AN APPEAL FOR SUPPORT
- We seek your support to meet the expenses relating to the formatting of articles and books, maintaining and running the journal through hosting, correrspondences, etc.Please write to the Editor in his e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can support this journal.
- Also please use the AMAZON link to buy your books. Even the smallest contribution will go a long way in supporting this journal. Thank you. Thirumalai, Editor.
BOOKS FOR YOU TO READ AND DOWNLOAD FREE!
- The Trading Community in Early Tamil Society Up To 900 AD ...
R. Jeyasurya, M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D.
- A Study of Auxiliaries in the Old and the Middle Tamil ...
A.Boologarambai, M.A., Ph.D.
- History of Growth and Reforms of British Military Administration in India, 1848-1949 ...
Hemalatha, M.A., M.Phil.
- Language of Mass Media: A Study Based on Malayalam Broadcasts - A Doctoral Dissertation ...
K. Parameswaran, Ph.D.
- Form and Function of Disorders in Verbal Narratives - A Doctoral Dissertation ...
Kandala Srinivasacharya, Ph.D.
- Status Marking in Tamil - A Ph.D. Dissertation ...
P. Perumalsamy, Ph.D.
- LANGUAGE AND POWER IN COMMUNICATION ...
Editors: Jennifer M. Bayer, Ph.D., and Pushpa Pai, Ph.D.
- Onomatopoeia in Tamil ...
V. Gnanasundaram, Ph.D.
- Linguistics and Literature ...
C.Shunmugom, Ph.D., and C. Sivashanmugam, Ph.D., V. Thayalan, Ph.D. and C. Sivakumar, Ph.D. (Editors)
- Translation: New Dimensions ...
C.Shunmugom, Ph.D., and C. Sivashanmugam, Ph.D., Editors
- Language of Headlines in Kannada Dailies ...
M. N. Leelavathi, Ph.D.
- Cooperative Learning Incorporating Computer-Mediated Communication: Participation, Perceptions, and Learning Outcomes in a Deaf Education Classroom ...
Michelle Pandian, M.S.
The Effects of Age on the Ability to Learn English As a Second Language ...
Mariam Dadabhai, B.A. Hons.
- A STUDY OF THE SKILLS OF READING COMPREHENSION IN ENGLISH DEVELOPED BY STUDENTS OF STANDARD IX IN THE SCHOOLS IN TUTICORIN DISTRICT, TAMILNADU ...
A. Joycilin Shermila, Ph.D.
- A Socio-Pragmatic Comparative Study of Ostensible Invitations in English and Farsi ...
Mohammad Ali Salmani-Nodoushan, Ph.D.
- ADVANCED WRITING - A COURSE TEXTBOOK ...
Parviz Birjandi, Ph.D.
Seyyed Mohammad Alavi, Ph.D.
Mohammad Ali Salmani-Nodoushan, Ph.D.
- TEXT FAMILIARITY, READING TASKS, AND ESP TEST PERFORMANCE: A STUDY ON IRANIAN LEP AND NON-LEP UNIVERSITY STUDENTS - A DOCTORAL DISSERTATION ...
Mohammad Ali Salmani-Nodoushan, Ph.D.
- A STUDY ON THE LEARNING PROCESS OF ENGLISH
BY HIGHER SECONDARY STUDENTS
WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO DHARMAPURI DISTRICT IN TAMILNADU ...
K. Chidambaram, Ph.D.
- SPEAKING STRATEGIES TO OVERCOME COMMUNICATION DIFFICULTIES IN THE TARGET LANGUAGE SITUATION - BANGLADESHIS IN NEW ZEALAND ...
Harunur Rashid Khan
- THE PROBLEMS IN LEARNING MODAL AUXILIARY VERBS IN ENGLISH AT HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL ...
Chandra Bose, Ph.D. Candidate
- THE ROLE OF VISION IN LANGUAGE LEARNING
- in Children with Moderate to Severe Disabilities ...
Martha Low, Ph.D.
- SANSKRIT TO ENGLISH TRANSLATOR ...
