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Relation Between Social Status, Physical Appearance and Crime

Essay by   •  April 2, 2013  •  Essay  •  988 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,297 Views

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People may find that the criminal usually have a relatively un-reliable face and there is a Chinese saying that "the appearance reflects the personality". Hence it comes to the hypothesis of this essay that there is usually a stereotype for the criminals that they are relatively non-attractive when compared to the public. Therefore it can be deduced that they have a relatively low advantage in social status or resources allocation due to the certain level of "discrimination" faced. This forms a chain effect that they may get access to resources by means of illegal acts, which forms crime.

Regarding the physical appearance of various types of criminals, such as rapists and murderers, people may hold a belief that the criminal are stereotyped. (e.g. Bull & Rumsey,1988; Goldstein, Chance, & Gilbert, 1984; MacLin & Herrera, 2006; MacLin, Waack, & Peterson, 2003; Shoemaker, South, & Lowe, 1973). Research has also discovered that people can link up the stereotyped facial appearance and easily have presumption that the master of the face are related to a certain extend of crime. (MacLin, Malpass, & Herrera, 2001). Moreover, researchers suggest that criminal appearance put effect on facial discrimination and bias in judgment.

According to MacLin & Herrera, the usual stereotype of criminal is with long or shaggy hair, tattoos, beady eyes, pock marks and scars. This may be explained by the reason because they are trying to stand out from the norms and create a sense of fear to the public. As the norm for the male in society is to have short and clear hair, having long and shaggy hair, for example, can show their difference with the main trend and hence their braveness to stand out. In another words, they demonstrate a sense of no-fear to law that they are willing to challenge the legal system of the society.

People believe that criminal have a stereotype to follow and trace. On the other hand, it is also suggested that people with relatively less attractive appearance will commit crime more easily. The following example will demonstrate the reason.

Imagine that a boy with pimples on the face and with less standard body shape, he will be less able to make friends with others because of the physical appearance and being. Therefore he lacks the discipline force and monitor force by peers to give him advices and prevent him from thinking in a negative way. At the same time the physical appearance also brings him inconvenience such as being discriminated by peers as well as bullying, his sense of dissatisfaction towards the society will increase due to the pro-longed suppress of pressure or being positioned in a lower position. If his emotion cannot find a suitable exit, it causes adverse effect on his mental that he will be twisted and starts blaming and at last take revenge in a violent act. This demonstrates that with a less attractive appearance,

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