THE STRUCTURAL SOURCES OF CRIMINALITY: AN INTEGRATED MODEL OF CAUSATION AND CONTROL (ECONOMIC, ANALYSIS)

GEORGE AIRDAY, Fordham University

Abstract

The lack of common definitions, differences in ideology and emphases concerning the variables of criminality, have handicapped existing models of crime causation and control. These theoretical discontinuities have frustrated institutional efforts to generate, implement, and evaluate the suitability and the efficacy of criminal justice policy.^ Using elements derived from the economic, political, and social analysis of public conduct, the proposed Integrated Model defines and interprets the sources of the elements that comprise the costs and benefits of criminality.^ The variables of the economic model traditionally focus on the net payoff from the act--the relationship between the risks and the gains associated with criminal conduct, translated into fiscal terms.^ Political variables help determine the availability of legitimate and criminal opportunities, reflecting both economic and nonfiscal motives.^ The social dimension represents perhaps the fundamental source of the criminal action motive; it is the locale for the creation, translation, and internalization of values and norms.^ While criminal justice policy can facilitate or interfere with systemic legitimacy, as well as socio-political order and change, the recursive impact of each structural dimension on social relations can serve the state by promoting socio-economic equality, Pareto optimality, or by reinforcing existing structural arrangements. Efforts to control crime exclusively by the application of legal sanctions, according to this view, are diluted when discriminatory opportunity structures are permitted to coexist with the ideology of equality.^ The Public Household concept is offered to facilitate the integration of the economic, political, and social dimensions of society. A society which operates within the Public Household framework in effect seeks two objectives: a reduction in the incentives for conduct violative of society's normative standards while simultaneously increasing the benefits of complying with the laws of the state. Research into the structural problems that hinder the goal of an integrated society is expected to have pragmatic consequences as well. The hope is that this research promotes a society that will experience less injustice and therefore less criminality. ^

Subject Area

Criminology

Recommended Citation

AIRDAY, GEORGE, "THE STRUCTURAL SOURCES OF CRIMINALITY: AN INTEGRATED MODEL OF CAUSATION AND CONTROL (ECONOMIC, ANALYSIS)" (1985). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8521382.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8521382

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