S. Aparna, M.Sc.
- A LINGUISTIC STUDY OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE CURRICULUM AT THE SECONDARY LEVEL IN BANGLADESH - A COMMUNICATIVE APPROACH TO CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT by
Kamrul Hasan, Ph.D.
- COMMUNICATION VIA EYE AND FACE in Indian Contexts by
M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
VIA GESTURE: A STUDY OF INDIAN CONTEXTS by M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
- CIEFL Occasional
Papers in Linguistics,
- Language, Thought
and Disorder - Some Classic Positions by
M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
- English in India:
Loyalty and Attitudes
by Annika Hohenthal
- Language In Science
by M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
- Vocabulary Education
by B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
- A CONTRASTIVE ANALYSIS OF HINDI
by V. Geethakumary, Ph.D.
- LANGUAGE OF ADVERTISEMENTS
by Sandhya Nayak, Ph.D.
- An Introduction to TESOL:
Methods of Teaching English
to Speakers of Other Languages
by M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
- Transformation of
into Indexing Language:
Kannada - A Case Study
by B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
- How to Learn
by M.S.Thirumalai, Ph.D.
- Verbal Communication
with CP Children
by Shyamala Chengappa, Ph.D.
and M.S.Thirumalai, Ph.D.
- Bringing Order
to Linguistic Diversity
- Language Planning in
the British Raj by
Ranjit Singh Rangila,
M. S. Thirumalai,
and B. Mallikarjun
- E-mail your articles and book-length reports in Microsoft Word to email@example.com.
- Contributors from South Asia may send their articles to
Central Institute of Indian Languages,
Mysore 570006, India or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. PLEASE READ THE GUIDELINES GIVEN IN HOME PAGE IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE LIST OF CONTENTS.
- Your articles and booklength reports should be written following the MLA, LSA, or IJDL Stylesheet.
- The Editorial Board has the right to accept, reject, or suggest modifications to the articles submitted for publication, and to make suitable stylistic adjustments. High quality, academic integrity, ethics and morals are expected from the authors and discussants.
Copyright © 2007
M. S. Thirumalai
Trends and Spatial Patterns of Crime in India
M. Jayamala, Ph.D.
A Case Study of a District in India
Crime is the violation of the rules and regulations enforced by the society from time to time for which definite punishment is prescribed by law. Members in every society are expected to act according to its established norms and laws. But when an individual finds it difficult or impossible to satisfy his wants and desires in a direct and socially accepted manner, he encounters the alternative of renouncing his motive or attempting to find a substitute satisfaction. When good solutions are not available, he engages himself in anti-social behaviour of criminal nature.
Concept of Crime
According to Paul Tappan, "crime is an intentional act or omission in violation of criminal law (statutory and case law) committed without defense or justification, and sanctioned by the state as a felony or misdemeanor" . "Crime is an act of violation of law, and criminal is a person who does an act in violation of law" . The concept of crime is an unusually difficult one, since it is difficult to find any definition of crime that does not have a large element of circularity. In general, crimes are committed as events and actions that are prescribed by the criminal law of a particular country.
It is not easy to sociologically define crime particularly because of its implicit roots in the concept of crime. Crime is considered as a deviant behaviour, because it is an act of human against prevailing norms of the society. A crime is further viewed by different parts of the world, even by different sections of the same people differently. Crime by a particular society at a particular period of time may not be so at a different time and for different people.
Generally speaking, in India bigamy is illegal; in a Muslim society, a man can have as many as four wives. In some communist countries, free enterprise is illegal; the free enterprise system is a social tradition in the United States and many American laws reinforce them.
In different countries and societies, there are different conceptions of crime. Social conception varies according to the conventions of the particular society. The definition of crime becomes too wide. A law enacted today may find it against the interest of society after experience. The law will be changed and thus what is criminal today may not be criminal tomorrow. There are so many acts, which are treated as "crime" in the actual sense of the law, but in practice, the criminals are not punished for such acts, because they could interest others. To quote an example, it is said that in France, about one million people flourished in post-war black-marketing. Although black-marketing is a crime in France, according to an eminent French statesman, it was due to black-marketers that the French nation did not starve in those bleak days.
