Cultural Masculinity and Crime Essay.
Masculinity is a fact that is conceptualized in Goliath in various ways and to a number of argumentative ends. On the other hand, there is a unique culture of masculinity which is identified as a connection between the ‘tough’ and ‘rough’ males and the law enforcers. Other connections include the nature of significance that is attached to homosocial bonding as well as the masculine camaraderie and familiar social concerns of the youth. This is a common masculine culture that maps well onto the cultural traits of hegemonic masculinity that is depicted elsewhere within the literature on crime and masculinity.
Therefore, masculinity is to some extend, used in the description of a given culture together with a series of activities that are ideologically and empirically allied to men. The fact that men are vilely overrepresented in almost all major violent events is not unusual. This kind of prevalence of male’s takes place in the arrest, character report as well as victimization data.
Therefore, lack of attention paid to what it is being male that causes sadistic behavior is not anything surprising.
However, recent work has recommended that masculinity is a crucial construct when it comes to understanding both crime and violence. Toughness, coupled with eagerness to resort to vicious behavior to be in position to resolve some of the interpersonal disputes are central characteristics of mannish identity. Conviction that gender roles are constructed socially is highly approved in the social science context. Basing on this construction, it is important to note that not all men posses the same levels of masculine traits.
Primary differences in gender roles are highly inclined to be crucial variables in the comprehension of violence (Vold, 2002). Consequently, any form of male-to-male violence examination without fully understanding and unfolding the influence as well as the meaning of masculine gender is incomplete. Moving towards the relationships that exist between crime and masculinities, various criminologists have highly centered on men and boys but fully ignored women and girls. The main reason behind this is that there exists a considerable realism that the male dominate crime.
For these criminologists, women are most subjected to exhaustive as well as all- embarrassing criminological gaze. Specifics of men are disgraced. Each in his own way has generally contributed to what has become a traditional criminology. Therefore the investigator needs to inspect and examine women and not men, to be able to examine the high gender ratio in crime. Men have a implicit monopoly on the charge of syndicated corporate and opinionated crime. Criminologists have continuously advanced gender as the main analyst of criminal occurrences.
Historically as well as contemporaneously, criminologists have related masculinity purely with men and boys. Criminology is therefore dualist; it concentrates mainly on gender differences in crime eschewing an assessment of gender similarities in crime (Messerschmidt, 1993). Pre-feminist criminology The earliest theories of criminology relied mainly on indispensable ‘sex roles’ frame work to be able to explain the relationship that exists between crime and masculinity. These sex roles were used to find out the various types and range of offenses committed by both male and female.
Therefore for sex-role theorists, criminological theory is termed cryptically as biological differences that exist between men and women. Criminal behavior is learnt in the same manner as conforming behavior. Therefore various people may come to engage in criminal behavior due to the excess of definitions that are favorable to the violation of the law compared to the definitions which are unfavorable. Boys get involved in crime to a great extent compared to girls. Higher levels of criminal acts among the boys may possibly be explained through differences in care as well as supervision of the male and female.
In as much as boys and girls exist within poverty-stricken neighborhoods, the nature of social setting does not explain the rate delinquency among the boys as well as girl delinquency which is always low. The main difference comes about because girls are supervised a little bit more carefully in their behavioral traits in accordance with the known social codes. This takes place with greater care and consistency compare to boys. They are taught to be nice while the boys are taught to be ‘real men’, meaning they have to force themselves through situations.
Boys whose behavior closely related to girls were considered ‘sissy’. The issue of masculinity and the connections it has to criminal traits in male has been discovered in both the past as well as the present criminological contemplation discussions. An attempt to link the issue of masculinity with felony was brought about by (Sabo & Kupers, 2001) He alleged that masculinity was internalized mainly during adolescence. Boys engage in highly delinquent forms of behavior compared to girls. Boys are taught to be both ‘tough’ and ‘rough’.
The common traits associated with masculine behavior like toughness and dominance that are termed essential in asserting a strong reputation in masculinity, are acquired through these contacts with older males. Sabo and Kupers view the family as a structural conformity that has biological demands, working well for the society when the role of women is emphasized mainly in the internal affairs of the family; a wife being the manager of the household and men providing income-earning function in the society
Masculinity within patriarchal society is stereotypically referred to as independent, aggressive, dominant, competitive as well as unemotional. It represents characteristics which are direct opposition to femininity. Sex roles differentiate some of the behaviors that are appropriate for men and women. The characteristics of masculinity are closely related to both positive and powerful terms of social identity (Vold, 2002). When gender roles are over exaggerated and their terms barely defined, negative consequences can easily occur.
