Crime as Social Problem vs Crime as Inevitable

The dichotomy between viewing crime as a social problem versus crime as inevitable reflects different perspectives on the nature, causes, and responses to crime. Nevertheless, integrating both perspectives can lead to a more comprehensive understanding of crime and more effective strategies for its prevention and control.

Crime as a Social Problem
Viewing crime as a social problem emphasises that crime is a result of social, economic, and environmental factors rather than an inherent characteristic of individuals or society. It acknowledges that crime is not inevitable and can be addressed through social interventions and systemic changes.

Advocates of this perspective focus on understanding the root causes of crime, such as poverty, inequality, lack of educational opportunities, social disorganisation, and community breakdown. They argue that addressing these underlying social issues can contribute to crime prevention and reduction. Approaches based on this perspective often emphasise social policies, community development, education, and economic opportunities as means to address the conditions that contribute to criminal behaviour.

Crime as Inevitable
The perspective that crime is inevitable suggests that it is an inherent part of human nature or a reflection of the complexities and contradictions within society. Proponents of this viewpoint argue that no society can completely eliminate crime, as it arises from a combination of individual choices, psychological factors, and societal dynamics.

Those who view crime as inevitable may argue for the need to manage and control crime rather than focusing solely on prevention or eradication. They highlight the importance of maintaining law and order, implementing effective crime control measures, and ensuring the functioning of the criminal justice system. This perspective acknowledges the role of punishment and deterrence in addressing criminal behaviour.

The dichotomy between crime as a social problem and crime as inevitable highlights different approaches to crime prevention, law enforcement, and social responses. It is important to note that these perspectives are not mutually exclusive, and many criminologists recognise the complexities involved in understanding crime. While crime is influenced by social factors, it is also influenced by individual agency and a range of other factors. Striking a balance between addressing the underlying social issues contributing to crime and maintaining social order is a challenge for policymakers, researchers, and practitioners in the field of criminology.
Back to blog

UOL Case Bank

Upon joining, you become a valuable UOL student and gain instant access to over 2,100 case summaries. UOL Case Bank is constantly expanding. Speed up your revision with us now.

Subscribe Now

Where are our students from?

Yale University
Council of Europe
Baker Mckenzie 
University of Chicago
Columbia University
New York University
University of Michigan 
INSEAD
University College London (UCL)
London School of Economics (LSE)
King’s College London (KCL)
University of London
University of Manchester
University of Zurich
University of York
Brandeis University
University of Exeter
University of Sheffield
Boston University
University of Washington
University of Leeds
University of Law
Royal Holloway, University of London 
Birkbeck, University of London
SOAS, University of London
University of Kent
University of Hull
Queen’s University Belfast
Toronto Metropolitan University
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
University of Buckingham

  • Criminal Practice

    Diagrams and Charts

    Our carefully designed diagrams and charts will guide you through complex legal issues.

  • Criminal Law

    Clear and Succinct Definitions

    Key concepts are concisely defined to help you understand legal topics quickly.

  • Property Law

    Statutory Provisions

    Statutory provisions are provided side by side with legal concepts to help you swiftly locate the relevant legislation.

  • Public Law

    Case Summaries

    We have summarised important cases for you so that you don't need to read long and boring cases.

  • Evidence

    Rules and Exceptions

    Rules and exceptions are clearly listed so that you know when a rule applies and when it doesn't.

  • Company Law

    Terminology

    Legal terms and key concepts are explained at the beginning of each chapter to help you learn efficiently.

  • Case Law

    Case law is provided side by side with legal concepts so that you know how legal principles and precedents were established.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Law Essay Guide

    You will learn essential law exam skills and essay writing techniques that are not taught in class.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Problem Question Guide

    We will show you how to answer problem questions step by step to achieve first-class results.

  • Conflict of Laws

    Structured Explanations

    Complex legal concepts are broken down into concise and digestible bullet point explanations.

  • Legal System and Method

    Legal Research

    You will learn legal research techniques with our study guide and become a proficient legal researcher.

  • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory

    Exam-focused

    All essential concepts, principles, and case law are included so that you can answer exam questions quickly.