Date of Award

5-2023

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Sociology

Committee Chair

Douglas A. Marshall, Ph.D.

Advisor(s)

Nicole Carr, Ph.D., Sarah Koon-Magnin, Ph.D.

Abstract

Emile Durkheim is known as one of the founders of sociology. For Durkheim, crime and punishment were integral features of organized social life. Among his many ideas regarding law, he hypothesized that as societies develop from less to more 'advanced,' there would be a shift from mechanical to organic solidarity. Durkheim believed this social transformation could be measured by a society's form of law, with predominantly penal law among simple societies and complex societies evolving into a more civil and restorative form of law. In contradiction to Durkheim's assertation, I will argue that societies can evolve to be highly advanced while maintaining a punitive form of law. I will use organized crime groups from different geographical locations and time periods as specific examples of social complexifications without Durkheim's supposed evolution of law.

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Sociology Commons

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