Friday, November 27, 2009

Crime as the Major Problem of Social Disorganization

Meaning of Crime:
Crime refers to those acts which are forbidden by law. The following definition explains its concept:
(1) Elliot and Merrill: “Crime may be defined as anti-social behaviour which the group rejects and to which it attacks penalties.”
(2) K. Mauria: “A crime is an act opposed to established attitudes of a group, as defined by law at a given time or place.”
(3) Gillin and Gillin: “From the legal point of view, crime is an offence against the law of the land.”
(4) Sutherland: According to Sutherland, “Criminal behaviour is that behaviour which is in violation of the criminal law.”

The concept of crime and punishment has undergone great changes during the recent times. It is now regarded less an individual act of deviation from the established codes and more a symptoms of deep rooted social maladies. Why a person steals? The question now takes into account the social aspect of the problem, the social conditions which push a person on the way of crime. However, the basic concept of crime is remained unaltered. Deviation from the socially sanctioned codes or breaking of law is the basic characteristic of crime.
If crime is regarded as an index of social disorganization then we can very safely say, keeping in view the increasing crimes that modern society is crumbling. Gone are the days of daring highway robberies and breaking into banks the modern crime is organized on up-to-date business system. Criminals of today walk as respectable citizens, contribute to various charities, attend social functions and in most cases have hold upon the politics, at least local politics.
“Crime has had to be dealt with in all societies, past and present, but it became a major social problem only among civilized peoples. In primitive societies, the more and strong enough to control individual behaviour effectively, and the few who disobeyed the rules do not continue a threat to the group. In civilized societies, especially those with large, heterogeneous population, it is difficult to compel universal observance of the mores. Transgressions multiply, and it becomes necessary to enact law to compensate for the ineffectiveness of the mores.”

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