Theory Of The Behavior Of Law Essay — страница 2

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for deviant acts (Black, 1976). Culture, the third dimension, is the symbolic aspect of social life, including expressions of what is true, good, and beautiful (Black, 1976, P. 61). Law varies directly with culture. Where culture is sparse, so is law; where it is rich, law flourishes. Just as individuals have intimacy or distance so can cultures. Distance creates subcultures. According to Black s theory, members of a subculture are more vulnerable to the law. Their behavior is considered more deviant and they are more likely to be punished harshly (1976). The fourth dimension, organization, is the corporate aspect of social life, the capacity for collective action (Black, 1976, p.85). Like culture, law varies directly with organization. For example, during a war or a crisis such

as a flood, organization increases in order to centralize the state . Thus, law increases. Law is also less likely to label behavior by organizations as deviant than it is an individual (Black, 1976). The last dimension, social control, is the normative aspect of social life. It defines and responds to deviant behavior, specifying what ought to be: What is right or wrong, what is a violation, obligation, abnormality, or disruption (Black, 1976, p. 105). Law varies inversely with social control. Law is stronger where social control is weaker. The police are less likely to be called about a crime within a family than a crime between strangers who have no social control of their own. With juveniles, the more parental social control, the less likely he or she is to be subject to the

law. The labeling theory is often applied to social control by other theorists. However, Black omits the individual aspect, and states that social control makes a deviant worse. The whole process: arrest, conviction, and incarceration, will forever be with the criminal and will prohibit future opportunities (Black, 1976). Donald Black combines these five dimensions: stratification, morphology, culture, organization, and social control to explain why some behavior is considered deviant and other behavior is not. The general conclusion is that of a conflict theorist, wealth and power across several types of relationships are inversely related to the crime rate. Black s theory can be considered behavior of the criminal law because his main points share the same characteristics. When

the social solidarity of a society is threatened, criminal punishment increases; and the enactment and enforcement of criminal laws reflect the interests of the most wealthy and influential (Vold et al, 1998). Gottfredson, M., & Hindelang, M. (1979). A study of the behavior of law. American Sociological Review, 44(1), 3-18. Gottfredson and Hindelang attempted to test Black s theory by viewing the quantity of law as depending largely on the gravity of the infraction against the legal norms. They claim he ignored the bearing of how the nature of individual behavior effects the behavior of law, and was not explicit about how the objective seriousness of an offense should be handled. For Black, the seriousness of deviant behavior is defined by the quantity of law to which it is

subject (Gottfredson and Hindelang, 1978, p.4). But Black left out the consequences of the deviance to the victim. The authors argue that Black, therefore, must interpret injury and monetary loss are not important, or less important than stratification, morphology, culture, organization, and social control (1978). By using the National Crime Survey, Gottfredson and Hindelang tested Black s stratification dimension. Based on Black s conjecture that criminality varies inversely with rank, the authors therefore followed that the proportion of victims reporting their victimization to the police would increase with rank. However, the findings showed as the gravity of the victimization increases so too does reporting to the police, and do not support Black s prediction that the wealthy

are less likely to call upon the law with their dealings with one another. The differences were very small between the wealthy and the poor. Black s stratification hypothesis that wherever people are more equal there is less law was also discounted by information given in the survey. There was only a 4% difference (1978). Referring to the dimension of morphology, Black contended that law is inactive among intimates. Gottfredson and Hindelang examined the relationship between the size of the community in which the victim resided and the proportion of those who reported victimization. The data did not support Black s hypothesis. At the serious level, the trend of reporting decreased as the size of the place in which the person lived increased. Also, married people were more likely