Sociology of Law and Order


Assume that the Ministry of Law (Singapore) has invited you, as an academic, to write a research paper focusing on juvenile delinquents and their involvement in gangs and rioting.
In light of the concepts and theories you have learned in SOC355 Sociology of Law and Order, your paper should demonstrate evidence of academic research and depth of analysis, and should, minimally, include discussions revolving around:

• Examining definitions of crime and deviance: What laws are in place to address ‘rioting’? Singapore criminal justice system? Is it a ‘crime’ or ‘deviance’? Are there any changes in the laws and penalties over the years? How do society and the youths themselves understand the terms ‘gangs’ and ‘rioting’ and do their understanding(s) adhere to the legal definitions? Should ‘juvenile delinquents’ be considered ‘criminals’ or ‘deviants’? Is the term ‘juvenile delinquent’ appropriate?

• Social norms and values: Who are the stakeholders? Who are the offenders? How does Singapore society view such offenders and the laws and penalties surrounding this issue? To what extent do the laws reflect societal norms and values? What are the views of the experts with regard to this group of offenders? Why there is a need for punishment – deter, justice, equity, rehab, integrate?

• An analysis of the role of the media and appraisal of the statistics: How has the media depicted ‘youths’, ‘gangs’ and ‘rioting’ over the decades? Are there any stereotypes created, affirmed, or debunked? What are the numbers (or estimates) on the offenders involved?
(Notes from client: should include “dark figure” if able to find any information in relation to that in Singapore. Victim surveys? Self-report surveys?
Roles of media: Moral Panic, Deviance amplification, Exerting undue influence over judges.)

• Consideration and appraisal of theories (this section should form the bulk of your paper): Consider all the theories covered in the course. Which theory or theories do you think applies/apply to ‘juvenile delinquents’ and their involvement in gangs and rioting? Also consider theories of punishment and crime prevention in your report.
(Notes from client: The theories that are covered in my course are listed in the table below. If you feel that the theories are inappropriate, please let me know which theory/theories should be used and I would make a check if it is covered in my course.)
Crime prevention should include primary, secondary and tertiary crime prevention. To also consider the situational, community safety and social approaches to crime prevention.)

• Recommendations: Appraise and critique the current measures with regard to the crimes or issues you have identified. Are they sufficient? Do they reflect societal norms and values? You are also free to suggest any alternative or complementary measures.

The ECA, which takes the form of the research paper you have to write, allows you to develop research and analytical skills. While your paper should cover the above pointers, you should not write in a step-by-step manner in accordance to the suggested pointers raised. Rather, your paper should take the form of a coherent, continuous essay.

Marks Allocation (general guide to the weight of each criterion only):
• Relevant discussion of issues; application and appraisal of theories (70 marks)
• Appraisal and recommendations of measures (10 marks)
• Quality of research (15 marks) (NB: Do not cite from Wikipedia.)
• Language and adherence to the word limit (5 marks)

Remember to include in-text citations and a reference list in the APA style format (6th ed.) (2010), available at
Points from client
• Please write the research paper in Singapore context
• Juveniles in Singapore refer to children under the age of 16
• In Singapore Law Statutes (;page=0;query=CompId%3Aa1c73f65-d6c9-471b-978e-a39ec5683eff%20ValidTime%3A20151015000000%20TransactionTime%3A20151015000000;rec=0; ), Rioting is an offence under Section 147 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224
• For an offence of rioting to be made out, the number of assailants in the group must be more than 5. For example, a fight between 3 vs 2 is not rioting whereas in a fight between 6 vs 3, the group of 6 has committed rioting.
• Statistics can be retrieved from Singapore Police Force (SPF) website or Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) website
• Should follow the pointers in the question as closely as possible.
• Please cite from (i) books—academic textbooks or non-academic books, (ii) academic journals, (iii) newspapers—online or print (preferably local media eg. Straitstimes, TNP, AsiaOne) and (iv) government websites.
• Please have headers for the paragraphs.
• You may exceed the required number of references.

Classical Theories of Crimes The State and Criminality
Moral Calculator
Scientific method Functional
Social Disorganisation (Chicago School)
Differential association
Stress and Strain
Social Bond
Social Control
Social Construct
Social Interaction
Status Frustration
Drift Conflict criminology
Left Idealists
Left Realists
Business Govt vs Society

Positivist Conservative Criminology
Social Darwin
Predict Right Realists
Right Idealists

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