Crime, Criminality, and Deviance

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Crime is characterized by any human act that goes against criminal laws written by the local, state, or national government. According to Merriam-Webster, a crime is defined as “an illegal act for which someone can be punished by the government.” Every crime results in a punishable offense. Examples of crimes includes robbery, rape, and murder. Once a person commits a crime, then they will be recognized as a criminal. All criminal acts are governed by law; therefore, they are very hard to dispute over. Mostly all criminal acts or behaviors will incite a negative reaction universally.

Criminality is characterized by the behavior of being criminal. According to Merriam-Webster, criminality is defined as the “quality or state of being criminal.” Criminality just looks at anyone that breaks the law. This could include minor law breakers such as jay walkers or major law breakers such as murderers. Deviance is any behavior or act that is considered abnormal in society and violates societal norms. According to Merriam-Webster, a deviant is defined as “a person who differs markedly (as in social adjustment or behavior) from what is considered normal or acceptable. Whereas crime has a concrete definition and can be determined from specific guidelines, deviant acts are not considered as black and white of a concept.

How would a person know what acts are deviant if there are no laws to dictate them? Because deviant behavior is not universally the same, they are harder to govern. Some factors that influence what is looked upon as deviant behavior includes religion, education, culture, and personal experiences. What can be perceived as unacceptable in one society or culture can be seen as something completely normal in another. One example demonstrating this can be seen through body modifications. In India, it is tradition for teenage girls to wear nose piercings in their left nostril to symbolize fertility.

On the other hand, it is highly looked down upon if they are seen in Christian societies. Although criminology is considered a social science, criminologists study crime differently in certain aspects than do philosophers and journalists. Criminology is the scientific study of crime. This means that criminologists specifically use science to back up what they discover. For example, forensic scientists look at blood spatter patterns and gun residues to solve crimes in a way that is dictated by science. DNA identification is a widely used scientific tool that has been used to solve many criminal cases.

Journalists, on the other hand are responsible for describing crimes as they happened, but not necessarily the psychological factors and societal situations that would lead the person to commit the crime. They basically skim the surface in order to report the news of the crime. One example is news stories written about crimes in America. They write for the public to understand the crime and describe the situation that happened. Philosophers study crime by diving into the actions and motivations of the criminal They look at things on a deeper level find the true motivational factors of the crime.

For example, if someone robbed the bank, philosophers would look at the person’s home life, background, and society to determine the reasoning behind the crime. In conclusion, criminologists break down crimes based on all factors, down to the mathematical and scientific level, whereas philosophers seek the truth behind the crime, instead of the crime itself and journalists report just the situation of the crime.

Although the terms “crime,” “criminality,” and “deviance” all pertain to criminology, they all have different meanings. A crime is any act that violates government laws whereas deviance describes any behavior that violates appropriate societal norms. Criminality is the characterized by the behavior of being criminal. All criminal acts are considered deviant but not all deviant acts are considered criminal.

Cite this paper

Crime, Criminality, and Deviance. (2021, Mar 10). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/crime-criminality-and-deviance/



How is crime and deviance related?
Crime and deviance are related in that deviance refers to behavior that goes against social norms and expectations, while crime refers to behavior that is against the law. Some deviant behaviors, such as drug use or theft, may also be considered criminal acts.
What is an example of crime and deviance?
An example of crime would be robbery, and an example of deviance would be public urination.
What is the difference between crime and criminality?
A crime is an act that is prohibited by law and punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or both. Criminality is the quality or state of being a criminal.
What is the difference between criminality and deviance?
To sum up, deviance refers to the breaking of contextual, social and cultural norms and standards, by a person. On the contrary, crime refers to the offence which is against the law .
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