Compare and contract essay on aggregate characteristics

For a long time scientists try to understand the nature of crime. There are two main approaches to this issue: social and individual.  The personality of the crime is in the center of individual approach. The aggregate characteristics including the neighborhood, social class, lifestyle and other issues are the parts of social approach. Both approaches are supported with a number of theories and publications. The aim of this paper is to compare and contract perspectives that focus on individual level attributes against those that focus on aggregate characteristics.

Compare and contract essay

The main similarity of two approaches is the final objective. They both are intended to develop the crime regulations mechanisms.  It is very important for juvenile justice because this branch of justice should be preventive rather than punitive. Both approached use theoretical material as well as statistical data regarding the crimes. However, the concepts and methods are rather different.

Thus, the advocates of individual approach search the predisposition to criminal in the biology of people. For example, Rowe examined the blood and saliva of crimes to find some consistent pattern. He claimed the appearance of individual can tell about his or her genetic predisposition to crime. Avshalom Caspi and the group of researchers tried to answer the question «Are some people crime prone?» and analyzed the personalities of crimes. The theme of genetic nature of crime was researched by Ellis and Walsh. They collected a number of gene-based evolutionary theories, divided them onto two categories,  and  highlighted the most valuable findings. Generally, the main idea of gene-based theories of crimes is rather simple: violence is the method of survival. “Genetic factors were also discarded since early theorists suggested that if criminal behavior is caused by heredity it would be unmanageable (Ellis and Walsh, p.  48).

At the same time the advocates of social approach analysed the aggregate characteristics of society. For example, Morenoff et all discovered that inequality is always the reason of crime. “…concentrated inequality in socioeconomic resources is directly related to homicide.” (Morenoff et al, p.14)


It is obvious that crime regulation methods should use both approaches to criminality, social and individual.

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