Men are by nature prone to commit crimes. Emile Durkheim one of the eminent sociologists made an outstanding contribution to the study of crime. He says that a society without crime is an impossibility, for the very organization of complex societies prevents total conformity to all social rules by all members. Moreover, crime may even have positive consequences for a social system. The existence of crime strengthens collective sentiments as to what is right and proper. It serves to contrast the unacceptable with the acceptable. The solidarity of the social group is enhanced when conformers unite against law violators and reaffirm their own commitment to the law. Durkheim believes that those who engage in criminal behaviour play a definite role in normal social life, and this role can even be a positive one .
Criminology Vs Sociology
Within all social groups various mechanisms of social control exist to prevent deviant behaviour. The most fundamental mechanism is the individual internalization of social norms, which is the goal of major institutions such as organized education, religion, and family. Indeed the widespread acceptance and support of basic normative standards by members of the society is the most effective force in preventing deviant behaviour. However, since conflict over the content and legitimacy of social rules nearly always exists, societies also establish formal mechanisms of control. Official agencies of the state enact legislation, prohibiting certain types of behaviour, and formal enforcement apparatus is vested with the power to detect and punish violation of these rules. But yet in the society, there is no single synthesized approach to prevent deviant behaviour or crime as a whole. Although criminology is a long established field of study, crime remains one of the least understood of social problems, particularly in the key contents of causality and prevention.
Criminology in its narrowest sense simply means "the study of crime". Mannheim defines a little more widely, that it is a body of knowledge regarding crime as a social phenomenon.
It includes within its scope the processes of making laws, and of reacting towards the breaking of laws . Sutherland and Cressey state that there are three principal divisions of criminology: i) the sociology of law, ii) the study of the cause of crime, and iii) penology, which is concerned with the control and treatment of crime . Today the discipline of criminology is characterized by a greater inter-disciplinary approach, more sophisticated research methods, and greater emphasis on empirical research. But criminology is still not generally recognized as a separate discipline, and in most colleges and in many universities it is taught under the umbrella of sociology or criminal justice. In other words, criminology is very much an "applied" science and heavily dependent upon and inter-connected with, other disciplines. Since criminology is so dependent upon, and inter-connected with other disciplines, it is understandable that many criminologists have their origins in and major afflictions with, one or other of the major fields.
The relationship of Criminology to Sociology has an inherent logic. Sociology is the study of human society and human social behaviour. This includes rules of behaviour, norms, laws, and social expectations, and hence would logically include a study of the violations of those norms, measures taken to prevent those violations and punishments inflicted - both formally and informally - on offenders. This, in sort, is criminology, or at least becomes criminology when the norms under discussion have been codified in criminal law. Nevertheless, a body of knowledge about crime has been generated from sociology, psychology, political science, and criminal law. Since criminology is an applied subject, many criminologists have been primarily trained in sociology, public administration, political science, psychology or criminal law. And those who study the criminal problems are acutely aware of the numerous pitfalls around, when they try to separate out for detailed examination of social, psychological and physical factors that are considered to be important in the explanation of criminal behaviour.
Crime and Justice System in India
Crime is a major source of social concern today in India. All daily newspapers devote a significant proportion of column inches to reports of murder and theft and accounts of sensational trials. Increases in crime rates will often be treated as headline news. According to the National Crime Record Bureau, in an hour, about 187 cognizable crimes under the IPC and 443 crimes under the local and special laws are committed. In one day, the police grapples with 832 thefts, 258 riots, 66 robberies and 333 burglaries and 2,991 other criminal offences .
In order to control the criminal activities, there are three institutions that play a role in the enforcement of criminal justice system in India - the Police, the Courts, and the Prisons.
Law enforcement and management of law and order, security, crime prevention and crime detection are essentially enforced and performed by the police authorities. Three major laws, apart from the Police Act, 1861, that govern the role and performance of police are The Indian Penal Code, 1860, The Indian Evidence Act, 1872, and The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
The Indian Penal Code (IPC) identifies the acts of omissions and commissions that constitute the offences, and makes them punishable under this Act. It divides offences into several categories and embodies the substantial criminal law of the country. The Evidence Act is a major law relating to evidence and applies to all judicial court or court martial. Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) is the major procedural law relating to conduct of investigation, trial, and appeal.
