Myths and Realty of Crime

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Myths and Reality of Crime
Sociology 305 - Crime and Society
June 4, 2013

Myths and Reality of Crime

Crime and its definitions vary across time and space. Shaped the cultural values and ideas, norms and practices of the society in question and the political sphere’s interpretation of such, one society’s definition of crime may be incongruent with another (Morrison, 2009). Not surprisingly then crimes, as perceived by society members significantly differ from that of officials. In fact, these differences are portrayed in the mainstream media and serve as main components of popular television shows like Law and Order, Criminal Intent, NCIS, and Burn Notice.

Given the popularity of these shows and their focus on violent criminal acts, these biased media forms appeal to prevailing thought that violent crimes in America are commonplace (Morrison, 2009). By extension, these shows call into question ideas about criminal propensity, the conditions that induce each criminal participation or even vigilant justice (Stark, 1993). However, these television shows fail to highlight the real increase in white collar crimes in scale and incidence and in many ways reinforce the myths of crime and violence (Holtfreter, Van Slyke, Bratton, & Gertz, 2008).

Defining Crime through Myth and Pseudoscience

Without question the notions of crime, of one’s inclination to commit such and the avenues for redress within American Society have changed dramatically since America’s beginning (Morrison, 2009; Holtfreter, et al, 2008). As evidence by many now defunct laws on books and the punishments for such as death for stealing chickens or miscegenation, society’s acceptations inform the constructs of crime. They also give rise to the classification of such and/or the appropriate punishment (Stalans, 1993). Yet, this system is far from perfect. On must only look to the…...

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