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Theory Analysis

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Theory Analysis
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Theory Analysis
The current world, which entails cosmopolitan and metropolitan societies, experiences several instances of unfairness. This unfairness, which is depicted in diverse aspects, from the normal life that individuals live in their families to extended families, villages, cities, and states among other greater parts of the world, has brought about inequalities among different people. The society is full of social classes that segregate individuals. Low-income families live among families with high-income. It has been established that individuals from poorer neighborhoods tend to get involved in criminal activities more compared to those from affluent neighborhoods. This paper seeks to highlight certain theories that explain the link between inequality and the occurrence of crime in the society. It illustrates the occurrence of crime and demonstrates the correlation between the crime and class inequality. Additionally, the paper sheds light on specific theories of crime that explain the instance of crime discussed.
Inequality directly relates to criminal activities. This means that social and economic imbalance in the society contributes to the rate of crime experienced (Walker, Spohn and Delone, 2012). Similarly, the social and economic inequality means that the people who commit crime are sometimes the same people that become the victims. Additionally, inequality within the society explains the disparity in the society on arrests and incarceration.

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It is worth noting that poverty itself contributes little on the prevalence of crime. In other words, it is clear that not all poor people, regardless of their race, engage in criminal activities. However, poverty involves circumstances that ultimately contribute to criminal behavior (Walker, Spohn and Delone, 2012). In reality, there are inconsistent patterns of social and economic inequalities. In most societies, these follow race and ethnicity in many societies all over the world.
The United States, for instance, is typified by widespread social and economic inequality. Also, people in different parts of the world have embraced ethnicity and racism in varying degrees, an aspect that often triggers criminal activities within the society. In the United States alone, several ethnic groups live in constant tension with one another. For example, Hispanics, Native Americans, and African American experience inferior living standards compared to non-Hispanics whites or Asian Americans (Goldsmith and Blakely, 1992). These factors greatly affect crime instances in America, a situation that calls for an in-depth analysis of the theories of crime applicable to such inequalities. Crime rates have been decreasing in the recent past while economic and social inequalities have been on the rise. Recently, it was reported that a couple in Florida crashed a car while trying to evade the police. The couple had been stealing packages from the front porch of a home in Florida (Fox News, 2015). After their stealing attempt, the husband fled into the car with the wife driving off to evade the police package.
The couple had a baby with them in the car at the time of the burglary. The police later noted that the baby belonged to the couple. Despite their crash, there were no fatalities. However, the baby sustained serious, visible injuries. Upon checking the car, there were a lot of valuables, which appeared to have been stolen from other households. The police filed child endangerment and burglary charges against the said couple (Fox News, 2015). Following the above-mentioned burglary incident, the police made a follow-up and noticed that the couple masterminded of some criminal activities in the neighborhood. The said neighborhood had families of different social classes. For instance, the couple lived in question were from a low-income household, but surrounded by neighbors of high income. Viewed from the perspective of the strain theory, it is apparent that the couple wanted to match the living standards of their neighbors, even though they lacked the opportunity to acquire an affluent lifestyle in a legitimate way.
The inability of the couple to match the lifestyle of their relatively affluent neighbors drove them to engage in criminal activities by stealing from other homes. However, they were eventually apprehended and brought to justice. As mentioned before, the burglary incident is a clear depiction of strain theory. By definition, strain theory provides that people have similar aspirations and wish to be as affluent and influential as others (Einstadter and Henry, 2006). However, life is full of challenges, and people do not have equal access employment opportunities and wealth ownership. As the couple, people fail to achieve their goals and become frustrated with life. They try to find solace in criminal activities and other social vices. After failing to gain wealth legally through the acquisition of formal education and employment, individuals often resolve to engage in criminal activities, such as was the case with the aforementioned couple. This elucidates the strain theory, which holds that individuals engage in crime and other social vices with the aim of achieving success.
It is uncontested that social and economic inequalities play vital roles in the perpetration of a crime. In the American society, three patterns of economic inequality exist that explain the existence of discrepancies social classes. The patterns point to some aspects, such as poverty status, wealth, unemployment, and income. A large gap exists between the poor and the rich with disregard of race and ethnicity. The gap has been widening, which points to an increasing class inequality within the American society. Also, a large gap exists regarding economic aspects. This is evident in racial minorities and the white Americans. Finally, the third pattern economic inequality in America points out to the growth of the very poor individuals dwelling among other people with a higher social order. Walker, Spohn and Delone (2012) contend that recent years have witnessed the emergence of many poor people dwelling among few affluent households.
Research suggest that a direct correlation exists between social inequality and the prevalence o crime (Tella, et al., 2010). Many scholars have argued that the reduction of the gap between the poor and the affluent is instrumental in reducing poverty rates, thereby reducing crime levels, as well. Income inequality is a fundamental cause of criminal behavior in individuals who strive to have a good life. Such people often strive to live like the rich, even in instances where they lack the proper means to do so. This makes them turn to criminal activities as the case of the couple above demonstrates. The said case is an example of the strain theory, which relates to income inequalities within the society. Overall, the paper has considered several aspects that cause criminal behavior within the society. It has identified that the society entails individual and families with dissimilar social orders with the poor striving to have a similar lifestyle as the rich, even in cases where they do not have legitimate means of attaining the same.

Reference
Einstadter, W. J. & Henry, S., (2006). Criminological theory: an analysis of its underlying assumption. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield
Fox News. (2015). Florida burglary suspects used baby as human shield, cops say. Retrieved from http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/12/10/florida-theft-suspects-used-baby-as-human-shield-cops-say/
Goldsmith, W. W. & Blakely, E. J., (1992). Separate societies: poverty and inequality in U.S. cities. Philadelphia, PA: Temple Univ. Press.
Tella, R. D., Edwards, S., Schargrodsky, E., et al., (2010). The economics of crime: lessons for and from Latin America. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Walker, S., Spohn, C. & Delone, M., (2012). The color of justice: race, ethnicity, and crime in America. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.

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