activity approach, three positions become cause of crimes:
a. Individual inclined to crimes.
b. Suitable target-precious things to be stolen easily.
c. Non-existence of able supervision (non-presence of individual capable of preventing the theft).
vi. Learning theory explains that “There is a physiological mechanism in the individual that compels them to adopt aggressive behaviour which is a learned one.” This theory explains that the completion of learning is by
making someone as model and we are inclined to that model which is a biological or mental ability that may be more or less.
Theory of learning is affected in three ways.
a. External reinforcement like articles, wealth, social status and punishment etc. likely to become a cause of preventing or inclining a behaviour.
b. Thrilling person persuades the other individual holding higher status and affecting the others in thrilling manners.
c. That system of self-regulatory mechanism of an individual that inclines one to adopt such a behaviour, being responsible for one's reward and punishment.
We learn from socialization about the suitability and unsuitability of an action in term of reward a punishment. During the process, we make models unconsciously and then adopt the same behaviour without thinking that the behaviour is against state laws with the result of punishment. An individual does not find about his wrong behaviour and one thinks it correct and according to society and environment and has reasons about the correctness of one's .behaviour just as self-control like bribery, a reason of bad economic position.
Practical Causes of Deviancy and Crimes :Functionalists say that deviancy and crimes are an integral parts of social life and we learn these just like other functions in terms of knowledge, norms, beliefs and games. Therefore, the causes of crimes are hidden in our bad tendencies, social behaviours from which sometimes we avoid consciously or unconsciously and this problem able to be solved by individual efforts becomes complicated not to be solvable at the social level. Practically, the causes of deviancy and crimes are the following :
1. Different Associations :
Edvin H. Sutherland says that “Mostly we learn this deviancy and crime from those with whom we have relation of common type. For example, the meetings in which we are interested whatever solution or explanation these do, we accept these being impressed by them and adopt our behaviour accordingly. If these proposals are against norms or tradition then our behaviour will be deviative.” There are two important sources of different relations according to Sutherland:
b. Neighborhood or sub-culture and friends.
According to sociologist, the second important reason of deviancy is peer group, neighbourhood or sub culture of School, College or mohallah. An individual is much affected by one's peers and takes part willingly in their activities. He is unconsciously affected by deviancy or crimes. The relations with neighbour also affect the interaction of suffering from deviancy. An individual falls a prey to activities of other follows fall of deviancy and crime and he becomes a member of the group. Group pressure measure and tendency force these individual to take part in criminal activities. If a student of a college joins a group being the habit of being absent, of standing or copying, then he also falls a prey to such activities of crimes and deviancy.
2. Broken Homes :
In social life, family is the institution that affects basically the personality of an individual and helps the individual to keep his social tendency, norms and expectation creating to the society but since all individuals of a society do not have equal social chances. Sometimes a home falls a prey to some accident causing death of one or both. economic strain, quarrels or divorce or separation. In all of the above cases, children become deprived of love, attention and hear taunts of relations affecting their personality badly. Being depressed and restless they are forced to adopt deviancy and crimes including running from homes, steadying and sexual aggression etc.
3. Economic Deprivation :
“Such societies where a few people possess all economic sources and most of the people feel themselves powerless and are unable to meet their daily needs. There is restless and dissatisfaction in the society making lower class people to deviancy and crimes.” (Walten and Young 1973)
4. Mal-Socialization :
Socialization of an individual restores norms and values of a society but sometimes mal-socialization does the reverse and becomes a cause of deviancy and crimes as shown below:
a. Socialization fails to keep control system preaching an aggression and selfish behaviour giving rise to opposite activities like deviancy and crimes.
b. Psychological theory : Lack of socialization creates in an individual some psychological and social needs completion like love, friendship and make him aggressive and dispersive and to control these he has nothing suitable behaviour or way with him and as a result he adopts deviancy and crime.
c. According to Frustration aggression theory, some individual observe others being honoured with good words who are actually deviants and criminals. Then they make this as role model and become deviants and criminals. For example, with bribery an individual gets a socio-economic status and the society honours him, so other people also'adopt such behaviour.
5. Rat Race :
Defective enforcement of norms in developing society creates many defects in the social control system. Some people succeed in getting a large amount of wealth by bribery, fraud, embezzlement, adulteracy etc. creating a social imbalance in the society. Robert Merton has explained this situation in his theory ‘Anomic’ from the social stage named as innovators.
According to his theory,
“Innovators, are people who accept the good of the society but use illegitimate means to achieve them. Drug dealers, for instance, accept the good of achieving wealth but reject the legitimate means for doing so.” (R.K. Merton 1968)
6. Misuse of Political Authority :
Democratic programme of societies that, after dictatorship or kingship to democratic system, are passing from its preliminary stages and where untrained political individuals hold power and authority with no proper working of organs, they start to pressurize the executive, judiciary and legislature by making wrong use of their power and authority including unfair use of economic sources, threatening attitude towards opponents, loans, permits, licenses, commission and the accountability bureaucracy can not do so restricting action against them. Other individuals are persuaded to do such like things and there is deviation towards crimes.
7. Use of Drugs :
The overpopulation increased strangeness. The neighbourhood relations became weak and the young are not under the control of elders, in such conditions the young people are inclined towards use of drugs and cause a deviation. If the govt. laws are not effective, then drug traffic is encouraged and involves more people in use of drugs. Robert Merton Theory ‘Anomie’ starts here with the fourth stage and according to it, some individuals reject cultural goals and institutionalization means and are called Retreatists. From Pakistan’s point of reference, Sadhus are extremely depressed people. These people disconnect themselves with social activities and social goals have no meaning for them. Thus they turn towards crimes and affect the society seriously.
According to Merton,
“People who choose the deviant path retreatism, reject both cultural goals and institutionalized means of achieving them. Such people do not even try to appear as though they share the goals of their society. Drug addicts and alcohol users etc. typically portray as retreatists.”
8. Social Change and Cultural Conflict :
Such societies where there is strong and popular cultural life, social norms have the position of a common heritage and there is harmony and uniformity in the values, norms and socialization. When such societies fall a prey to social change and its prevention is different or impossible the youth become active to change the values in an angry and serious manner. Thus society is divided into two groups. The old want to preserve the culture whereas the young want to change the values, tradition and accept these rapidly and reject previous values. This causes a social conflict and there is an atmosphere of confusion causing to give rise to deviancy and crimes consciously or unconsciously.
9. Conflict in Families :
Pakistani societies because of many quarrels are involved in deviations and crimes.
a. In our culture mate selection is considered the right of parents and because of this sometimes deprivation from love enmity causes a rebellious attitude leading to serious quarrels and crimes.
b. The greed for dowry causes conflict between a bride and the mother of the husband affecting the family seriously. Hearth bursting incidents are deviating behaviour in the society.
10. Religious Disregards :
Traditional societies are under the influence of norms, religious values and religious norms keep a control over deviation but in urban industrial societies these lose their force and the business of individual is a cause of fartherness from religion and religious norms became weak and deviated and crimes are less
According to Durkheim’s social solidarity theory,
“Religious institution works as “Binding force” in the society and provides a strong informal mechanism for preventing the society from indiscipline and disorder. Religious disregardness enhances the deviance.”