It provides the mechanism for the punishment of offence against the substantial criminal law. The code also formulates police duties.
Apart from these, to cater to various specific needs, several new laws have been enacted from time to time to meet the growing crime prevention needs. They are broadly categorized as (i) special law (vide section 41 of IPC) which is applicable to a particular subject and (ii) local law (vide section 42 of IPC) which is applicable to particular part of India. Collectively they are known as "Special and Local Laws" (SLL).
The criminal procedure code divides all crimes into two categories - cognizable crimes and non-cognizable crimes. The police deal with the cognizable crimes reported in the country. In such crimes, the police have a direct responsibility to take immediate action on receipt of a compliant or of credible information, visit the scene of the crime, investigate the facts, apprehend the offender, and produce him before a court of law having jurisdiction over the matter. Cognizable crimes are listed both under the IPC as well as under SLL.
Non-cognizable crimes are those where the police cannot arrest a person without a warrant, and so are generally left to be pursued by the affected parties themselves in the courts. Police do not initiate investigation in non-cognizable crimes except with magisterial permission .
Patterns of Crime
Though the Institutions of police, courts, and prisons of the criminal justice system play a vital role in defending criminal activities, India still faces the patterned criminal activities that would include violations ranging from adultery to abduction, and from alcohols to skyjacking. Criminal offences and the characteristics of lawbreakers are almost as varied as non-criminal offences and law abiders. Hence, the law-violating behaviours reflect patterned interaction or a purposeful social organization centered on criminal activities. These patterns of crime include, organized crime, professional crime, white-collar crime, juvenile crime, gender offence, homicide, and assault.
Organized crimes are illegal activities carried out as a part of well-designed plan developed by a large organization seeking to maximize its overall profit. The structure of organized crime, outlined by the President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice in 1967, reflects both the extended family of traditional societies and military organizations . A major characteristic of organized crime is that many of its activities are not predatory (such as robbery which takes from its victims). Instead, organized crime generally seeks to provide the public desired goods and services that cannot be obtained legally (drugs, gambling, prostitution, etc.) For its success, organized crime relies on public demand for illegal services.
The evils caused to society and to the economy by organized crimes are enormous. Through gambling and drug traffic, the lives of many individuals and their families are traumatized. Labour racketeering and infiltration of legitimate business lead to higher price of goods, lower-quality products, forced closing of some businesses, establishment of monopolies, unemployment of workers, misuse of pension and welfare benefit, and higher taxes. Through corruption of public officials, organized crime leads to public cynicism about the honesty of politicians and the democratic process. It also leads to higher taxes and mismanagement of public funds. Organized crime is developing new market place scams, including counterfeiting, consumer credit cards and airline tickets.
Sutherland describes that the attitudes and behaviour of professional criminals distinguish them from others involved in crime. These people make their careers in larceny, forgery, robbery, confidence games or some other illegal activities. They approach their work with the same sort of professional standards as doctors and lawyers. They are usually skillful enough to make crime an economic livelihood and are seldom apprehended because nothing illegal is attempted before either the police or the courts, or both have been paid off to ensure safety . Even in the more hazardous occupation of robbery, professional criminals are considerably more prudent than amateurs and are less likely to be caught. Professional criminals take great pains to protect themselves; their social visibility is low, but their total contribution to commit crime remains uncertain.
The most costly and perhaps most frequently occurring white-collar crimes are committed by "respectable" middle-class and upper-class citizens. White-collar crimes are work-related offences committed by people of high status. White-collar crimes are invariably committed by those who are ingenious, clever, shrewd, rich and greedy persons who have developed political clouts. White-collar offences against customers include false advertising, stock manipulation, violations of food and drug laws, release of industrial waste products into public waterways, illegal emissions from industrial smoke stacks and price-fixing agreements. Embezzlement is also a white-collar offence in which an employee fraudulently converts some of the employees' funds for personal use through altering company records.
