Culture and Crime in Society
Culture and Crime in Society Culture as a set of practices formed among individuals that form a given society has been cultivated and formed over time. The accepted cultural practices can often have positive and negative impact on not just what is perceived acceptable and appropriate in a society, but also can influence rate of certain crimes. Culture as a collection of practices, rituals, goals, values, and customs of a given society is formed over many years. There are many different historical elements that have a great deal of influence upon its formation at times.There are also practices that may be formed due to geographical and physical characteristics of environment. Whatever causes formation of a certain series of practices and beliefs, it is formed over often a lengthy period of time and one can even say that a given culture is always in process of formation.
There are times that political powers and/or ideologies may exert a great deal of influence, yet at other times a philosophical or religious doctrine might be a dominating factor.
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Society on the other hand is a collection of individuals that are in constant direct or indirect interaction.Interactions of people forming a given society happen in context of their culture. Culture as a context for a community applies either directly or indirectly a frame-work for attitudes and manners of exchanges experienced on daily basis. Granted that a wide range of behaviors are developed over time as mentioned which leads to formation of a culture, yet as generations pass by roots of a given practice or even the value of a given protocol of interaction among people may become forgotten or even ignored.As even longer period of time passes, one can recognize many behaviors are not merely based on one’s conscious decision, but rather due to an unconscious learned behavior from the culture itself. Cultural role and influence may have both positive and negative consequences for an individual and society.
Here is where one can notice differences in what may be considered a crime in a part of the world and as a common and expected behavior elsewhere. One may notice certain crimes are rather popular in a given society and even at times ignored by justice system.Culture and social values that have been formed plays a key role in what may be considered a crime. This is not to say that all aspects of a given culture have such negative impact such as committing a crime and not even call it a crime. There are also many positive consequences of this phenomena that lead to lowering certain crime rates as well. For instance, let us consider how men view women in Middle East in contrast with Western World. In East family ties have a great deal of importance and hence relationship of a son to his mother and sister is much closer than in the west, relatively speaking.
A young man is not expected to leave his parents home once he reaches age of maturity and adulthood, frankly it is expected for him to continue to live with his parents until he is about to get married. It would be unusual for an adult single male to live alone. It would give the impression that he is not close to his family, and this expression is quite displeasing to family, friends, and society. Adult single male is expected to take care of his parents and sisters and always be there for their protection and support.When such a young man views another female in society, very often he treats her with respect; simply because he thinks of her as someone’s mother and/or sister and knowing the value of that he ought to be supportive and protective of the female. This cultural disposition leads to decreased rate of sexual assaults committed by men in that region of the world. In contrast, females are being looked at as sex objects in the West.
A simple review of advertising methods and practices clarifies the common saying that “sex sells”.Women are looked at as sex objects and this also has an adverse effect of women’s perception of themselves. As males reach adulthood can not wait to get out of their parents home and create and independent dwelling place. A man seems weak to his family and friends, if he is 29 years old and still lives with his parents. In brief, in West if a male given appropriate context tells a woman that she looks sexy in a particular dress, this is taken as a complement, yet in the Middle East such statement is very inappropriate, disrespectful, and even offensive in any context and situation. One can easily even predict a relative higher number of sex crimes in the West due to such cultural disposition. Societies function based on norms that have developed due to diverse influences over time.
Culture places certain values on various behaviors that influence what may be viewed as crime. This shows a clear relationship between certain crime rates and its fluctuations in different societies.