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Socio-Cultural Ideas Of Crime

The sociological or socio-cultural model provides a macro-level analysis of criminal violence. This model examines legal violence in terms of socially organized inequality, and cultural and cultural attitudes and norms regarding anti-social behavior and inter-personal relations. Besides the two well-known ideas, viz. the Structural-Functional Theory and the idea of Sub-culture of Assault, the Learning Theory, the Exchange Theory, the Anomie Theory, and the Source Theory also come under socio-cultural analysis.

Structural Theory

This theory asserts that interpersonal groups differ in respect with their typical degrees of stress, deprivation and aggravation and in the options at their removal to cope with these tensions. It explains that those individuals would be more violent who incorporate high stress with low resources. This theory thus explains a person's action in conditions of the ways it is formed or dependant on social forces of one kind or another. Among the list of possible sources of stress are 'monetary conditions, bad cover, relative poverty, lack of job opportunities and unfavourable and frustrating work condition'. Men and women are socialized into particular tasks to which are attached a set of socially determined objectives. If structural faction inhibits these prospects from being realized, stress results and assault may ensue. Furthermore, in many ways violence is socially legitimated.


One result of recognizing this position is that the action of people has nothing to do with their personalities and prices, and that violence cannot be explained in terms of turmoil, suppression, sublimation, guilt, and so forth. The role of rationality also must be rejected in sociable action. The structuralistic perspective, thus, leaves some questions unanswered because which it is criticized.

It should also be observed, however, that while stress resulting from poverty, inequality and various kinds of deprivation may be contributory factors in domestic violence, only a little proportion of those who experience such conditions behave violently and a lot of those who do react violently are neither poor nor deprived.

The recognition of structural factors provides more politics flavour to explanations of domestic violence. For example, a report by Straus unveiled: that there was a lower occurrence of domestic assault when the inequalities between men and women were less proclaimed, and that weaker public bonds gave climb to increased local violence.

System Tension and Reviews System Theory

This theory was developed by Straus (AN OVER-ALL Systems Theory of violence between MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY, 1973) to clarify intra-family assault. Straus accounts for violence in the home by taking a look at family as a purposive goal-seeking, adaptive cultural system. Violence is seen as something product or output rather than an individual pathology. Straus given positive reviews in the system which can create an upwards spiral of violence, and negative opinions which can maintain, dampen, or reduce the level of assault.

According to the theory, violence is precipitated by factors such as stress and inter-individual conflict and is followed by repercussions which maintain or escalate violence in family and in contemporary society.


This theory has been criticized on the basis that there has been little research specifically worried about the learning of marital violence. In addition, it over-emphasizes the cultural system and completely ignores the role of individual's personality.

Resource theory

Resource theory was suggested by William Goode (1971). Women who are most dependent on the spouse for economic wellness (e. g. homemakers/housewives, women with handicaps, the unemployed), and will be the primary caregiver with their children, dread the increased financial burden if they leave their marriage. Dependency means they have fewer options and few resources to help them deal with or change their spouse's tendencies.

Couples that show power evenly experience lower occurrence of conflict, and when conflict does occur, are less likely to resort to assault. If one partner needs control and vitality in the partnership, the spouse may resort to mistreatment.


This theory will not explain all types of violence against women. Various quarrels can get from this theory when put on wife battering, dowry fatalities, murders, rapes, etc.

Patriarchy Theory

This theory produced by R. E. Dobash and R. Dobash (Assault Against Wives, 1979) keeps that throughout record, violence has been systematically aimed towards women. Economic and cultural processes operate straight and indirectly to aid a patriarchal sociable order and family composition. Dobash's central theoretical discussion is the fact patriarchy causes the subordination of women and contributes to a historical design of systematic violence aimed against females.


Dobash's theory, while possibly the most macro-level approach to assault against women, has a major drawback of being a theory that is actually a single factor (patriarchy) description of violence (towards women).

