Choose at least three (3) topics we have covered this semester that resulted in a change or shift in your understanding. Use your learning logs to remind yourself of your thoughts at the time.
Class and Crime
The term criminology has emerged as one of the most important ones in the context of the modern world because of the increasing crime rate of the world (White, Haines & Asquith, 2017). According to a report of UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) (2018) there are currently more than 7.6 “intentional homicides per 100,000 inhabitants” in comparison to 6.2 per 100,000 inhabitants in the year 2012. In addition to this, the crime rate for the other kinds of crimes has also increased in an exponential manner in synchronicity with the increasing population of the world. However, at the same it is seen that people hold various kinds of misconceptions related to the various criminals and also the crimes committed by them (Cohen, 2017). The subject of criminology offers the opportunity to individuals to undertake a study of the crimes, criminals and the justice system not from the perspective of psychology but also on the basis of their cause and effect (Reid, 2015). This reflective essay will discuss about the concept of criminology which I have learned in this course in the light of the three topics “Class and Crime, Women, Crime and Social Control and The Media, Crime and Moral Panic”.
I would like to say that I found the concept of criminology which formed the cruix of this course a very interesting one. The course had some very interesting topics which not only helped me to learn a great deal about crimes and the justice system of our nation but also offered me to the opportunity to understand the concept of crime from the perspective of “cause and effect”. Some of the topics of the course which I really liked were “Rational Choice Theory and Crime Prevention, Class and Crime, Realist Criminologies, Women, Crime and Social Control, The Media, Crime and Moral Panic, Punishment and Prisons” and others.
In this paragraph I would discuss about the fourth topic of the course, namely, “Class and Crime”. Prior to this course, I had the opinion that the various kinds of crimes are correlated with the class or the social status of the criminal. However, the course and the knowledge that I gained through the same changed my perception. Crime has nothing to do with the class of the criminal rather it has to do with the experiences and also the mentality or the character of the criminal. According to Reiman and Leighton (2015), people commonly hold a misconception that the individuals who are financially unstable background and also the ones who are less educated. It is true that recent crime statistics have shown that a majority of the crimes are committed by people from these backgrounds however at the same it is also seen that crimes have also been committed by the people who are not only highly educated but also from financially well off families (Akers, 2017). This misconception of the people as a matter of fact have given rise to the concept of Islamophobia wherein it is seen that just because some of the major crimes of the world like the World Trade Center attack and others have been committed by the Muslims, all Muslims are seen with skeptical eyes because of this (Lee, 2015). I am personally of the viewpoint that class has got nothing to do with the crimes that are being committed by the various crimes rather the motive and the mindset of the criminals and also the factors which motivated them to perform the crime is more important in this regard. Thus, the people need to come out of this mind and rather than targeting some sections of the population for the reduction in the crime should try to focus on making the law and order effective for the reduction in the crime rate of the world. I would say that this topic of the course really helped me not only by changing my perception but also by guiding me towards the right way of thinking in the context of the subject of criminology.
Women, Crime and Social Control
Another important topic taught in the course which interesting as well as helpful was “Women, Crime and Social Control”. The crimes against women had become the order of the day and the most interesting fact to note about this is the fact that this is not something new (Naffine, 2015). As a matter of fact, women have been subjected to various kinds of crimes like physical abuse, rape, molestation and others (Rafter, 2017). In the recent times, it is seen that the crimes against women had reduced in a substantial manner because of the active intervention of the national governments of the various nations and also the support that they are getting from the various cauldrons (Abramovitz, 2017). The course besides highlighting the various crimes committed against women, discuss about the diverse control measures which have been taken to curb this evil menace. An interesting fact to note is that the contrary to the popular belief which sees women as the victims of male oppression as well as dominance in the recent times various cases has come to light which point otherwise. This is perhaps one of the major reasons for the increasing number of crimes which are being committed by women in particular. Furthermore, the course also made me realize the fact that there is a need for change in the legislations of almost all the nations of the world since they have been either formulated on the basis of the male perspective or the female perspective. However, as per Baskin (2018), the demand of the modern society is the kind of judicial system wherein the men and the women would be subjected to the same kind of legislations. This would not only help the world to come out of the cocoon of gender inequality and give equal status or position to both men and women but at the same time ti reduce the crime rate of the world in a much effective manner (Naffine, 2015).