This new type of "White-collar crime" adversely affects the health and material welfare of community as a whole and also threatens the entire economic fabric of the country. These criminals, due to their political and financial influence, are able to capture the administrative machine of the state and escape from the clutches of prosecution. So they are sometimes not even traced in the police records. The U.N. Congress on prevention of crime and treatment of offenders predicted in 1970, that the third world would see burgeoning of white-collar crimes in the years to come as a part of developing process . They rightly predicted that, white-collar crime might be expected to increase both in size and complexity due to the development of industrialisation and economic structure. Further, the evil of the punishment must be made to exceed the advantage of the offence. But in these white-collar crimes, as the existing legal system fails to punish the accused, the criminals are further encouraged to repeat the crime. Hence, in contemporary society, the white-collar crimes show rising trend and widespread corruption.
Juvenile crime is usually termed delinquency. The maximum age today for juvenile delinquents according to the Juvenile Justice Act of 1986 is 16 years for boys and 18 years for girls. Different rules apply to offences committed by juveniles and those offences are handled by separate juvenile courts. The violations for which minors can be arrested include not only the ones applicable to adults in the same jurisdiction but also a series of vague categories such as habitual vagrancy, sexual promiscuity, truancy, incorrigibility and endangering morals, health or general welfare of the minor. Judges in the juvenile cases are expected to be flexible in judging young people and devising ways of rescuing them from lives of crime. Some judges consistently sentence girls, who are accused of sexual promiscuity, to reform-schools while dismissing cases of boys similarly accused. Others tend to release middle class youngsters to the custody of their families, while sentencing lower class minority young charged with the same offences to correctional institutions.
Armando Morales has classified youth gangs into four types: Criminal, Conflict, Retreatist, and Cult/Occult gangs.
Criminal Gangs: Criminal gangs have a primary goal, that is, material gain through criminal activities such as theft of property from people or premises, extortion, fencing, and drug trafficking.
Conflict Gangs: They engage in violent conflict with individuals of rival groups that invade their neighbourhood or commit acts that they consider degrading or insulting.
Retreatist Gangs: Retreatist gangs focus on getting "high" or "leaded" alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, heroin or other drugs. Individuals tend to join this type of gang to secure continued access to drugs.
Cult/Occult Gangs: They engage in devil or evil worship cult which refers to systematic worshipping of evil or the devil; occult implies keeping something secret or hidden or a belief in supernatural or mysterious powers .
In a very real sense, a delinquent gang is created because the needs of youths are not being met by the family, neighbourhood or traditional community institutions (such as the schools, police, recreational and religious institutions). Factors, in the home environments, like poverty, ill-treatment by step parents, alcoholic parents, broken family life, may drive the juvenile to the streets to commit delinquencies. Family attitudes, like overprotection, rejection, lack of love, lack of response from parents, lack of suitable ideal and lack of discipline may also drive a child to criminal activities. Constant quarrels between parents make the home environment intolerable for the child and may lead to delinquent behaviour. Outside home, unhealthy companionship, too much of leisure, and the temptations that city life presents may contribute to delinquency, particularly when the home environment is far from desirable.
Sex offences include rape, prostitution, dowry death/ harassment, molestation, and abduction. It is a highly underreported crime because victims believe that they have nothing to gain and more to lose by making a report. The victims are afraid of social embarrassment, interrogation by sometimes unsympathetic law enforcement officials, and humiliating public testimony in court about the offence. A danger to society of underreporting rape is that the rapist is less likely to fear apprehension and thus more likely to seek out his victims. Women who were respected and worshipped as incarnation of "Sakti" are today the targets of crimes such as rape. Unfortunately, less attention is given to help the victims cope with their exploitation or to rehabilitating the offenders.
Homicide and Assault
Criminal homicide involves the unlawful killing of one person by another. Criminal assault is the unlawful application of physical force on another person. Most homicides are unintended outcomes of physical assaults. People get into physical fights because they are incensed at others' actions, and decide to retaliate. Fighting is often an attempt by one or both to save face when challenged or degraded. Homicides frequently are "Crime of Passion", which occurs during a violent argument or other highly charged emotional situation.
