Durkheim: Crime Will Always Be In Existence

In this weeks food for thought, readings focus on Durkheim and his theory that crime is normal and a part of society. “Durkheim was mostly concerned with social solidarity, or how society is held together: What is it about human society with its ever more complex interrelationships, structures, and institutions which ensures not only its continuity and cohesion but also it’s transformations? (Pavlich, 2011, p.73).

According to Durkheim, he believed in “societies being held together by shared values, and economic interdependence. There is always, according to Durkheim, the possibility of a collapse of society if its values are not constantly reaffirmed and passed on from one generation to another. Therefore, the maintenance of values is a crucial ‘function’ of society. However, people do not always follow this collective conscience – they are naturally self-seeking and prefer to look after their own interests at the expense of others. What stops them is the law and learning from the institutions such as the education system the idea of collective conscience, and primary socialization of the family. The law is the weaker of the two-socialization agencies. Far stronger is the pervasive ‘self control’ that we all learn. However, in periods of great social strain or dramatic change, the power of the collective conscience is weakened.” (P.Covington. (1999). Deviance: Functionalist Explanations. In. Retrieved undefined, from http://www.sociology.org.uk/pcfcri95.pdf.)

Durkheim explains that we may have rules and laws but we all come from different backgrounds and have different morals.  Meaning, society and is rules will never comply; crime will always be in existence. Each and every person is different, thus our mind sets and the way we comprehend law is different. People may agree with each or its either the law does not comply with people’s morals.

I believe that Durkheim is correct. We are surrounded by crime. Crime is inevitable and a normal aspect of social life. I believe crime is inevitable because not every member in our society can share the same values and moral beliefs as the rest of society. Since each of us are exposed to different influenced and circumstances, it is impossible for all of us to be alike, therefore not everyone is scared to break the law or in some cases scared to break the law.


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One response to “Durkheim: Crime Will Always Be In Existence

  1. Note that Durkheim, in arguing that crime is ‘normal’, insists that it is both universal and – importantly – necessary. In contrast to the conventional wisdom that crime is bad and should be eradicated, Durkheim argues that social responses to rule-breaking serve an important function. What does he mean by this?