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I highly appreciate your recent consideration and appointing me as your consultant. I took this as a great privilege, and I will offer my best support. In conducting your research, several theories need to be applied. The letter hereby is an explanation of the labeling theory, strain theory, classical theory, and Marxist theory used to approach this research. In the letter, I discuss the theories in details and further explain variables, theory and hypothesis as used in research.
The labeling theory involves treating an individual in a particular way. Though originally used in sociology, we regularly use it in criminological studies. This theory states that if someone, a community or race is tagged or labeled as a criminal, he or she may either reject it and not get involved in crime; or accept it and proceed with crime. Some may initially reject the label, but later accept it as it becomes well known among their peers.
The strain theory, also called Mertons Anomie, is the advancement of Robert Merton; an American sociologist. The theory suggests that major culture, particularly in the U.S., is so occupied with dreams and hopes of freedom, opportunity and prosperity; for instance, the American dream. Most people in America and all over the world get absorbed into the dream, making it their daily psychological and cultural motivation. However, the dream expects too much from the citizens. Therefore, there exists a gap between the society's expectations of an individual and the real range the individual can achieve. Thus, the unequal opportunities in the social structure hinder the majority of citizens from realizing the dream. These forces some of them to turn to illegitimate means of realizing it is a crime. Others retreat to deviant subcultures such as drug abusers and gang members.
Further, one can use the classical theory approach. This theory, developed by Cesare Beccaria, is based on utilitarian philosophy. According to the theory, people have freedom of choice on how to act. Human beings tend to seek pleasure and highly avoid pain. Therefore, deterrence as a punishment can prevent people from engaging in criminal activities. Punishment, when given in sufficient severity, is effective for deterring criminal behavior.
Finally, the Marxist theory focuses on the disparity between the elite class of rulers and normal/laborers citizens. The idea is that, in any capitalist society, the ruling-class controls the overall means of production, thus controlling the political state as well. The ruling-class of elites, therefore, uses that control to manipulate laborers; thus making them powerless. Consequently, they control them both legally and economically. Eventually, the ruling class commits crime to maintain the positions of the working class, while the working class commits crime by striking out against the ruling.
Dear sirs, I would like to introduce the key differences between the four theories discussed above. The classical theory differs from the rest in that crime originates from internal influences for the individual. Thus, they choose how to act while the other theories dwell more on the influence of the society, ruling class elite and culture as the main forces driving people to crime.
All the theories above have different explanations. Precisely, any of them is not more valid than others. Each of them brings out a valid explanation of the reasons for crime. For an effective crime prevention strategy for the cities, one should consider all the theories and form a strategy based on the conclusions drawn from all.
In research, there is a distinction between a theory and a hypothesis. A theory is an essential tool that helps people in understanding and explaining what is around them. A theory suggests how things are; not how they ought to be. A hypothesis is an informed/educated guess, or a proposal. A hypothesis attempts to explain a phenomenon while a theory is the results one gets after testing a hypothesis and building an explanation that is true about the phenomenon. In addition, a hypothesis may be either true or false; since it is a guess while a theory is scientifically true. A hypothesis has no scientific support while a theory has undergoes testing based on scientific methods.
Finally, I wish to address the need for variables in research. A variable is a thing, a value or a characteristic that can be changed. The dependent variable is what the researcher attempts to predict; it is the outcome variable. The independent variable is that which proceeds in time, determines or causes the dependent variable; it is the predictor variable. The most basic level of research consists of one dependent and one independent variable. Researchers must study variables to enable them examine covariation, relation, cause and effect. For instance, in the current research, one has to examine the relationship between various factors to know what motivates crime. For example, one may study how mandatory arrest policy affects the future pattern of domestic violence. In this case, the arrest is the independent variable while domestic violence is the dependent variable. To achieve this, the researcher has to find the association between the variables, the time order, and non-spuriousness. Therefore, variables are particularly essential in theoretical schemes.
Dear Captains, it is my sincere hope that the information in this letter offered informative help to you. From it, I believe you have a clear picture of the approach used in criminal research. Please do not hesitate to contact me for any information required. Thank you.