Yet, some homicides are carefully planned and premeditated, including most gangland killings, killings to obtain an inheritance, and mercy killings. Homicides are also associated with robberies during which the victim, the robber or a law enforcement official may be shot. Contrary to public stereotypes, the majority of murders occur between relatives, friends, and acquaintances. Because of the overt physical damage from assault and homicide, these crimes generate the greatest alarm among people.
Salient Factors of Crime
Man is not inherently guilty. Nobody is born criminal from the womb of his or her mother. The circumstances and the environments or the economic conditions may force any one to commit an anti-social act. The problem of crime is not uniform or caused by the same factors. It is true that lack of stable background, faster change, and greater need of adaptability are the social characteristics, and they are the general background against which criminals must be viewed .
Social Factors and Crime
Family structures and relationships, peer-group relations, education, and occupational status are related to social factors of crime. There may be institutional arrangements that facilitate the increase of the probability or even cause of crime. Cloward and Ohlin argued that societal structures, as they now exist, block the opportunity of many individuals to achieve "success". Some individuals, who are identifiable by their socio-economic characteristics, cannot achieve success by means generally accepted by society: they are blocked from legal success and reach for success by criminal means . Judith A. Wilks states that most people who commit the ordinary or index crimes come from low socio-economic background. This is particularly true for younger offenders. Many studies on juvenile offenders have concluded that a vast majority of the subjects live in low-income areas . There is also another view according to Sutherland that lower class people are simply more likely to be arrested and convicted, whereas middle and upper class often manage to avoid arrest and particularly conviction .
Institutional arrangements may also have effects on groups of people and thus on individuals within groups. Turk has argued that the political structure of society divides people into competitive groups and that crime is a product of this competition. Crime becomes a symptom of a struggle between the people in power and those not in powers .
Geographical Factors and Crime
Early observers had noted the geographic factors for the crime occurrence. Breckeridge and Abbott published a study showing the geographical distribution of juvenile delinquency cases in the city of Chicago. They relied upon statistics gathered by the juvenile court for the year 1899 - 1909 .
For a variety of reasons, Robert H. Gordon observes that cities seem to produce and nurture considerably more crime than rural areas. Suburban crime rates are higher than rural rates but still considerably below urban rates. One reason for the high urban rate is the presence of slum or ghetto areas with their poverty, unemployment and over crowding results with crime . Urbanity was supposed to destroy rigid primordial identities and lead to the emergence of a new, open accommodative and pluralistic culture.
It was also believed that urban centres would represent scientific rationality, techno-industrial progress and a vibrant civil society filled with an active public sphere and life-affirming cultural institutions. But now urban centres are becoming increasingly insecure, tension ridden, and pathological. Urban-rural differences are the most significant factors in the geographic distribution of crime. For obvious reasons, states with large urban centres usually have higher crime rates than rural states.
Demographic Factors and Crime
Demography is about the population growth and change. It includes age structure of population, fertility and mortality patterns, migration and mobility patterns, and the ethnic composition of society. The relative proportion of males to females in the population, race, age or sex is also linked to actual crime rates. Hasenpunsch has found that the percentage of young males is a good predictor of crime rates in Canada .
Similarly the influence of the age composition of a population on crime rates has generally shown relationship. Fox conducted a more sophisticated study using temporal data in the United States in an attempt to predict crime rates. He found that the proportion of the population (non white) between the age group of eighteen and twenty-one years was significantly related to the violent crime rate, and that the proportion of the population (non-white) between the age group of fourteen and seventeen years was significantly related to the property crime rate. Thus his results support the idea that demographic structure does help to explain temporal changes in crime .
Economic Factors and Crime
The economic determinist, Karl Marx, advocates that private ownership of property results in poverty which distinguishes those who own the means of production from those whom they exploit for economic benefit. The latter turn to criminal as a result of this poverty. Crime is, at least in part, the result of economic conditions. At an individual level, lack of income creates an inability to maintain an adequate standard of living, and consequently triggers crime as a means to gain income . Lack of income is often the result of unemployment. Unemployment also creates excess leisure. This excess leisure is often spent in socializing with others in similar circumstances or in committing deviant behaviour. As might be expected, most persons who commit the ordinary or index crimes, come from low socio-economic backgrounds. This is particularly true for younger offenders.