For instance, certain behaviors tend to be viewed positively, like independence. Conversely, assistance from others is required to overcome some of the personal problems like drug and alcohol addiction or even financial hardships. Independence can get in the way of potential remedy and behaviors that are productive. In addition to that, aggressiveness and high level confrontation can be of great use in various circumstances; on the other hand, they can be counter productive when trying to promote compromise.
Fascinatingly, criminologists have persistently identified gender as the key predictor of behaviors associated with crime whereby men and boys commit disproportionate amount of crime. Masculinity is developed through learning and imitation whereby organizations, peers, and society as well as parents tech and train patterns that are appropriate as far as behavior is concerned. Those kinds of support and peer networks maintain and encourage the existence of ideas about masculinity.
In many situations, if men decline to adhere to the stringent guidelines that are masculine gendered, or publicly express attributes of feminine, they are usually considered weak and also vulnerable. There are existences of theories which try to argue out that using criminal male accomplishment in reference to status achieved by the toughness as well as courage which it takes to perpetrate the level of crime. This is likely to be there when the masculinity of an individual is questioned. There is lack of traditional outlets that can be used to prescribe the stereotypical masculinity.
Various forms of violence incidences were highly likely to include men who are highly masculine who had few outlets to affirm their level of masculinity. Prison environments are usually designed to restrict substitute modes of adaption that is separate from hypermasculine responses to both the prison as well as other inmates (Messerschmidt, 1993). On a stronger note, prisons are meant to socially castrate males together with their ability to adhere to good definitions of masculinity allowing for multiple modes of responding to their ability for success and incarceration.
Rational outlets of Masculinity Explanations as to whether the outlets for traditional masculinity are essential only in a sense of dichotomous sense are not common and whether the quality of every single outlet play a crucial role too is not also clear. Therefore the operationalizations of what are commonly known as masculine outlets, for that reason are poorly constructed. Though the idea of proper traditional outlets addresses the subject of perceived status, satisfaction on a personal level may play a crucial role in how an individual others view them.
For example, being married during the time of an offense is likely not to be important like being married happily at the time of an offense. The condition of being married is bound to be crucial; the quality of the affair may play a similarly important role in masculine accomplishment. Incase success within a marital affiliation is a desirable position; men with similar position can uphold their desirable success. On the same note, knowing whether a man has children or not is likely to be different from knowing whether a man is living in the company of his children.
Fathering a child is different from being the father of a child. Successful parenting is an enhanced traditional outlet than simply having a child. The quality of the relationship between a parent and a child is likely to bring about a sense of pride that in turn can form a positive outlet for the display of masculine nature. Any given position that can be envied by other males would be an affirmative arena for masculine behavior. One other problem concerning customary outlets is the use of just the traditional outlet to emphasize masculinity. Some other alternative outlets may play a fundamental role.
The use of violence is seen as an alternative incase legitimate means for the display of masculinity are not available. What is not a there in most cases is, however, the discussion about other means of legitimate masculine display apart from violence. For example, the number of sexual associates of the past can be. The show of one’s manhood through various sexual encounters has been highly theorized as an essential feature of masculinity. As an extension of the idea, literature about anthropology show that a number of children that a man can father are likely to play a crucial role.
More numbers of express the virility of the man (Popay & Jeanette, 1998). The past displays of violence are an additional area that is likely to be important in the acquisition of the knowledge about masculinity. Incase a man has proven his level of masculinity in the past several time; then he has the ability to draw from those experiences to affirm his masculinity in any given occasion. The existence of quite a number of less appropriate outlets for a man to be able to demonstrate his masculinity is an essential area to explore in future.
The idea of traditional outlets needs to be reconceptualized then broken down into two separate categories. Tog start with, a category that has positive social outlets, for instance, successful parenting and job satisfaction would be the most appropriate ways of assign successful masculinity. Addition of less appropriate outlets like number of past sexual partners, children as well as successful violent encounters can tap into different way than the way a man can assert some level of masculinity without necessary involving violence within the existing condition.
Due to the fact that the determination of masculinities and femininities can not be done biologically, it makes meaning to identify and also examine some of the possible masculinities by the females (femininities by both men and boys) and the nature of relationship that exist between them and crime. Masculinity is evoked by a way of clarification of the various activities of the male, especially the young and strong. The actions of both the police and the youths can be described as assertion of masculinity (Campbell, 1993).
