Critical criminology

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Theories of Criminology and Richard's Criminal Behavior

The vast field of study known as critical criminology necessitates participation from all members of society. The study of criminology is crucial in the fight to reduce the rising crime rates in the world. Many ideas have been put out to explain various criminological features. The theories describe people's behavior and the criminal minds they depict, yet the majority of them only cover one specific illegal act. Theories can be of the psychological, biological, social, or traditional variety. For the purposes of this essay, Richard's predicament can be described by fusing a variety of criminology theories. According to McShane (2013), multiple qualities in a person necessitate multiple causation hypotheses in order to adequately account for their criminal behavior.

The Multiple Causation Theory and Richard's Psychological Factors

Considering the case of Richard and the entire story on his criminal behavior, the theory that best explains the level at which he operated is the multiple causation theory. The multiple causation theory of criminology proposes that no single factor can be used to justify the criminal behavior of an individual (Taylor, Walton, & Young, 2013). Richard had a multitude of factors that contributed to his scenario. For instance, he had a psychological and emotional drift that warrants a psychological theory to explain the causation of his behavior. He always felt emotionally disturbed and hence this affected his psychology. The combination of emotional and psychological factors was a clear avenue for the criminal action that he took, this is evident from the varied psycho-emotional feelings that Richard developed during his entire period when staying with his mother and father. According to McShane (2013), crime and criminology deeds stem from a series of thoughts and psychological torture one undergoes. Furthermore, these crime deeds are due to multiple factors that combine and dictate one's moral ways in life. If a person is not in proper control of their minds and decisions, they may finally end up in critical crime scenes and conditions.

The Social Theory of Criminal Behavior and Richard's Family Background

Given that Richard was from a middle-class family, the multiple causation theory of criminology through the social theory of criminal behavior suggests that the family background and upbringing dictate the way a person grows and thinks (Stafford & Mears, 2014). Consequently, this tends to frame the way they view crime. Richard grew in a family where the father was ever bitter, abusive, and tortured them. For instance, Richard's father used to manipulate and punish his kids, to a point that the family members were depressed. The agony they faced together with their mother left them in emotional and psychological distress that drove Richard to develop a negative effect and consequently, he reached a period of critical criminology. For example, Richard did not know how to talk to people, play games, or share socially with others. Therefore, he opted to get his gun and shoot his father. The act of shooting his father is justified by the neo-classical theory of criminology, which is under the umbrella of multiple causation theories. Stafford & Mears (2014) suggested that a person, due to emotional and mental disorder, develops an ability to commit criminal deeds to seek attention and hence loses control of their actions (Taylor, Walton, & Young, 2013). This is considered the neo-classical theory of criminology.

The Differential Theory and Richard's Association with Criminals

Also, through the Differential theory, crime is developed from the association one develops with people who are criminals. The association was developed in Richard's character when he always woke up to see his mother depressed and withdrawn due to the behavior of his father. This caused a shift in his mental disorder to undertake a criminal act towards his father.

The Multiple Causation Theory and Richard's Actions

Therefore, it's worth noting that Richard's actions can only be justified by the multiple causation theory of criminology. The theories cut across all the cognitive, psychological, social, and emotional spheres of a person.


McShane, M. (Ed.). (2013). An Introduction to Criminological Theory. Routledge.

Stafford, M. C., & Mears, D. P. (2014). Causation, Theory, and Policy in the Social Sciences. Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioural Sciences: An Interdisciplinary, Searchable, and Linkable Resource.

Taylor, I., Walton, P., & Young, J. (Eds.). (2013). Critical Criminology (Routledge Revivals). Routledge.

April 06, 2023


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Criminology Study Society

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