Opportunity Factors and Crime
Crime is not caused by a single factor. Traditionally crime is related to socio economic or socio demographic variables. For a crime to occur, there must be both an individual who wants to commit an offence and an opportunity to commit that offence. Mayhew, et al. describe "opportunities that attach to the properties of objects involved in crime" and present four characteristics that help to show how opportunity and crime are related.
The abundance of goods: As more goods enter into circulation, more goods are available to be stolen.
The physical security of goods: As objects are made more secure, they are more difficult to be stolen; conversely, insecure goods may be stolen easily.
The level of surveillance: Opportunities for crime are mediated by surveillance; high levels of supervision provide some protection.
The occasion and temptation for crime: For a crime to occur, there must be a moment in time and space when the crime can happen. Insecure cars, even with the keys left in the lock will not create a crime. A person who wants to steal a car must come across the insecure car . Therefore crime can be considered in a cultural or social content as well as in a legal content.
Ecology and Crime
Ecology is concerned with systems. The ecological approach describes and analyses the system of interdependence among different elements in the common setting. Human ecology is the inter-relationship of man and his spatial setting. It is concerned not only with the spatial distribution of people and institutions, but also with interactive relationships between individuals and groups and the way these relationships influence or are influenced by, particular spatial patterns and processes. It is concerned with cultural, racial, economic, and other differences in so far as preferences and prejudices associated with these differences serve to bring people socially or spatially together or keep them apart.
McKenzie defines human ecology as the study of the spatial and temporal relations of human beings as affected by the selective, distributive, and accommodative forces of the environment. Human ecology is concerned with the effect of position in physical and social space and in time on human institutions and human behaviour. Spatial relations are seen as critical and were assumed to be the product of competition between individual and groups for advantageous position. It is concerned with social organization in so far as the organization of human activities influences or is influenced by, the spatial distribution of people or of institutions. Above all, it is concerned with the dynamics of the social order in so far as change, either in the structure and functions of institutions or in the patterns of human relationships, brings about ecological changes and vice versa . While human ecology is concerned with the interrelationships among men in their spatial setting, Noel describes that urban ecology is specifically concerned with these interrelationships as they manifest themselves in the city. Urban ecology includes the study of such external expressions of ecological interrelationships as the distribution of cities or their internal structure and composition .
The ecological school refers to a group of professors associated with the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago from 1920 to1932, hence their other name, Chicago School of Sociology. The professors included: Small, Thomas, Mead, Park, Burgess, Faris, Qqburn, and Wirth. In addition, Sutherland and Thrasher worked there for a while, and some of the more well-known students were Shaw and Mckay, Everett and Helen, Hughes and Saul Alinsky.
The ecological system has been described as having five elements: population, organization, environment, technology, and social-psychological factors. Ecology is concerned with the distribution and relationship of man to their environment. And the phenomena, human crime, is due to the relationship between man and his physical, social, and cultural environment. Today nobody can deny that knowledge of every individual criminal is necessary to determine the causes of crime. Human nature is immensely complex. Environmental conditions are also immensely complex. Between these two complexities, man's individuality develops or deteriorates. If an individual is unable to adjust himself to society, he is deemed to failure, and a failure of life may turn out to be anything insane, criminal, pervert, introvert, etc.
Sociologists have employed the ecological method to investigate the association of social position and criminal activity by comparing area of a country or zones within a city. Such studies have been conducted since the second half of the twentieth century.
Shaw and McKay's ideas on social disorganisation have developed into Cultural Transmission Theory, which states that traditions of delinquency are transmitted through successive generations of the same zone in the same way language, roles and attitudes are transmitted. They define social disorganisation as the inability of local communities to realize the common values of their residents or solve commonly experienced problems . They are concerned about the three D's of poverty: Disease, Deterioration and Demoralization. They have never said that poverty causes crime; instead "poverty areas" tend to have high rates of residential mobility and racial heterogeneity that make it difficult for communities in those areas to avoid becoming socially disorganised. These two population variables (mobility or turnover which impedes informal structure of social control, and heterogeneity which obstructs the quest to work together on common problems) have become the primary causal variables for social disorganisation theories.
