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Knife Crime Epidemic And Effects It Causes Criminology Essay

Britain is in the hold of a knife crime epidemic. This is the impression one gets from the media: every week appears to bring new experiences of stabbing and murder among city junior. But what makes these youngsters engaging in such activity? This quotation suggests that teenagers who carry kitchen knives achieve this task 'protection', status and peer pressure. The multimedia also plays a part by reinforcing the theory that everyone else is taking a tool. Finally, the estimate claims socially excluded teenagers from dysfunctional individuals are more likely to use cutlery. The first part this essay will first give an overview of the labelling strategy and social structure theory, it will then continue to consider whether teenagers are actually engaging in knife crime due to above reasons, or whether it is simply a outcome of the labelling process.

The labelling theory devotes little effort in describing why certain individuals begin to activate in deviance. Rather, it stresses the value of the procedure through which culture defines serves as deviant and the role of negative cultural reactions in influencing individuals to activate in subsequent acts. The labelling theorists move their attention away from individuals and their actions and toward the active of social definition that particular acts or actors are deviant.

The first labelling theorist was Frank Tannenbaum (1938), he recommended the person who is labelled, eventually becomes finished. he is being referred to as. Whether that label get by those who would punish, or by those who reform. In either case the emphasis is after the carry out that has been disapproved of. The harder the legal justice system works to reform the bad, the greater the evil will develop and the harder it will become to reduce the bad behavior. He claimed just how out was by way of a refusal to 'dramatize the bad'. The less said about it the better. A lot more said about something else, still better.

Taylor et all (1973) reinforced the labelling theory by suggesting that the way a stop will be put to deviant behaviour is: 'to build a society in which the facts of human variety, whether personal, organic and natural or social, aren't subjected to the energy to criminalize'.

Sociologist Haword Becker(1963), accepted deviance is not a quality that is based on the behaviour itself however in the interaction between your person who commits an function, and the ones who react to it. A good way to demonstrate this point is by discussing the study of 'opiate use' by the sociologist Alfred Ray Lindesmith, his results demonstrated how a person becomes aware of their addiction. Essentially it is not the drug which makes the person an addict, the habit is because social classification. When others label them as lovers, then your person too comes to establish himself as an addict. In other words behaviour is not inherently deviant or normal but is described and labelled because of this. So how does the labelling process work?

Erikson (1975), the creator of the labelling theory, details two main phases to the labelling process. The first stage involves 'key deviance', which is the initial criminal act, and a person may be labelled as deviant or criminal, but does not yet recognize this role. So the person will not view himself as a legal. It is this lack of looking at that separates principal deviance from another level, second deviance.

Secondary deviance involves a "status degradation wedding ceremony" This starts by the formal confrontation between your deviant and the representatives, such as the legal trial; this is then followed by an announcement of the verdict, and finally the deviant is given with a particular role, such as a prisoner which redefines his position in culture. According to Tannenbaum (1938), formal proceedings indicate the "dramatization of evil", whereby the function is publically released and defined as immoral. Reports of the formal sanction will then spread across the community leading to others also labelling him as 'deviant'. The individual finally allows the legal label; their self concept is changed from 'normal' to 'deviant'. Matching to Lemert, 'This becomes a mean of defence, invasion, or adaption to the issues caused by societal reaction to primary deviation". This technique can also happen in a more simple fashion as well. For example, the family of deviant may become withdrawn and distance themselves from him in disappointment, whether or not a formal charge has happened.

Accordingly, the labelling theory suggests: if the average person accepts this negative 'legal' label that is applied, they are really then much more likely to continue participating in the behaviour that the label was in the beginning meant to control. Quite simply the label leads the deviant individual to check out a self-fulfilling prophecy conforming to ascribed label, triggering them to lead deviant occupations.

For example, if a person is caught hauling a knife, but is not apprehended or labelled as deviant, that person is much more likely to forgo such behavior in the foreseeable future. However, if the individual is apprehended and labelled as a "criminal", then your person is subsequently more likely to improve his personal information as an escape of the exclusion felt by the individual from "normal routines" or 'normal opportunities', and increased connection with the deviant organizations.

Having explained the theory, this article will now interlink the labelling theory with the offer. The estimate itself suggests "most" teenagers carry cutlery for: protection, position and peer pressure. The recognized need for cover is compounded by the sense, strengthened by the mass media coverage of stabbings, that everyone is carrying a weapon, as well as connection with victimisation. In conditions of socially excluded young people from dysfunctional people are more likely to engage in blade use.

