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Durkheim And Crime

            For this paper I chose to write about Durkheim's "The Normality of Crime" and his overall views on crime and deviance. I agree with his view that crime is a normal part of society, and that only too little or too much is undesirable. A certain amount of crime is in fact good for society, reinforcing the bonds between the general law abiding public. His theory is that the right level of crime would create interaction between the general public leading to solutions to problems; too little crime would see the end of this interaction and the stagnation of society, too much crime would lead to anomie, the loss of shared and dominant guiding principles or normalness. .
             He recognizes crime as being important to the well-being of society and proposes that challenges to established moral and legal laws (deviance and crime, respectively) act to bring together those that were not in opposition to the laws. Recognition and punishment of crimes is, in effect, the very reaffirmation of the laws and moral boundaries of a society. The existence of laws and the strength of the laws are upheld by members of a society when violations are recognized, discussed, and dealt with either by legal punishment (jail, fines, execution) or by social punishment (shame, exile).
             Durkheim proposed that crime and deviance bring people in a society together. When a law is violated, especially within small communities, everyone talks about it. Meetings are sometimes held, articles are written for local news publications, and in general, a social community rises with activity when a norm is broken. As is most often the case, a violation pushes the non-violators (society as a whole) to cling together in opposition to the violation, reaffirming that society's bond and its obedience to certain norms. There is always evidence of this on the news. On numerous occasions I have seen communities come together because of a murder or kidnapping; lighting candles, having special prayer services and leaving flowers.

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