Theory Of The Behavior Of Law Essay — страница 3

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to call the police than those who were not. Another hypothesis was the greater the density of a population, the greater the law. The survey showed that reporting crime decreased as population increased. Black proposed that an indicator of culture was education, and that the more educated people are, the more likely they were to bring lawsuits against others. Data collected by the survey indicated that regardless of an individual s education level, more serious victimizations are more likely to be reported to the police. While this seems to support Black s theory, the statistics given show that the relationship is weak (1978). The organizational dimension states that law varies directly with organization. Black claims that the police are more likely to hear about a robbery of a

business than a robbery of an individual on the street (Gottfredson and Hindelang, 1978, p. 12). The National Crime Survey deals primarily with individuals. However, a survey of a national probability sample of business establishments is included. The information provided does support Black s theory, but again, it is very weak (1978). According to Black, social control, the final dimension, is a quantity with which the law varies inversely. Gottfedson and Hindelang used the settings: rural, suburban, and urban to examine variations in reporting. Black s discussion implied that in rural areas, where informal controls are traditionally viewed as stronger, rates of reporting will be lower that the anonymous cities. Again, the data from the survey shows no relationship between

urbanization and reporting rates (1978). The authors conclude that Donald Black s theory of the behavior of law is an important contribution to sociology because of the empirical it raises. However, most of his theories were incompatible with the data derived from the National Crime Survey. The centrality of seriousness to the phenomenon of reporting to the police, particularly in conjunction with the relative weakness of the dimensions at the core of Black s theory of law, suggests that an adequate theory of criminal law must incorporate some measure of the consequences of legal infractions to individuals in order to be an accurate model (Gottfredson and Hindelang, 1978, p. 16). Cooney, M. (1997) . The decline of elite homicide. Criminology, 35 (3), 381-407. Mark Cooney uses

Donald Black s theory to explain why homicide among the elite has declined over the ages, and is now confined to low-status people. In a different article, Crime as Social Control , Black argues that violent conflict or homicide is a function of the unavailability of law. Cooney reviews the criminological findings and the patterns reported in anthropological and historical literature. Then he incorporates Donald Black s theory to explain the facts. Homicide is primarily a means by which people handle their conflicts. Cooney refers to Black s concepts of people s relationships and statuses (the five dimensions) to explain further. Vertical, or economical, status is determined by wealth. Studies have shown that measures of economic deprivation consistently emerge as one of the

strongest predictors of aggregate rates of homicide (Cooney, 1997, p. 383). The marginality (or radial status) of an offender also comes into play. Marginality can be measured by factors such as employment and marital status. Offenders are usually of low radial status, as well as, single. The cultural status and the normative status are also considered. Homicide offenders are commonly ranked fairly low because of minimal or no education, and/or of racial and ethnic minorities. Prior record is a measure of normative status. Homicide offenders have higher rates of arrest and conviction than the average person has (1997). The tendency for homicide to be largely confined to low-status groups in not only true in the United States but to most modern countries. However, it was not so in

earlier societies. Some examples are feuding between the Appalachian elites, brawling among English gentlemen, dueling among European and Russian nobleman, and lynching among the high-status southerners. Again, Cooney s question is why is there so little high-status homicide now compared to earlier times. One explanation is that of long-term civilizing. The higher echelons began the civilizing process and it is slowly filtering down. However, Cooney uses Black s theory of Self-Help. The poor and marginal are, for the most part, outside of the state s legal system and, therefore, are more likely to be aggressive when solving conflicts. The law seems unavailable because these people invoke it less often, and when they do they receive it less often. They are patrolled, arrested, and