The disorganisation theorists have left an enormous legacy in criminology; spawning cultural deviance theories, strain theories, learning theories, and control theories. It could be said that all modern criminological theories can be traced back to social disorganisation theory.
Modern theories in this tradition include Newman's defensible space theory. He writes that flaws in the physical environment serve as attractors or facilitators for crime. He writes mainly about housing projects, and how they seem to be designed to provide easy access with common entrances and exits for criminals, and also with hiding places and poorly placed windows, which allow easy surveillance by would be criminals . Cohen and Felson have developed routine activities theory, a theory of victimization, which is to say that it predicts a high rate of potential victims becoming actual victims whenever three things occur in space and time together absence of capable guardians, abundance of motivated offenders, and suitable targets . Wilson and Kelling's broken windows theory, in circles, has become a classical foundational document for community policing, and has referred to physical signs - an area uncared for, abandoned buildings and automobiles, the accumulation of trash and litter, broken windows and lights, and graffiti (signs of crime or incivilities) - that invite criminal behaviour .
The dominant theme in twentieth century thinking about the origins of criminal motivation for the different crimes assumes that, forces external to the individual shape criminal behaviour. Sociologists explore crime at three levels within a social cone of resolution. The term "cone of resolution" is used more in sorting through the many different levels at which crime is studied. The possible levels within a cone of resolution are infinite, but they are usually divided into three levels: Micro, Meso, and Macro.
At the macro level, sociologists have been concerned about analyzing, describing, and accounting for large-scale patterns in the social, temporal, and spatial distributions of crime rates among very large aggregates of people, such as a nation, a province, or a city. At the meso level, sociologists have tried to account for criminal motivation and the patterns of criminal organization within small groups. At the micro level, sociologists have tried to explain the development of individual criminal motivation through the mechanisms of socialization .
Sociological analyses of crime have ranged up and down the levels of resolution in constructing theories of the origins of criminal motivation. A large number of distinctive schools of thought remain vigorous, each marshalling some supportive evidence and each suffering from the problem of firmly established counter evidence at most levels within the social cone (Macro, Meso, and Micro) of resolution. Many research works and theories are framed, but until now, there is no clear agreement about the origins of criminal motivation. However, with the support of Ecological theories of crime, the present research on "Ecological Study of Crime in Coimbatore Region" focuses on the variation in the incidence of crime on the basis of districts and territorial areas.
This is only the First Chapter of the Dissertation. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE DISSERTATION IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.
Evaluation of English-Manipuri Bilingual Dictionaries | Internet Projects of Language Learning - A Student-Centered Approach | Skype Voice Chat - A Tool for Teaching Oral Communication | Noun Classification System in Mizo | How Authority and Leadership Evolve - A Study of Leadership Functions and Authority in the New Testament Community | Trends and Spatial Patterns of Crime in India - A Case Study of a District in India | Problems of Visually Challenged With Special Reference to School Children in Coimbatore District, Tamilnadu | Tenor in Electronic Media Political Discourse in BBC News - A Functional Analysis of English-Arabic Translation | Materials Development in English as a Second language in India - A Survey of Issues and Some Developments at the National Level | An Eyewitness Account of the Third Indian National Congress in 1887 at Madras - Excerpts from Dr. Henry Lunn's Book A Friend of Missions in India | HOME PAGE of December 2008 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR
M. Jayamala, Ph.D.
Centre for Women's Studies
PSGR Krishnammal College for Women
Peelamedu, Coimbatore - 641042
- Send your articles
as an attachment
to your e-mail to
- Please ensure that your name, academic degrees, institutional affiliation and institutional address, and your e-mail address are all given in the first page of your article. Also include a declaration that your article or work submitted for publication in LANGUAGE IN INDIA is an original work by you and that you have duly acknolwedged the work or works of others you either cited or used in writing your articles, etc. Remember that by maintaining academic integrity we not only do the right thing but also help the growth, development and recognition of Indian scholarship.