Delinquent behavior has always been regarded as one of the most serious problems of a society, so it is no wonder that plenty of researches have been taken to learn more about its causes. There exist a lot of theories defining socialization, societal, and individual factors which result in deviant behavior. These theories, however, study each of the components separately, while integrated criminology concentrates on some of them simultaneously.
The first of the integrated theories, advanced by Elliott and Ageton, suggests that the chances of the delinquent behavior are higher in a disordered society. An individual that loses bonds with the traditional institutions and other people usually finds him or herself in a “deviant subculture”, where he or she may learn the patterns of the delinquent behavior.
Glazer’s theory is based on the principles of the classical deterrence and social learning theories. Like Elliott and Ageton, he assumes that criminal behavior is caused by the alienation from the mainstream society, but he also argues that it may stem from “cost/ benefit analysis and previous learning experiences”.
Wies also thinks that the society plays a vital role in forming of a delinquent behavior, and this makes his theory similar to the previous two. However, he assumes that the tendency to commit crimes is predetermined by “the variables that effect placement” in social strata. This theory has recently been supported by a research which suggests that in poor families, parents usually employ unjustified methods of education. This, of course, may lead to a child’s estrangement from a family. The alienation influences his or her actions.
To sum up, all of the suggested integrated theories are quite coherent, but, to my mind, the most appropriate for a modern society is the theory advanced by Wies. A person’s behavior largely depends on the society he or she lives in. Moreover, it is not only a family that matters, but also an individual’s status, prosperity, race, socialization factors, and other variables.