The 3 Paradigms of Sociology

The three paradigms of sociology all view the acts of crime and devience differently. Firstly, the social conflict theory, many people believe that those who commit crimes are usually of the lower economic class. People do not want to believe that those who are wealthy and seem to posses more power could do anything outside the boundaries of the law. They also feel that if someone who is wealthy does commit a crime they will get off because of their social class. Society does not want to believe that everyone is capable of committing crimes. They want to believe that only those of certain economic class’s are going to do wrong, it makes it easier for society to ‘peg’ offenders.

Structural Functionalists believe that society consist of parts (in this case law enforcement and criminals) each of which have their own functions. It is the criminals function to commit crime, and it is the law enforcements duty to catch the perpetraters of the crime, and then it is the judicial systems job to prosecute the criminal. Without the criminal, the law enforcement officer, the lawyers who prosecuted and defended the criminal, as well as the judge would have no purpose in our society. Thus meaning, that our society would not be stable and functioning.

Symbolic interactionism examines how individuals and groups interact, focusing on the creation of personal identity through interactions with others. Symbolic interactionism presumes that criminals are criminals because of the group they interact with or peer pressure. They feel someone they came across in life helped them choose the path they went down (crime) by some form of “pressure”. Symbolic Interactionism pretty much states, you are who you are friends with, if you are friends with bad people you yourself will be bad, or if you are friends with good people you yourself will be good.

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