The topic that I chose from section eight deviance and social control is Illegitimate opportunity structures: social class and crime. I chose this because all throughout the book I have read about how social classes affect people’s lives, and in this chapter social class can lead to different types of crime. There are many different types of crime and each one is different depending on social status. The first and most basic is Street crime, which is a loose term for any criminal offense in a public place.
According to London’s Metropolitan Police Force, Robbery, often called mugging, and thefts from victims in the street where their property is snatched, and the victim is not assaulted is also considered street crime. Other examples of street crime include pickpocketing, the open illegal drugs trade, prostitution in the form of soliciting outside the law, the creation of graffiti and vandalism of public property, and assaults. As a generic term, street crime may include all of these, as well as offenses against private properties such as the stealing of hubcaps.
Most street crimes, as portrayed by various news media, are initiated by criminals seeking quick financial gains. However, they can also be carried out by organized individuals with a common goal of profiteering. On the other hand, not all of these instances are considered by the FBI to be organized crimes due to the random nature of the crimes themselves. The term organized crime does not often include organized street crimes but can be called corporate crimes. A corporate crime is often a major business, consisting of many individuals associated for the common goal of criminal profiteering. In contrast, street crimes are normally conducted by hastily and loosely formed groups of individuals with the common goal of gaining illicit money through immediate criminal acts. The final type of crime is the White-collar crime, which is phrase that stands for when a crime is committed by people of respectable and high social status in the course of their occupations. An example of a white-collar crime is bribery of public officials, security violation, embezzlement, false advertising, and price fixing. Another bias to crime is gender, where people are given the opportunity to rise above others or to sink to a new low woman find ways to commit crime with their newly found opportunities in today’s world. In the past 40 years the number of women in jail has jumped from two hundred thousand to one million six hundred thousand, which is an eight hundred percent increase. Finally, is race, we’ve all seen the news, another black male in jail for this another terrorist/ Arab in jail for that. But rarely do we see a white male in the news for anything… except school shootings. Race is the biggest divider today in the crime and not all those convicted are guilty. The biggest fight today is over gun control and if guns were banned mass shootings would stop but everyone still fights for it because it’s an American right for the white person. I believe that the NRA and government would keep letting this slide until a person of color was the person behind the trigger. (Henslin, J p. 211-219)I would research the topic of illegitimate opportunity structures: social class and crime by going to jails and contact people who have experienced the system of crime, on both sides of the bars. I would also use the research method of conducting an experiment. The experiment would be including a white male and female each one playing as a high class and low-class citizen and black male and female each playing as a high- and low-class citizen. Each person would get caught for committing the same crime (stealing from a supermarket or store) and I would examine the results of how the situation is handled for each person. Each scenario could be played out differently each time for each person, where the black male didn’t steal anything but just looks suspicious or the white female was secretly embezzling money but had a warrant for arrest. The research for illegitimate opportunity structures: social class and crime is based off how society sees crime in the US, and to prove that race, gender, and social status affects people’s lives differently (Henslin, J)I used the concepts from chapter four to combine illegitimate opportunity structures: social class and crime and how it conflicts with social interaction. Crime in today’s world is socially crippling, because of the internet anyone can be put into a search bar and their criminal history is brought up. The results can be scary to the person looking it up who may have let their kid play at their friend’s house whose father had been arrested and put in jail for assault. Crime is crippling for socialness because you lose touch with friends if you’re in jail and your family may be too ashamed to even talk to you. Crime can affect those around you, because of what you’ve done your family may lose friends or your significant other may be shunned just as much as you are. Crime will affect your ability to get a job and be successful further on in life. Overall crime is a social handicap for those who have a history in crime. References Henslin, J (2018), Sociology A Down To Earth Approach, 13th edition