Conflict and Control Theories

Scholars like Foucault (1975), Thompson (1977), and Rothman (1980) have provided a domination style of deviance. They have got talked of rules imposed on the powerless by the powerful. Radical and issue sociologists like Quinney (1977) have argued that the purpose of managing deviance is to protect the passions of the dominant classes also to prevent access to their resources by outsiders. In other words, the control apparatus is created to prevent the powerless from chasing their interests, especially if that pursuit includes gaining access to resources monopolized by the powerful. Imposing various restrictions on women and persuasive them to stay dependent on men economically, socially and psychologically to make them realize that they are 'vulnerable' and powerless in all respects, stands for example of this debate. To the amount that the real estate agents of control belong to the dominant group, a standard system of devaluation of the 'powerless group' (women) may easily be implemented. Schurz (1983) contends that male control of deviance labelling brings about their continued dominance generally in most spheres of life.

The constraints on women's protection under the law can be interpreted as function of the successful classification of women as not the same as and inferior to men. "Man talks of female not in herself but as in accordance with him. She actually is not regarded as an autonomous being. She is differentiated with regards to man rather than him with regards to her. She actually is the incidental, the inessential as opposed to the essential. He's the Subject, he is the Absolute; she actually is the other. "

Sex role norms obviously differentiate men from women. When these norms become internalized, these are accepted as facts and seldom questioned. Millet (1970) has said: "Due to our interpersonal circumstances, male and feminine are actually two cultures and their life experiences are utterly different. Women reside in such another economic, cultural and sociable world from men that their reactions cannot be grasped from a get good at model developed in male population.


What is involved is not the presence of gender distinctions but the amount to which such differences justify restrictive role projects to each gender. There may be little disagreement about the cultural development of gender, but there are conflicting views on the role natural factors play in such development.

Thus women are:

declared as different,

defined as second-rate, and

women stereotypes are justified, and

they are systematically deprived of privileges, and

all makes an attempt at change are restricted.

Inter-actionist Deviance Theory

This theory, exemplified by theorists such as Erikson (1964), Becker (1963) Schurz (1971), and Lemert (1978) has three characteristics:

it cites sex functions as causal factors of why take part in crime and deviant behaviour,

it sustains that societal prospects about appropriate making love role behaviour affect the analysis and labelling of certain activities as deviant or unlawful, and

it holds that gender affects the respond to such (deviant) behaviours by modern culture (Knowledge, 1984), Since women tend to be less powerful and of lower communal position than men, they are often labelled as deviant in conditions of domestic assault.

This theory points out family violence in conditions of making love role or gender norms, i. e. , differential goals for values, behaviour and behaviours as a function of your respective gender. These norms serve as important specifications against which people are assessed through application of varied sanctions (Schur, 1984).

According to the common making love role norms, a man desires a 'good wife' to behave in a certain manner. She's to run the household effortlessly, ensure children's well-mannered behavior, avoid assertiveness and remain submissive to elders in family. Any show of freedom on her part would violate intimacy role targets for female behaviour. Corresponding to deviance theory, norm violations have a tendency to trigger forces targeted at making the violator conform to expected requirements of behaviour. Thus, when women do not act like the male's ideal of partner, husbands use assault against those to make them comply with norms.

Social Learning Theory

Social learning theory while still focusing on individual perpetrators, presents a social element by wanting to explain men's assault towards women as learned behaviour. This happening is seriously referred to as 'intergenerational transmission of assault'. What it purports to demonstrate is that those who witness assault between their mother or father, or who themselves experience misuse as children are likely to resort to assault in adulthood.

This theory asserts that human aggression and violence are learned carry out, especially through immediate experience and by watching the behaviour of others. Matching to this theory (Albert Bandura, Aggression: A Social Learning Research, 1973) the individual learns assault through imitation. Individuals grab the behaviour habits of those these are taught to value and study from. Whether seen in the flesh or via visual media, the behavior of ambitious models is commonly imitated by individuals. Intense behaviour patterns discovered through modelling and imitation stay part of our repertoire of cultural responses over time. Rewards and punishments also play an essential role in the learning and manifestation of behaviour patterns. One might feel that physical aggression aimed against one's fellows could not have any rewards, genuine or anticipated. Nonetheless it is not. Violence offers abundant rewards and one learns it very early on in life. This theory points out both the variants of folks and situations in their trend to react aggressively by reference to prior experience, reinforcement habits, and cognitive operations. Steele and Pollock (1974) and Bennie and Sclare (1969) have maintained that abusive men adults are likely to have been increased in abusive homes. Actually, this 'family determinism' strategy maintains that all victims of years as a child violence will expand up to be violent adults.