For teenagers, the move from years as a child to adult can be alternatively complicated, their adult id is not yet developed and so they often become bewildered concerning their own position within culture. George Herbert Mead claimed an individual develops a sense of self through how others understand them, he coined this as the "looking goblet home" He suggested as children develop, they become more aware of their own social position and more around them, and consequently become worried about the needs and prospects of others and of the bigger society. To show this aspect, he used a hockey game as an example, showing children, like field hockey players, must look at the roles of most players, as well as consider their own role.

This symbolic interaction to the analysis of deviance targets the process where the wider cultural audience creates deviance and deviants by determining the works and actors like that. The condition with defining young people as either "knife carriers" or "knife users" is the fact that the term "knife crime" encompasses a very broad range of offences, and makes no distinguish between genuine hauling and using. Furthermore, blade crime reports are equally as difficult to quantify anticipated to lack of clarity. The offences noted involve 'razor-sharp tools' these might actually refer to screwdrivers, broken containers or glass, not really a knife. In the same way offences detailed as "threatening someone else with a weapon" might entail sticks, stones or other objects as well as kitchen knives. Furthermore certain types of blade may be carried legitimately if the carrier has a good reason, for example if it is work related, or for religious beliefs purposes. So you can find some confusion as to who should be labelled when this is itself is so wide-ranging, a clearer description is required in order to avoid sensationalised use of the word.

If deviance is therefore just a label, where does indeed the label come from? And how does the label become applied to specific behavior and particular individuals? Based on the sociologist Howard Becker(1963), moral internet marketers are often ones who create the guidelines about what constitutes deviant or normal behaviour. He believes that moral enterprisers use their own perspectives on what they believe that is "right" or "wrong" to establish the rules where they expect the others of society to reside, usually for his or her own politics agendas. Furthermore, it has been suggested that these rules in regards to what is "right" or "wrong" aren't randomly distributed across the social composition, but are instead more likely to apply straight to the powerless, the disadvantaged, and the indegent. Because of existing stereotypes, which portray criminals as people of lower classes, minorities, metropolitan dwellers, and adults, individuals who participate in such groupings are much more likely than others to be labelled delinquent. Therefore the labelling process is a definite case of dual standard, one guideline for the abundant and one for the indegent. A perfect example showing this inadequacy is the recent MP price row, those in electric power were stealing from the rest of world, yet their ability enabled them to put the problems of youth assault, weapon use and gangs at the fore front, mailing out sensationalised communications of the 'broken society to exploit their own agendas. So the crime of the powerful is slightly ignored by shifting societies focus on crimes of the center and lower category.

So is the quote correct in assuming knife users are generally from dysfunctional young families? A dysfunctional family is one who has very few values or willpower within family members. An interesting theory to include here is the control theory; this is concerned not with why people commit criminal offense, but why so many refrain from doing so. It advises those children who expand up with parents who exercise reasonable and consistent self-discipline are less inclined to offend, and much more likely to stay committed to conventional explanations of 'right' or 'incorrect' behaviour. Those children who typically take part in knife crime or any other offense for that matter are said to come from destroyed homes, where they have not experienced love or treatment. Linking this back to the labelling theory, which suggests the powerless, low class will lead deviant careers, because they lack bonds with culture and law. Consequently, young people who've dysfunctional individuals within these neighborhoods will much more likely comply with stereotypes they face. Way more, if their parents informally label them as deviant which is more than likely in conditions of minorities from lower category; because they take part in more objective deviance. This appraisal from the parent will affect their further delinquency.

The quote also advises the media also plays a component in ones decision to transport a knife, but is this true? Will the media's open public labelling impact on a young person's decision to transport a blade around for 'cover'? The press is one of the most persuasive top features of society. The text messages and information modern culture receives through the advertising plays an enormous effect on influencing their viewpoints and understanding. It sends out a graphic of the world as unrealistically clear-cut and understandable. The multimedia messages are actually cleverly decided on and edited, in order to offer identifiable worth, interest and normative expectations. Stanley Cohen explored the social result of the Mods and Rockers disturbance in 1964; he said the press created a 'moral stress' by labelling them as 'folk devils' and exaggeration the original events. The original occurrence simply became an possibility to exploit and improve the social position of the 'moral internet marketers'.

In terms of knife criminal offense or any other criminal offenses for that matter, the media is able to cultivate in their audience a perception that the larger cultural environment is dangerous and frightening, for example, when the mail screams that "Shock characters show no part of Britain is safe as knife violence spreads everywhere you go", "Thugs committing 350 knife assaults EVERYDAY, as cutting tool menace spreads to rural areas", "Britain on alert for fatal new blade with exploding tip that freezes victim's organs", these are only a few examples to show the media's exaggeration. Within the last headline, the knife was only sold in America, designed to get rid of sharks and bears, so no risk was being posed in Britain. But these kinds of sensationalised reports improve social control, because the frightened audience are often manipulated and easily agree to what the advertising presents, and blade crime becomes wider and intimidating then it really is.

