Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Richard M. Seklecki
Crime, in the strictest sense, is the willful commission and/or omission of established codified laws of a society, nation, or culture. A less formalized understanding of crime includes the committing of any commonly recognized prohibited act worthy of punishment as established by the norms, mores, and values of a given population. Crime has been widely studied because it is considered a phenomenon when members of a community knowingly commit offenses either against another citizen or against the community or state. The study of crime is essentially grounded in two different perspectives, which are environmental based and biological based. Biological-based theories are concerned with all potential influencing external forces endemic to the social world. To better understand crime, one must have some understanding of the fundamental social-based theory regarding the power dynamics behind the creation of law and how laws impact crime. Most people think of laws as a means to ...