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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