The reasons that crime and delinquent behavior exists in society has always perplexed sociologists and psychologists alike. The theories for why this behavior exists ranges from placing the blame on society, to the individual.
Crime is caused by society
Crime is caused by societal attitudes towards people. Class differences and societal pressure also play major roles in causing and defining crime.
The conflict theory of crime
The conflict theory points to the constant social and economic inequalities in society as the main reason for crime, and describes how criminals are defined in culture
The Labelling Theory explains that people who deviate from social norms and roles are labelled as criminals. This theory explains that there are no intrinsically criminal acts, the only thing that makes an act a crime, is the way that people react to the act.
The Strain theory states that crime is committed because of the pressure, or strain, that societal structures and ideals place on individuals. Most of these pressures are related to achieving the "American Dream".
The Psychodynamic Theory of crime describes Sigmund Freud's approach to psychology and puts this approach in the perspective of crime. This theory utilizes Freud's Id, ego, and superego and states that crime must be related to an imbalance in one or more of these.