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In Japan they take pride in their culture’s bond and lack of criminal activity. As we look at Japan’s culture it is easy for us to envy their lack of criminals, however it is never thought of what we can do as Americans to make a change in our people. Should we be asking ourselves, does Japan’s family oriented society go hand in hand with their low crime rates? Although every country is different, crime isn’t something that’s just “in the water” it is accepted or shunned by a culture, it is taught or shamed on by their people and the severity of laws play a part in it all too. Although in some cases it may be the individual’s personal mental health, the way he or she was raised, who they surround themselves with along with their will power. Most of the solvable problems are found in the socialization of a culture. When considering Hirschi’s Social Bond Theory we see what Japan has that America lacks, how the Labeling Theory plays a role in the crime rates rising, and what components contribute to the high crime rates in the United States of America.
Travis Hirschi believed that people only became criminals when they felt unconnected from society they resorted to crime. Feeling unconnected from society, especially in a country like Japan is unbearable (Schneider). Turning to crime when feeling unconnected to society is not necessarily for attention like the average person’s first answer would be. It is something that the subject feels they need to do because they have nothing else. When you are apart of a culture that holds family and togetherness so near and dear, what person would ever become a criminal? With all of the overflowing love and bond that the country has, deciding to be a criminal would be like shooting themselves in the foot. If someone felt unconnected in the Japanese culture and acted upon it they would indeed be frowned upon as acting out is not accepted. I believe that criminal activity would be their form of revenge on the country. Children in Japan are much less likely to become criminals because loyalty and togetherness is taught in school and home(Schnider). This is all they know and have ever been taught. The child delinquent cases in Japan are definitely more psychology than sociology. The stigma of a criminal in Japan is the worst label you can have in their culture. The criminal would be shunned and looked down upon for the rest of his or her life (Schnider). By teaching children this at a young age it instills a lesson that a criminal is not something you want to be known as.
I believe that inadequate parenting and surrounding oneself with bad influences are two of some of the major platforms of criminals in the United States. As trivial as it may sound, I am a strong believer that not having enough attention as a child and not being properly disciplined while growing up are two major parts of deviance. Both of these things make children act out for attention. After being rewarded with attention after screaming in a restaurant at age 6, which can easily turn into ‘running away’ at 16 or dating bad boys(or girls) to simply get attention that they lacked in their childhood or continue to lack as teenagers in their home. I go to school with plenty of people who do these things, steal from their parents, deliberately disobey authority, and cause self inflicted problems for them and their entire family; all for their five seconds of fame that they felt like they didn’t get as a child. Too often these are children of divorce or toxic parents, now this is not all the parents fault. However, it’s a two way street. Lack of discipline in children is a huge part of the problem also. When children aren’t reprimanded for bad behavior (for whatever reason: whether it’s moral reasons against punishing children or apathy towards the situation), it is teaching them that when they act out they will not be punished. This turns into a lack of respect for authority that can turn into problems that some parents haven’t even thought of. While I am a strong believer in the way you were raised is a good indicator of how people will turn out, that is not always the case. A person could be blessed with two happy parents and a great childhood and still turn out deviant. No matter how old you are, you will always be who you surround yourself with. Especially as an adult, people have already done just about all the ‘changing’ they’re going to do. Steering clear of criminals and troublemakers is just as important for an adult as it is for a teenager. You can have the strongest willpower on this Earth but if you surround yourself with negative vibes and people it will not take long until you turn into a troublemaker.
Learning about Japan has been truly eye opening. Their sense of family and the overall persona of their people fills my heart with joy. Although not everyone is good, using Hirschi’s Social Bond Theory we realized that without their togetherness that their people probably wouldn’t be as outstanding as they are. In fact, they probably wouldn’t have one of the lowest crime rates in the world. I could have talked about the lack of bond in America but I spoke about that lengthily in my last essay so I touched on typical home life in America and how that can be one of the easiest ways to form a criminal. Along with self inflicted problems by hanging out with deviant people.
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