Introduction to Social Perceptions and Impacts of Crimes

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Introduction to Social Perceptions and Impacts of Crimes

Crime, in all of its myriad forms, impacts society and, in turn, how crime is viewed can be a perception shaped by culture and time. The definition of crime and criminal can change and the reaches of criminality into society can be varied, and tenuous.

This section explores the various ways crime is characterized and depicted.

As discussed in "Certificate of Freedom" the impacts of crime, justice and punishment systems can reshape whole societies. In Australia former convicts of the British penal system and their descendents became founders of the modern Australian nation and led Australia from penal colony, to colony, to modern democratic state. As a consequence of this positive social transformation, however, indigenous Aboriginal peoples suffered. The rise of one society came at a cost to another.

Social perceptions of crime sometime simply reflect a morbid fascination with the causes, manner, and circumstances of celebrity death (see "Public Viewing of John Dillinger's Body"). But social perceptions about the relationship of social inequities to crime or in the unfairness of what is argued to be racially-based prosecution can turn killers into symbols of inequity, even to the point of exerting pressure to exonerate or release those deemed unfairly convicted (see "Hurricane.")

In one era the teaching of the scientific theory of evolution can be branded criminal (see "Darrow's Eloquent Appeal"), while in the modern era the teaching is accepted by all scientists as fundamental to sound education in science.

What can be technically branded a crime in one era (see "Anti-War Demonstrator Throwing Tear Gas") can also be more understandable and, to many, more excusable, as history unfolds. What was once scandle (see "Women in Bathing Suits Being Arrested") can become heroic.

Society also harbors fascination with fringe culture or subgroups, who in effect define their own society as depicted in "The Motor Cycle Gangs: Losers and Outsiders".

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Introduction to Social Perceptions and Impacts of Crimes

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Introduction to Social Perceptions and Impacts of Crimes