Theoretical points from the reading
- Social environment influences character; the theory recognizes that the social environment that an individual is exposed to plays a role in shaping and forming the behavior of a human being. The theory argues that what a child is exposed to influences their actions and how they perceive life and the surrounding. The early development stages of a child are very important in developing character of the child as the child learns from the surrounding and develops a character that makes them adapt to the environment.
- Behavior is cumulative; the theory emphasizes that an individual behavior is not a one day activity. Human being starts to acquire behavior and character traits since birth and the historical encounter and cultural orientation forms the basis for individual behavior. This idea implies that criminal character is not developed overnight but is as a result of a prolonged exposure to risk factors to a point that the behavior starts to manifest itself.
- The theory foresees a possibility of forecasting behavior. By understanding and analyzing the environment that a child is exposed to, it is easy to predict the character that is likely to come out of the child. It is therefore also possible to prevent criminal element by understanding the crucial turning point in a Child’s life. It is therefore possible to prevent criminality by socializing children in the right way.
Criminal mind is a developed mind as a result of the social environment. However, this character though developed can be reduced and enable the person who had been in crime to reform. The change of behavior is a challenging and difficult to do away with if the person still lives and socializes with the same risk factors. For a criminal to understand and leave crime, he needs to avoid the entire triggering environment. Theories have presented criminality as a series of activities in various stages in life. The individuals move from one stage to another until he crosses the other end where criminality is the order of the day. When a person cross the other end there is need of activation of character which allows the person to character of the new person, these activation includes offending among other traits.
What struck me most is the idea that a criminality result for socialization process is a puzzle to me. The concepts on the theories suggest that a criminal develops by acquire criminal traits through socialization. It is also amazing that personality is a function of education.
What is most interesting is that an individual can retract from previous behaviors and characters such as criminality by changing the environment. However, It is also true that once a reformed prisoner is exposed to conditions such as those of his previous criminal record, he is likely to retract to criminality.
Yes there are some unresolved issues. The theories do not explain the role played by genetic composition in character. Moreover besides children being brought up in a near the same environment, there are cases where behaviors are so divergent something that the theory is not able to explain.
- Do criminal parents pass the criminality to their children?
- Given the argument that criminality is as a result of harsh and condemning upbringing as discussed in the article, what factors leads to sophisticated crimes such as professional crimes?