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Share Aspects of crime have existed ever since the socialization of mankind began, ranging from theft and burglary of local tribes, to the murdering and torture of warring chiefdoms. It is interesting to see that aspects of crime have been around for thousands of years, yet the social conditions in which they are perceived has changed drastically.
For example, murder in the 13th century would only result in a frown or two, as well a Focal concerns miller turned the other way. Today, a murder results in losses of freedom, through the processes of incarceration into the prison system.
Unfortunately yet, there is still much debate. I find it important to point out that no single theory is capable of explaining the causes of crime, because crime is such a general area in itself that it is impossible to explain why there are so many different types of crimes being committed by so many different types of people.
I think that they do a good job at explaining how different groups of people commit crimes, as well as the reasons behind the deviant behavior. The Focal Concerns Theory emphasizes the roles of social networks by explaining how other people of the lower-class influence people from the lower-class.
The importance of adhering to the learned focal concerns, or the resulting consequences of stigmatization if they are not followed, are proof of this. The Focal Concerns Theory does not take into account that the lower-class has less money than the middle and upper class as a factor in why crimes are committed.
I am sure that many reports of criminal behavior from a member of the lower-class stem from a lack of money, and them simply attempting to acquire some. The focal concerns that Miller outlines all have to do with the individual and how the eyes of other lower-class members perceive them, not how they are perceived by other class members.
Finally, this theory cannot account for the reasons why middle-class members commit crime, as well as the white collar crimes from the upper-class population. Everything may be evaluated based on certain criterion that is relevant to the topic. In the case of evaluating criminological theories or any theory for that matterit relies on five basic criteria; empirical validity, internal logical consistency, scope, parsimony, and testability6.
The little amounts of research that have been conducted in favor of this theory have proven to be complicated to assess its effectiveness in terms of quantity, and even quality, because the theory focuses on beliefs and attitudes of lower-class males. His theory states that the lower-class youth learn these focal concerns, and then act accordingly although the carry them out to the extremes at timeswhich in turn leads them to act deviantly because they come into conflict with the norms of society, including the laws.
His concepts are clearly defined, as well as fairly plausible. His solution to the explanations of crime focuses only on the lower-class, in specific lower-class males. Perhaps if Miller were to incorporate reasons and explanations for female deviance, and perhaps even make note of race and ethnicity as a factor, than the scope would widen, in turn only strengthening his theory.
In a positive light, the Focal Concerns Theory is highly parsimonious. I say this because of its solid logical consistency, as the assumptions of his theory are fairly concrete.
While there have not been many significant studies assessing the validity of this theory, there have been some tests done incorporating this theory into other criminological related issues.
For example, a study has been conducted on how the Focal Concerns Theory influences the sentencing outcomes by Judges within their courtrooms7. Judges are humans, and humans are judgmental by nature. People are going to bring their own biases into account when they must judge something of importance, especially severity of crime.
Statistics show that female offenders usually get sentenced more leniently than male offenders, based on the lack of perceived threat of dangerousness of females as well as other factors that are associated with females and not males. Today, the application of this theory has expanded beyond the judging disparities between males and females to include race, ethnicity, and age.
The primary findings of the study indicate that sentencing tends to be harsher for males than females, blacks than whites, and lower-class citizens more than upper or middle-class citizens.
This in turn is significant because it emphasizes the importance for lower-class members to adhere to the six focal concerns, exerting more reason for them to be tough and street-smart so that they may avoid the law, while still upholding their reputation of a lower-class member and avoiding stigmatization.
Due to this study, which emphasized a focal concern perspective on the sentencing by judges, researchers have been able to make some suggestions about possible policy implications. First, because it examined an analytic model of how sentencing is affected by certain characteristics age, gender, race, and classit shows judging disparities, suggesting that future actions could be taken by judges to eliminate those biases.SAGE Video Bringing teaching, learning and research to life.
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CQ Press Your definitive resource for politics, policy and people. Miller suggested that working-class boys were socialised into a number of distinct values that together meant they were more likely than others to engage in delinquent or deviant behaviour.
Miller described these values as "focal concerns". These values are: None of these values on their own mean. People with cancer want to do everything they can to combat the disease, manage its symptoms, and cope with the side effects of treatment. Many turn to complementary health approaches, including natural products, such as herbs (botanicals) and other dietary supplements, and mind and body practices.
Six Focal Concerns Walter B. Miller formulated six focal concerns in a theory attempting to explain the behavior of street corner group adolescent members in lower class communities. These focal concerns include trouble, toughness, smartness, excitement, fate, and autonomy.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) historically has been considered a disease of White Matter (WM). 2,3 The classic hallmark of relapsing-remitting MS is the presence of focal demyelinating lesions in WM tissue. 1,4 WM atrophy also has been observed in patients with relapsing forms of MS.
1,5 Consequently, research in MS generally focused on WM pathology for many years. 6. Start studying Walter Miller's 6 focal concerns of lower class culture.
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