From the Laws of Civilisation to Deviance and Crime: Norbert Elias and the Tightening Grip of Social Control - A Structural Analysis

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Hacherouf Mohammed


The interpretation of criminal behaviour is a complex and ongoing discussion in the field of criminology. The theoretical framework of structural analysis is of great value due to its strengths and limitations in understanding and explaining human behaviour in general and criminal behaviour in particular. By focusing on the social context, Norbert Elias's theory of structural construction emphasises the role of social structures such as class, gender and race in shaping criminal behaviour. This shifts the focus beyond individual characteristics and recognises the influence of wider social inequalities, helping to explain patterns of criminal behaviour and variations in crime rates across different social groups and communities. It can help to understand the relationship between factors such as poverty and unemployment and higher crime rates. In addition, this theory addresses the underlying social conditions that create inequalities and opportunities for crime, which is useful for efforts to address root causes rather than focusing solely on punishment.

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