Masculinity is viewed as being ‘accomplished’ through engagement in rioting, violence as well as a variety of displays of machismo by the young men. It is Campbell’s argument which, upon being faced with the problem of the reconstruction of a male identity in circumstances of social immobility and expanded levels of adolescence in which importantly, traditionally empowered masculine qualities is absent. These young and lower working group men find other highly destructive forms of masculine expressions. The consequential mode of masculinity is in some ways, not dissimilar from that of sub-cultural accounts that are usually experienced.
Within the face of justifiable opportunities that are ‘blocked’, a means of being victorious ‘as a man’ is usually associated with engagement with crime or delinquency. Men and women have got different experiences in life based on the present social and economical marginal communities (Burke, 2005). The interaction of race as well as class with gender puts in some different dynamics to the masculinity that is negotiated (Popay & Jeanette, 1998). Though doing gender is one way of looking at the accomplishment of masculinity, some of the imposed characteristics are likely to play a fundamental role in gender display.
The examination of masculinity the way it is constructed for the male through political, cultural and class can lead to varied results compared tog the examinations of masculinity which are believed to be constructed by men (Burke, 2005). Factors which are not within the realm of masculinity need to be discussed when it comes to understanding the causes and effects of masculinity as a source of criminality. Situational variables are likely to essential where the issue of violence is concerned more than just the personal level traits of masculinity.
Other than the types of masculine traits that are highly intrinsic to violent men, the forms of situational variables, for instance, location, time of the day as well as presence of others are highly likely to take place in a male-male situations of violent. Hegemonic Masculinity Males who try to exhibit higher levels of masculine traits and who posses fewer acceptable outlets to fully affirm masculinity are highly like to get involved in events that are violent. This confirms the notion that men who do not have masculine resources are more likely to resolve to criminal acts.
To add on that, traditional situational variables like presence of third party, use of drugs and alcohol, physical location among other factors are likely to cause some level of impact to the outcome of the events that are usually associated with violence and crime. At the same time, the unfolding actions such as the use of character attacks as well as sequencing of various actions have to be highly considered (Messerschmidt, 1993). These contexts can easily strengthen or even change the brunt of masculinity on both violent as well as non violent events.
Females are more liable to experience the strains, for instance the burden of family members and restrictions on their behavior. Female are highly restricted to the confidential sphere. This form of strain involves restraint of the available opportunities of criminality as well as the excessive social control. It is a little bit hard to participate in serious violent as well as property crime incase someone spends a little time in public and is burdened with the demands of the family. The chances of men being in public is higher compared to that of women, therefore they go through conflicts with others as swell as criminal victimization.
Therefore they are more likely to be involved in violence. On this thread, the various forms of strain which are experienced by men and women lead to higher rates of crime done by the former (Collier, 1998). Male and female also differ basing on their response towards strain emotionally. Strain leads to certain forms of negative emotions for instance anger. In turn, this creates a considerable amount of pressure to take corrective action. Though they both respond to anger, male and female have different experiences in anger. Female anger is usually accompanied by high levels of emotions such as fear and depression.
Male anger on the other hand, involves moral outrage. Women learn to blame themselves for negative treatments by others and are ready tog view their anger as inappropriate and some failure of self control. Conversely, men tend to b lame others for their negative conduct and view their fury as an assertion of their masculinity. As a result, men are more likely to commit property and violent crimes while women tend to resort tog self destructive forms of deviance like the use of drugs and eating disorders (Pease & Camilleri, 2001). Beyond Dualism
A result of exclusive concentration of the differences in gender has been aimed at directing the theory in criminology away from factors that seriously complicate gender differences, for instance when the female engage in what has been traditionally and culturally been defined as “male crime”. Such forms of approaches lead tog a full as well as complete situational appreciative of what really gender and crime is. Abstracting gender from within its social context as well as the insensitivity to issues of agency like perspectives masquerade the possibility that gender patterns of crime may vary situationally.
The dualism that exists between individuals as well as social and the split between psychology has remained focal to sociogenic criminology. But the problem with criminology, as pointed out by the feminists has not been due to the fact that a range of experiences have been unified, the result being ways in which both men and women are likely to exist within different relations to the notions of community. Criminology has failed in trying to engage with the ways upon which the subjects that are under scrutiny have been produced within discursive limits.
