Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name




Committee Chair

Douglas A. Marshall, Ph.D.


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


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.

Included in

Sociology Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.