People Should Deliberate Crime As A Normal Element Of the Society


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People should deliberate crime as a normal element of the society

According to Durkheim, crime is a normal part of the society(Durkheim, 2007). Additionally, Durkheim posits that crime should beconsidered necessary and essential to the society. Durkheimconsidered justice to be a moral value which was created andconnected to the social world in a number of ways. As such, the roleof the society was to play the role of morality, which was the basisof demonizing crime. In the contemporary society, every member istreated to be a single unit, which has an obligation of playingmorally and understanding the role of justice in modulating thenotions of the society and socialization. According to Durkheim’sideology, moral values are created and connected to fundamentalconditions in the society, such as solidarity of a social form.Therefore, one can decipher Durkheim’s thinking that indeed justiceis not a single idea, but something that has to be attached to thesociety’s form, growth and cohesion.

Secondly,Durkheim posited that crime is a normal occurrence in the society,however, which has to be looked at as a social problem that isregulated by justice. From the justice perspective, crime is to beconsidered as a deviance which unambiguously violates the socialnorms, hence, have to be eradicated to achieve conditions of a normalsociety. A normal society, in practice, is unachievable. As such,Durkheim was right to state that crime should be considered as anormal element of the society (Durkheim, 2007). This is becausecrime, per se, is ever related to certain types of the contemporarysocieties, which are independent and sometimes, interrelated.Therefore, crime is considered to be normal because it isintrinsically linked to the ever condition of social life. In themodern world, there is no single society in the entire world whichwould lack elements which diverge from the collective type.

Nevertheless,crime is always present in all societies across the world. The sameis said by Anderson, who uses the case of street families and decentfamilies to explore cultural values and engagement in crime amongstthe youth. In fact, Durkheim made a surprisingly true statement thatthere is nothing abnormal about deviance, as it on the other hand,does perform four essential functions. Firstly, deviance affirmscultural values and norms, meaning that there can be no good if evilis not defined. Therefore, crime, as a form of deviance, is there todefine and support morality. Secondly, moral boundaries are clarifiedby responding to deviance. This helps the society to define what iswrong and what is right. Thirdly, people are unified by deviance.Given that they react to serious deviance with shared outrage, thesociety reaffirms the moral ties that bring them together. Finally,Durkheim posits that deviance encourages social change by encouragingmembers of the society to push the limits of the moral boundaries(Durkheim, 2007). In fact, Durkheim says that what is considered tobe deviance in the present day may be viewed as the morality oftomorrow. As such, crime can only be considered to be a normalelement of the society.

Durkheimsaid that crime, as a form of deviance, had some kind ofmeasurements. According to him, deviance is not a matter of a few badelements in the society, but a fundamental condition of “good”social living. According to Merton’s Strain theory, there is a needfor some deviance so as the society to function normally however,too much of it is because of particulars social arrangements(Durkheim, 2007). As such, the level to which a crime, as a form ofdeviance, occurs in a certain society is a function of how thesociety provides the means and achievement of cultural goals. Assuch, this theory conforms to the idea that crime is a normal elementof the society.

Fromthe evaluation of Durkheim’s idea, crime creates solidarity becauseit brings the society together. By looking for a response to criminalactivities, people are brought together by the justice and legalsystems, which are also normalcies in the society. Arguing fromDurkheim’s perspective, the society needs crime in order to survive(Durkheim, 2007). Withoutcrime, equilibrium would be lost. What has to be distinguished isthat he does not advocate for the eradication of crime, nor did hetake it to be a realistic objective. Given that something cannot beeliminated from the society, and little can be done to alter it, ittherefore has to be considered as normal.

Inorder to demonstrate his thinking in a realistic evaluation, Durkheimattempted to explain the normalcy of deviance, in this case, crime,to be a necessary element of the social organization, which servedseveral functions. He provided an instance of a man who was convictedof murdering a child in the town of New Hampshire (Durkheim, 2007).After being convicted of the crime, the residents came together todiscuss what bounded them as a community, and more importantly, todevelop a better understanding of what is right and what is wrong.The crime, per se, is what brought the residents together, to discussabout elements of their society. Such a reaction thus confirms thatindeed crime should be considered a normal element of the society.


Anderson, E. (1997). The code ofthe streets. In Violenceand childhood in the inner city. (pp.157-197). Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

Durkheim, E. (2007).&nbspWhatis deviance? In Seeingourselves: Classic, contemporary, and cross-cultural readings insociology (p. 141-143,p. 164-169, p. 170-179). Pearson Education Canada.