Sociology Paper on The social Characteristics of a Thief

A person is likely to be imprisoned for theft under various social circumstances. Firstly, the levels of poverty may be the reason behind a person being jailed. Poverty has been a major characteristic among people who have been convicted of theft.  Both the internal and external environments affect the behavior of an individual. A person from a poor economic background will be more prone to theft to acquire resources that would help improve their situations. People from poor backgrounds often aspire to have materials that the rich in the society enjoy. It is for this that they end up doing everything within their means to steal the goods from the poor leading to conviction of theft in the end.

Another social characteristic that a person convicted of theft is that of their living environments. Urban centers are often associated with increased crime rates Glaeser, Sacerdote & Scheinkman, 1996).The people living in those areas are also linked with criminal activities such as theft. Therefore, a person living in such an environment will be likely to be convicted of theft as compared to another person from other areas.

In addition, a broken family set up may also be a characteristic of an individual who would be detained for theft. For instance, in the case of a child that is abandoned such as street children, they obviously have no one to depend on. Since they do not have anyone to meet their daily needs for basic needs such as food, they are likely to resolve into other illegal activities such as theft to meet their basic needs (Glaeser, Sacerdote & Scheinkman, 1996). Furthermore, lack of parental care and attachment may lead an individual to be deviant and involve in illegal activities as a way of retaliating for the love they did not receive from their parents.

It is also worth noting that the relationships around a person can be a reason behind their conviction and detention. Depending on the type of company that one keeps will lead to them being associated with a certain crime. For instance, in an event where an individual has been linked with a certain group of thieves, he or she is likely to be charged with theft simply because of their relationship with his company who are linked to theft. It is believed that peer influence or group conformity may trigger people to be involved in stealing just to fit into the group failure to which they may be thrown out.

Theft is also linked with the race of a person especially with specific cultures. For instance, in the American society, black people are mostly associated with cases involving theft which in most cases they are imprisoned for. This is different from their white counterparts who are not linked with the crime (Donath & Boyd, 2004). Therefore, depending on the origin and skin color, there are chances that some people would be highly linked to theft.

Gender is also another social attribute that thieves are linked with. In this manner most thefts are associated with the males as opposed to their female counterparts. Therefore, a man is more likely to be jailed because of a theft accusation compared to a woman. Men are believed to be physically rough and are thus potential thieves compared to women who are naturally believed to be soft thus would not easily be convicted and detained of theft.



Donath, J., & Boyd, D. (2004). Public displays of connection. bt technology Journal, 22(4), 71-82.

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Glaeser, E. L., Sacerdote, B., & Scheinkman, J. A. (1996). Crime and social interactions. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 111(2), 507-548.

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