Opportunity theory is simply the idea that people look for opportunity, whether through legitimate means or otherwise, to gain what they desire. It is a crucial element of the theory of deviance.
The origination of opportunity theory lies in the way that society functions. In a society, there is the concept of "norms" and the concept of "deviance." The "norms" of a society are a system of shared values that determine how a society perceives those within it. These norms include values that dictate a standard acceptable lifestyle. When a standard lifestyle established by a society becomes unachievable, people become deviant in attempts to achieve that standard in order to continue to be perceived as within the realm of norm. Opportunity theory is complex in some ways, because there is not only the deviance of deciding to go outside of cultural norms to attain those things valued by society, but the deviance of then looking for opportunities to attain them in the fastest and most reasonable way possible. Those who commit crime as the result of their deviance also look for opportunities that make the crime efficient. A criminal wanting to rob a store, for instance, might look first for one with minimum security and easy accessibility.Learn More
Some of the reasons why people may join gangs include desire for protection, family tradition, peer pressure, lack of a basic need, excitement and desire to be popular. These causes may be facilitated by high-risk factors such as unemployment, domestic violence, negative friend network, poor academic performance and poverty.Full Answer >
There are many theories about why people commit crimes. Issues such as poverty, drug abuse and mental illness often play a role in driving an individual to commit a crime, yet these factors do not offer a complete explanation of the phenomenon. The reasons that people commit crimes are as unique and varied as the individuals who commit them.Full Answer >
Poverty is one of the main reasons why people are motivated to poach, according to The Guardian. Corruption also drives poaching, particularly among corrupt officials and policemen. Traffickers and cartels also feed the poaching trade.Full Answer >
As of 2014 in California, first-degree burglary occurs at residences and second-degree burglary happens at commercial establishments where people do not live, according to Shouse California Law Group. Penalties for first-degree burglary are more than those of second-degree burglary, although laws change depending on state statutes, notes FindLaw.Full Answer >