Such and Flit art reject the notion that violence is passed from one generation to the next; they claim that the studies which assert to show this are methodologically flawed and bottom their conclusions on insufficient evidence and unsound interpretation. Widom tips to methodological weaknesses in the research, including in retrospective nature and having less an satisfactory control group.

Dr. Ram memory Ahuja applied this theory in studying a wife-batterer's history of maltreatment as a child and found that about 50 % of the batterers (55%) had experienced conditions of manifest physical brutality or severe emotional rejection in their child years. The data thus recognized the cultural learning theory. Yet, assault which is the result of victim's provocation or victim's complicity, etc. , cannot be explained on the basis of this simple theory.

Cognitive Behaviour Theory

The cognitive behavior theory postulates that men batter because:

They are imitating examples of abuse they have got witnessed during childhood or in the advertising,

abuse is compensated,

it permits the batterer to get what he wants, and

abuse is reinforced through victim compliance and distribution.

This theory is same as interpersonal learning theory.

Advantage and Criticism of the Cognitive Behavior models

One good thing about the cognitive behavioural model is the fact its examination of battering and its own intervention strategy are appropriate for a criminal justice response to domestic assault. The approach contains the batterer totally in charge of his violence and fully in charge of learning and implementing nonviolent alternatives. Without seeking to solve greater issues of sociable inequality on the one side, or delving into deep-seated internal issues on the other, the cognitive behavioural approach simply targets the violent serves themselves and makes an attempt to change them.

The feminist point of view criticises the cognitive behavioural strategy for failing to explain why a lot of men with thought habits or skills deficits that allegedly clarify their domestic violence aren't violent in other human relationships, how culture or sub-cultures influence patterns of assault, and just why some men continue steadily to abuse women even when the behaviour is not rewarded.

Exchange Theory

Rechard J. Gelles feels that the Exchange Theory is best theory of violence because it integrates the elements of the diverse ideas of human assault. According to the Exchange Theory, connections is guided by the quest for rewards and the avoidance of abuse and costs. In addition, a person who supplies compensation services to some other obliges him to fulfil an obligation and thus the second individual must provide advantages to the first. The exchange will not pertain to concrete or tangible things; rather, it consists of intangibles such as esteem, liking, assistance and authorization. If reciprocal exchange of rewards occurs, the relationship will continue, but if reciprocity is not received, the relationship will be damaged off. Thus, stars expect rewards to be proportional to the purchases (distributive justice). The costs and rewards are judged in the light of alternatives.

This theory points out the expansion of resentment, anger, hostility and assault when the principle of distributive justice is violated. In making use of the rules of the Exchange Theory to describe violence in a family (inside our case wife defeating, dowry fatality and rape by a family member), we expect that individuals will use assault in a family group if the expenses to be violent do not out-weigh the rewards. Goode suggests that force is used more by those in the poorer classes partly because they have got less alternative resources and partly because their socialization experience teach these to hinge more on pressure. However, all analysts do not agree that the poor classes do use more force, though information show more violence in poor classes is there due to fact that increased proportion of the populace belongs to lower classes or it might be that middle classes have significantly more resources or have better motivation to cover up their offences.


Intra-family relations are more technical than those examined by Exchange Theorists. A better half cannot break-off relationship with her hubby and parents cannot break-off connection using their children, even when there is no reciprocity. Goode (1971) however, feels that violence is employed as a last resort to solve problems in the family. But Nye (1979) will not accept Goode's viewpoint. In applying this theory to intra-family violence, we find some costs for being violent. First, there may be the chance of the victim hitting again; second, a violent assault could lead to an arrest and/or imprisonment; and finally, using violence may lead to loss of status. Thus, since the cost greater than the reward, how can the reward, how can the Exchange Theory clarify violence against women?

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