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Criminal Law

Criminal Law

Question 1: Sigmoid Freud’s Psychoanalytic Conception of Self

According to Freud’s theory, the problems people face are as a result of unconscious forces. A person is ignorant and unaware of the reasons for his or her difficulties which are deeply embedded in their unconsciousness. Therefore, an individual is helpless. Freud views human nature as deterministic; thus, either early experience in childhood or physical determination defines experiencing of psychological difficulties in later life. The scholar believed that unconscious motivations, which are based on irrational forces, biological and instinctual drive, and certain psychosexual events during childhood, determine behavior of people. Drawing upon Freud, human mind comprises of the conscious, subconscious and unconscious level. The theorist also stressed that instinct plays one of the key roles in the development people’s personality. Instincts are unlearned biologically based form of behavior. In light of understanding the antisocial behaviors, Freud ascertained that criminals are born as black slates, and hence, they have a capability to develop criminal behaviors later because of the occurrences that happened to them earlier in life. In addition, the scholar argued that the ego and superego control the id that further determines acceptance in society. Therefore, when these elements are not balanced, a person develops a tendency to commit crimes. The incidents that happen in individuals’ lives are not the cause of the problems, but they trigger underlying issues that result in imbalances of the id, ego and superego.

Parts of a Psychoanalytical Conception

Id. Id is an inborn biological component of human psyche that contains a set of factors inherited and fixed in an individual. This concept represents the deepest part of the mind and operates on the grounds of a now principle. I knows no law and remains basic to the individual throughout life. According to Appelbaum (2013), there are two mechanisms that id applies to free the personality of tension. These tools are a reflex action and primary process. With respect to the former, id reacts to the irritation and removes the tension, while the later is the characterized as a way of processing the information. People with this type of personality always tend to involve themselves in criminal activities. For example, if a person develops the desire for sex, one will likely to seek immediate gratification by raping another person.

Ego. Such a part of self operates on a reality principle by striving to satisfy the pressure-related needs of the id. This concept deals with environmental realities and concerns itself with the psychological aspect of an individual. One defers the gratification of the urges until a person finds a suitable time or a solution. Furthermore, the notion distinguishes between subjective reality and other external environments. The ego strives to control the unbecoming behavior since the individual controls himself or herself when his or her actions deviate from accepted norms of society.

Superego. This part of self contains a set of tools that distinguish the right and wrong behaviors. It contains the ideal value of the society and morals that improves the personality of the people. Freud argues that the superego is not inborn; rather children must acquire the qualities of superego through interaction with their parents and teachers. This stage of psyche’s development appears when a child discovers what is right and wrong. During this time, one rarely involves himself or herself in antisocial behavior.

Question 2: Techniques of Neutralization

Denial of Responsibility

Delinquent is a young individual who lacks the responsibiilities for his or her deviant act; thus, such actions are as a result of an accident. These acts are also linked to the forces that are beyond individual’s control. They include a lack of parental love, bad company, and risky neighborhood, to list a few. In this condition, one sees himself or herself helpless to deal with or resist to the circumstances.

Denial of Injury

This issue concerns the injuries or harm involved in the act of an individual or delinquent. The law relates to the two different types of the crime in this respect. One form of crime is an offence that is wrong itself, while the other one is an activity that is illegal but not immoral. Therefore, a person is capable of making the distinction between them. During such an evaluation, he or she may look to whether anybody has been affected by his or her deviant behavior. The link between the acts is their consequences broken by denial of injury.

Denial of Victim

In this case, a delinquent admits causing an injury, but provides the arguments that the act is not wrong in order to neutralize the moral displeasure of the self and that of others. One may further argue that it was a form of the punishment or retaliation from the earlier wrongful deeds against him or her. By revealing such information to a victim, an offender puts himself or herself in a position of the avenger while, at the same time, the victim is termed as a criminal.

Condemnation of Condemners

A delinquent always shifts the focus of the attention of his behaviors or acts to the motive of disapproving his or her violations. Therefore, one refers to condemners as hypocrites, who hide their actual personal agendas, and drives them to condemn. According to Burrell (2013), this orientation may be necessary when directing to those who enforce and express norms of dominant society that demoralizes the law-abiding people.


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