The advertising has its good elements too; it helps raise knife crime consciousness and also brings to the forefront promotions against knife crime. The bad information would be that the huge publicity devoted to raising awareness has the preserve aftereffect of normalising it. The offense lowering charity Nacro, for example, argued: the recommendation that it's in any sense the norm to carry weapons is likely to increase the number of young people who do this, since they fear harm and wish to have the means to protect and protect themselves. Furthermore the Mothers against Murder and aggression Wales found the way knife criminal offenses is portrayed in the news gives out the message that all teenagers are armed, which really is a frightening strategy, "Almost everyone carrying a knife will so because they feel they have to protect themselves as everyone else does so". Therefore the marketing, like the labelling theory, brands certain sets of people, in this case young people, without any proper justification. Furthermore headlines such as "war on young thugs" contributes to the idea that for some young people there's a conflict being waged against them plus they be fighting back. Furthermore the negative connotations of youths, when the vast majority are law-abiding, can add their sense of being under attack. As a consequence these labelled youths may commence to believe stereotypical beliefs encompassing them, or they may think that these beliefs exist based on their learned conception of what folks think about criminals; fearing rejection, they may withdraw from interaction with typical peers.

Goffman (1963) suggests labelling can cause the discussion between "normal" people and stigmatized children to be uneasy and humiliating. These awkward experiences are thought by those who tolerate the stigma as well as those who do not. Corresponding to Goffman (1963 "the expectation of such associates can lead normals and the stigmatized to arrange life so as to avoid them". Therefore non labelled adolescents and labelled adolescents may tend to avoid each other to avoid uncomfortable relationship dynamics.

Feeling isolated from the mainstream of modern culture, and being locked within their 'deviant role, they may seek others in the same way labelled to form deviant subcultures. The deviant subculture will represent a way to obtain social support where deviant activities are accepted. A social shelter will be provided by the subculture from those who react negatively on the deviant status; it will offer alternative worth, habits, passions and attitudes. So if an individual is labelled as deviant from modern culture, then that labelled person is progressively more likely to become involved in social categories that consist of cultural deviants and unconventional others. Tannenbaum and Becker focus on the role of deviant sites in explaining how public labelling can increase the probability of deviance. "Your final part of the career of an deviant is motion into an organised deviant group". The deviant group provides opportunities that encourage, support and facilitate deviant behavior. These deviant subcultures are made up of leaders and supporters, solidarity of objective, clarity of purpose. These characteristics may appear positive within an adult world, even essential for achieving adult identity and self esteem. However this hierarchy proves to be negative in conditions of delinquent communities. Those at the top of the hierarchy, the leaders tend to be given a prestige position, one which wouldn't normally get in the mainstream society.

With relation to knife crime, these market leaders of the gangs part step the risk of being found carrying a blade, by pressuring the younger person in the gangs to transport them, some as young as seven, this is referred to as "golf caddy". This often brings about an 'arm race' among young people who feel ever more threatened by peers hauling blades therefore carry knives to safeguard themselves. So as the quote advised, safety is rightfully lots one motive for knife carriers. Furthermore, young people will take knives, 'out of esteem, maybe trying to produce a name for themselves on the road' and gain 'admiration', therefore the status which they lack from mainstream society is obtainable within the subculture,

To conclude, having gone through the factors within the price, it seemingly shows up that the price is wrong. The factors shown within the estimate are simply just all a rsulting consequence the labelling theory. Society itself is quick to judge and put a label on everything, it had not been so long so ago when gun criminal offense caused the concern, and today it is blade crime. The term knife crime itself needs a clearer meaning, so a distinction can be produced between knife use and blade carrying. Furthermore, those who benefit from the capacity to label need to put an end to class biasness, as the powerless appear disproportionately in formal statistics on deviance, gives an inaccurate accounts of knife offense. Shifting to the factors themselves, 'status' is something teenagers crave to be able to build up their own adult identification. Once officially labelled through a "status degradation ceremony"the individual's legal position becomes their expert status. The 'peer pressure' elements falls into the formula once the individual has united with deviant subcultures, as peer pressure is area of the gang culture. The multimedia also plays a large part, by publically labelling certain subcultures as delinquent. So all the factors form one vicious group, which a person must go through once labelled, This could be avoided, if the courts refused to 'dramatise the bad' by implementing a system whereby minor crimes would not involve formal sentencing and the "status degradation wedding ceremony" that complements it. Instead a rehabilitative therapy and out of courtroom arrangement could be launched in order to provide young offenders the possibility to reform and assimilate back into population, not excluding them further.

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