Durkheim and Crime – Blogpost #2

After our last class session on crime, I feel a bit conflicted. Durkheim’s idea is based on the premise that crime is not only necessary but also essential for any healthy society to function. Durkheim goes on to say that crime is present to let us know what is morally “good” and “bad” and lets us see that there  are rules and if are broke, there will be consequences which he compared to children’s play. I agree with Durkheim that this idea of crime is essential or else our society would lack social order. Furthermore, in class we also discussed how different countries and cultures share different beliefs and norms therefore what may be “good” in our culture for example making eye contact to someone when you’re talking to them, may be completely “bad” or disrespectful somewhere else like some Asian and middle eastern countries.  That being said, I think that in today’s society, crime can send us some mixed signals as to what’s “good” and “bad”. For example, for my education class I was asked to watch 4 children’s programs and take note of the violent or aggressive situations in each. One of the shows I chose was Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles on Nickelodeon and I found that these ninja turtle (good guys) are ultimately out to protect people from evil monsters and etc. (bad guys) but they go about doing this by beating the monsters with a stick, punching, kicking and a number of other violent activities. Obviously we know they are doing this to help rid the world of the bad but isn’t what they’re doing bad too. If the bad guys get hit and thrown in jail why shouldn’t the turtles get the same for in fact, they are breaking rules too, right? To us, it’s clear that the bad guys deserved it and the ninja turtles are heroes but for young minds these can be confusing. Are we sending the message that bad is bad and good is fighting the bad? What if a child carries this mentality into the teen years and decides to punch someone because it’s good when they only look like the bad person? I wonder what Durkheim would say about this and crime in today’s society.

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2 responses to “Durkheim and Crime – Blogpost #2

  1. I completely agree with you. My five year old nephew loves that show and its evident the way he feels like the moment someone does something that is wrong in his eyes they have to get punished physically regardless of how many times my sister has told him otherwise and his response is always that he’s a ninja turtle and he’s beating up the bad guys. The relationship between crime and punishment is not being properly displayed, at least not the way in which Durkheim viewed it.

  2. Great post! I completely agree with the ideas you presented on Durkheim. Our society is constantly changing but crime seems to be consistent throughout the years. It is essential for crime to occur in a society only to a certain degree. A lot of laws need to be updated and without crime in society, there would be no growth or new developments.

    Nice reference to the television shows that displays crime as what is “good” and what is “bad”. I feel that this might not be the best thing for our children in today’s society because it produces a lot of mixed signals or ideas as to what is considered “good” or “bad”. It distorts their young developing minds with ideas on what one should do when confronted with crime or a person who is displaying ‘bad’ behavior. I strongly do not support such shows. The effects can be very detrimental to children. Durkheim would say that children are sacred and must be protected. Thus, crime to a certain degree needs to occur for new laws to be established in society.

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