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Delinquent Acts & Psychological and Sociological Theories

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Apply 2 psychological theories and 2 sociological theories to each of the following three delinquent acts: shoplifting, breaking and entering a home, and car jacking.

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https://brainmass.com/law/history-and-philosophy-of-law/delinquent-acts-psychological-and-sociological-theories-138689

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QUESTION & RESPONSE:

Let's take a closer look through theory and application of these theories to the three crimes mentioned below.

1. Can you please help me out on these two following questions? Apply 2 psychological theories and 2 sociological theories to each of the following three delinquent acts: shoplifting, breaking and entering a home, and car jacking.

I am wondering what theories of crime you have taken. The first two sociological theories that come to mind are: strain theory and conflict theory.

1). Sociological Theories

a. Strain theory: Strain, sometimes called by the French word anomie, is a 1938 American version of French sociology, invented by the father of modern sociology, Emile Durkheim (1858-1917). This type of theory sees crime as the normal result of an "American dream" in which people set their aspirations (for wealth, education, occupation, any status symbol) too high, and inevitably discovers strain, or goal blockages, along the way. The only two things to do are to reduce aspirations or increase opportunities.

Cause: economic goal blockage: Treatment: reduce aspirations and increase opportunities (for wealth, education, occupation, any status symbol) too high, and inevitably discover strain, or goal blockages, along the way (http://faculty.ncwc.edu/toconnor/111/111lect03.htm).

Applied: to shoplifting, breaking and entering a home, and car jacking.

Thus, Strain theory would explain shoplifting, breaking and entering, and car jacking in the same way, caused by economic goal blockage and as the normal result of an "American dream" in which the youth set aspirations for material goods (or for wealth, education, occupation, any status symbol) too high, and inevitably discover strain, or goal blockages, along the way.

In other words, the youth who high jacks a car does so because he has set his aspirations higher than his present economic situation allows ("I deserve a car like my other friends) and because he does not have the money to buy the car or the education to get a job to afford the car, he feels 'strain" (frustrated) because his goals are blocked, at least from the legal stand-point. However, he decides to meet the "American dream" through illegal means and high jacks the car ...

Solution Summary

This solution applies 2 psychological theories and 2 sociological theories to the following three delinquent acts: shoplifting, breaking and entering a home, and car jacking. Supplementary articles on theories of crime are also included.

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