Criminology is an important part of contemporary life. This is because every day, the society experience crime which is the central area covered by criminology. The aim of criminal law is to restrain and control various anti-social behavior types across the community (Robins, n.d). In this regard, several theories were established to try to explain the deviant acts. Among the theories include labeling and conflict theory which applies to various aspects of crimes such as homicide, organized crime or even white-collar crimes.
Critical analysis of the two theories
According to conflict theory, criminal activities are conducted because of social and economic reasons (Karimu, 2015). It means that there is a strong conflict between the poor and the elite class. This means that the low class individuals or the poor feels that by stealing or taking away the elite class belongings, they are achieving some form of justice. The structural inequality among social groups therefore causes conflict thus the reasons crime is common in the contemporary society. On the other hand, according to labeling theory, individuals are “labeled” differently by organizations together with the police (Karimu, 2015). However, the consequences of such labeling are what lead other people into committing crimes. For instance, if the police or an organization occasionally claims that an individual is a thief, a criminal or a bribe-taker; such kind of labels have been found to promote criminal behaviors since the individual who is labeled tries to prove that they are what the society thinks about them. It means that labeling proves various criminal acts among individuals especially those who had been initially charged with crime (Robins, n.d). They may end up committing crime because of the ways in which the society views them.
I agree with the two theories regarding the main causes of crime in the society. For instance, the poor may think that it is their right to get hold of the things that belongs to the rich because they have enough. To them, this may be some form of justice, but to the rich, it is felony or crime which makes conflict theory right. On the other hand, when individuals who were ones in prison are still labeled as thieves or criminals, it will be a contributing factor that would lead them into committing crime again.
Karimu, O. (2015). Criminal behavior: Evaluation of labeling and conflict perspectives. European Scientific Journal 11(4), 1-14
Robins, L. (n.d). In the news: Labeling and conflict theory. Retrieved from https://lukerobbins.me/essays/sociology/in-the-news-labeling-and-conflict-theory/