In trying to conceptualize individual as well as historical form of subject positions, the approach exposes itself to analysis of the various ways in which criminal boys as well as men have themselves been produced through a set of apparatuses of social regulation together with management (Messerschmidt, 1993). The framing of debates around boys, schooling as well as urban disorder through making a reference of the catastrophe of masculinity transcends the specialty of crime and criminality. The masculine group in this context is can be referred to the outlaw, a figure produced by the cultural construction of the socially powerful.
Literary, a sub-cultural criminology outlaws represents the joy riders, the urban trash scroungers and the gang members who engage in what they do with a destructive mind in operation. They are deemed to move within space of everyday as a fully absorbed body of experience. It involves a subject without a topic, a body of wrongful desires colliding with others along its teleological route (Burke, 2005). The sub-cultural theme lacks the common ethical part due to the conception of everyday as a series of the symptoms that are idiosyncratic; this form of criminality becomes rendered as a set of lifestyle of choice.
(Arnot, & Cornelie, 1999). It is long been a truism that girls are fond of internalizing and boys tend to externalize their pain and despair. For that reason, boys are highly likely to be arrested for serious crimes of all sorts. The fact that a large number of boys and girls are brought up in dysfunctional families can act as a proof as to why the habit is rampant and provides with reasons as to why criminal ways and cultural constructs of masculinity contribute to the prevalent behavior.
In many occasions, boys are locked up for exhibiting some sort of behaviors which are contrary to the expectations (Burke, 2005). In most cases, these behaviors take place in the inner city where effects of racism as well as poverty often cause young, poor and black males strike as a way of exhibiting compulsive masculinity to be in position to compensate for the feeling of shame, frustration. And in compulsive masculinity, the masculine values tend to be rigid prescription for toughness, thrill-seeking as well as a willingness to use violence to iron out interpersonal conflict.
Nevertheless it is usually recommended with great dismay that the reform about feminism refers to turning men into women; making men ‘soft’, emasculating them so that they unable to battle or stand with fulfillment in the world. Solving the problem of violence as well as building the culture of certainty of peace needs change in masculinities. However, this does not mean that should become weak or incapable. On the other hand, violent usually takes place due to masculinities that are constructed to make violence an easy option or simply the only option to be considered.
Building peace is a highly complex and arduous undertaking and it is worthy of heroic effort both from men and women. This understanding of competence essentiality to some masculinity can be connected to equality other than exclusiveness: democracy requires skilled practitioners. Education can not easily re-socialize both boys and men to the extent of pressing them into a non-violent mould but it can open up a varied diversity of pathways so that the boys and men have an ability to use broader scale of their capacities such as the nature of communication, emotions and politics.
Education has the ability to show boys and men quite a number of ways of being a man. It can enable them to familiarize this kind of diversity. It can inculcate in them the capacities for actions that are non-violent and train them some of the techniques that involve peace because of the acquisition of the techniques of combat (Collier, 1998). Efforts in education in this line cannot produce considerable results in isolation.
There is need for a strong support through action in some areas of life that are likely to make greater range of experience possible for men as well as non-violent conducts which are easier for them. This involves actions that are aimed at reducing gender hierarchies together with antagonisms within the spectrum of social life. To achieve this fit, they should be addressed in the recommendations from the meetings, media, work places, public arena and other spheres of life including both private and public institutions.
An example of the need for change is the important social mission of peacekeeping. This is presently performed by the organizations like police as well as international peacekeeping forces that are overwhelmingly staffed by men who are perceived to have a profoundly masculinized cultural behavior and are highly liable tog acts of confrontation. In this case, there is need for organizational change both in culture as well as in the femininity division of labor.
The effective and a long term strategy aimed at reducing adolescent male crime would need to confront the highly daunting challenges of trying as much as possible to change the patriarch gender order, together with oppressively hierarchical group structures and their attendant masculine social construction. Conclusion Masculinities and crime are terms of conceptual revolution within the social life and they reflect the various changes within our understanding of the real world as factors that that are present within our midst.
Questions about femininity and masculinity should be given an upper hand due to the fact that they influence our lives directly. References Vold, G. B. , Bernard T. J. , & Snipes J. B. (2002). Theoretical Criminology. Georgia: Oxford University Press. Messerschmitt, J. W. (1993). Masculinities and Crime: Evaluation and Reconceptualization. New York: Rowman & Littlefield. Sabo, F. , & Kupers, T. A. (2001). Jail Masculinities. U. K. Temple University Press. Burke, R. H. , (2005).
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