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A Critical Evaluation Of The Issue Of Taking An Item From Work

2290 words - 9 pages

The act of stealing items from work can be considered as a crime under criminal statute. The theft act 1968 states that a person is guilty of committing a crime of theft if that person ‘dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving’. In saying that the four main criminological presepectives, which include: classical, positivist, interactionist critical criminology, interpret the act of stealing an item from work differently. Ultimately, the issue of taking items from work is important as the idea of what constitutes stealing from work can be blurry. Throughout this essay comparatives and differences on each perspective will be discussed in terms of human nature, social order, how they define stealing from work and how they explain it.
Classical criminology perspectives define human nature as a rational decision that is governed by the individual’s free will (Walklate, 2013: 16), thus when an individual steals from their place of work they are consciously and freely committing this act. Classical criminologist further the idea that humans are regarded as rational beings as they are held entirely responsible for their own actions by society (Jones, 2006). Classical criminology is closely linked with the principles of right realism, in that the individual has a rational choice as to whether to steal from work. However, right realism and classical criminology alike fails to recognise that there other contributing factors leading towards a rational decision, such as biological factors that can influence the individual's ability to think rationally.
Therefore, positivist criminology rejects the principles of classical criminology and focuses on the idea that human nature is built upon individual biology. Positivism argues that individuals can posses abnormalities (Walklate 2002), and these abnormalities are atavistic which can lead that individual to deviate. Ultimately, positivism argues that an individual's behaviour is influenced or determined by other forces and they have no direct control over their own actions (Jones 2006, Vito et al 2007). Thus suggesting that individuals have no control over their ability to steal items from work. Positivist criminologists have gained acceptance of the idea that human nature is multi-factorial by that it is a matter of biology, psychology and social aspects and describes how individuals become socialised by learning to control their individual impulses and actions (Maguire et al, 2012).Positivism supports the idea of strain theory which suggests that human nature is to seek to achieve high goals. Merton, a founder of strain theory, argued that whilst all individuals seek to be successful, there are individual attitudes towards achieving these necessary goals; and these attitudes can lead to different behaviours (Jones, 2006). Furthermore, tensions and strains occur when the individual struggles with the balance between the legitimate and illegitimate...

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