Cultural Deviance

Labeling theorists are adamant about the labels that offenders are given throughout the criminal justice system. Labels, such as ex-felons, are deepening the very behavior that they are meant to halt because of stereotypes that incite an individual trying to recover after a prison term. The labeling theory argues that the criminal justice system is limited in its capacity to restrain unlawful conduct but also is a major factor in anchoring people into criminal careers.

The cultural deviance theory explains the causes of criminal behavior in urban areas are not about the poverty suffered in those areas but the product of a distinct lower-class culture whose focal concern is deviance against the norms of society. 

The theory identified 3 influential versions:

  • Lower-class culture as a whole is responsible for generating crime in urban areas.
  • Urban lower-class areas produce subcultures that are responsible for the rise of crime.
  • Subcultures of crimes in urban areas where individuals come together to band in creating crimes for their own personal gain and satisfaction

Write a 5–6 page paper answering the following questions:

 

  • What would be another theory and strategy to avoid stereotyping individuals in the criminal justice system? 
    • Is labeling theory a legitimate crime causation theory? Why?
  • In your opinion, where do gangs fit in the 3 influential versions of cultural deviance theory? Why?
  • Which one of the two theories would you use to explain the following problem: 
    • The number of youths joining gangs in the inner city has doubled, while the number of gang leaders serving time in prison and being released after good conduct has increased. The crime rate for gang violence has risen 20% from last year.

In 3-4 pargraphs

Unitas has a parade in honor of Columbus Day each year. Most years, local Native American groups have issued protests against this parade because they feel that not only did Columbus not discover America, but the celebration of the day ignores the centuries of oppression and mistreatment of Native American peoples. This year, one of the Native American groups has asked the town for permission to put up an educational display and information on their point of view in the town center on Columbus Day. The mayor is considering this request and has asked for your feedback regarding the background of the Native American group’s request.

 

  • Briefly discuss the history of how Native Americans have been treated by dominant groups in the United States since European settlement.
  • How does this history relate to the way that certain Native American groups have protested Columbus Day?
  • Do you think the mayor should support the request of the Native American group? Why or why not?

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