“Media, Crime and Moral Panic” is another topic which I not only found very relevant in the context of the course but also really helpful. The tool of media has emerged as one of the most important ones in the contemporary times and helps to convey the important news to large proportion of the population at a much faster rate (Jewkes, 2015). However, at the same time, it is seen that because of the processes of yellow or pulp journalism and sensationalism, various news and also the crimes are being misrepresented to the people (Schildkraut, Elsass & Stafford, 2015). As per Poynting, Noble and Tabar, 2017), this creates much undesired as well as unnecessary panic among the general population which in-turn leads to various kinds of problems that would not have arisen in the first place had the news not been misrepresented.
Media, Crime and Moral Panic
I personally believe that because of the process of yellow journalism the news related to the various kinds of crimes are portrayed in such a manner that it generates unnecessary chaos and also moral panic among the general masses of people. This in-turn leads them to make wrong decisions which aggravate the problem even more. I would like to say that prior to the commencement of this course I really thought that all the news items shown in the media were completely true however the course and particular topic made me realize otherwise. For example, I have come to realize the fact that the media agencies by misrepresenting the various are not only accessories to the crime but at the same time to a great extent facilitate the crime and its adverse effect as well. In this regard, it can be said that the various media agencies need to take the onus for the diverse news stories that they cover and represent them in a way which is not only ethically correct but also does not create unnecessary moral panic among the people (Ferrell, 2017).
To conclude, the high number of crimes that the citizens of the modern world are subjected to has necessitated a detailed study of not only these crimes but also the justice system of the contemporary times. It is precisely here that the subject of criminology gains prominence since it not only tries to analyze the various crimes but also suggests the manner in which the justice system of the modern times can be improved. In this regard, the role played by the contemporary media is an important one and thus they should refrain from sensationalizing the news and thereby create unnecessary moral panic among the people. Rather the focus of the contemporary media should be on the ethical as well as moral portrayal of the news stories. In addition to these, people also needs to get rid of their misconceptions and rather than trying to eliminate the criminals should focus on eliminating the crime by undertaking an analysis of the various criminals and also the crimes on the basis of the “cause and effect” model. This is likely to help the various nations to overcome this problem in a much effective manner.
Abramovitz, M. (2017). Regulating the lives of women: Social welfare policy from colonial times to the present. Routledge.
Akers, R. (2017). Social learning and social structure: A general theory of crime and deviance. Routledge.
Baskin, D. (2018). Casualties of community disorder: Women's careers in violent crime. Routledge.
Bradley, T., & Walters, R. (2011). Introduction to Criminological Thought (2nd ed). Auckland: Pearson.
Cohen, S. (2017). Against criminology. Routledge.
Ferrell, J. (2017). Making Trouble: Cultural Constraints of Crime, Deviance, and Control. Routledge.
Jewkes, Y. (2015). Media and crime. Sage.
Lee Miller, B. (2015). Social Class and Crime. The Encyclopedia of Crime and Punishment, 1-5.
Naffine, N. (2015). Female crime: The construction of women in criminology. Routledge.
Poynting, S., Noble, G., & Tabar, P. (2017). Middle Eastern Appearances:" Ethnic Gangs", Moral Panic and Media Framing. In Gangs (pp. 171-194). Routledge.
Rafter, N. (2017). Partial justice: Women, prisons and social control. Routledge.
Reid, S. T. (2015). Crime and criminology. Wolters Kluwer Law & Business.
Reiman, J., & Leighton, P. (2015). Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison, The (Subscription): Ideology, Class, and Criminal Justice. Routledge.
Schildkraut, J., Elsass, H. J., & Stafford, M. C. (2015). Could it happen here? Moral panic, school shootings, and fear of crime among college students. Crime, Law and Social Change, 63(1-2), 91-110.
Unodc.org (2018). Reports on world crime trends. [online]. Retrieved from https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/statistics/reports-on-world-crime-trends.html
White, R. D., Haines, F., & Asquith, N. L. (2017). Crime and criminology.
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