Criminal Law in Preliterate Societies Research Paper

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Emerging Problems

Preliterate societies do not constitute a single type of society but a whole assortment of societies. Just as most people speak about English, Russian, or Chinese Law, an anthropologist might speak about Tongan, Tiv, or Zapotec law. Any study of criminal law in preliterate societies must take this diversity into account. The comparative perspective, however, need not stress only the differences among preliterate societies, or between preliterate societies and our own, but may uncover similarities as well. The inhabitants of Mexican mountain villages are generally peaceful, whereas New Guinea highland communities tend to be warlike. Melanesians settle most of their disputes through negotiation, and so do Americans. Both the Lenje of Zambia and the Japanese stress restitution.

However, Western concepts present difficulties. The concept of crime, for example, an idea related to the development of the state, becomes problematic when applied cross-culturally in societies with little or no government. The world of preliterate and literate societies presents rich contexts in which to examine the problem of universal categories.

Early Studies

Nineteenth-century anthropologists interested in preliterate law were armchair speculators who first investigated the differences between Western and non-Western law. Some theorists, such as Emile Durkheim, described primitive law as penal and repressive in contrast with that of more advanced and specialized societies, which generally used restitutive sanctions. Others, like Leonard Hobhouse, challenged that distinction, arguing instead that as human societies become more advanced, their legal systems progress from a reliance on selfredress to formal sanctions of punishment or restitution.

Later generations of anthropologists studied societies through firsthand fieldwork, which revealed that the models developed by armchair anthropologists were either oversimplified or wrong. These ‘‘newer’’ anthropologists were struck by the wide diversity in social organization and attempted to understand and then explain the ways in which different societies manage the serious wrongs that might endanger peace and security in what appeared to be bounded societies.

The most powerful break with the past was made by Bronislaw Malinowski, a field observer of the first rank who used his detailed observations to destroy widespread law-and-order myths about preliterate peoples. In Crime and Custom in Savage Society (1926) he argued persuasively that people do not automatically conform to rules of conduct in what were then called the ‘‘simpler societies’’: positive inducements were as important as sanctions in inducing social conformity. Malinowski also called attention to the important connection between social control and social relations, an idea that foreshadowed a generation of anthropological research on how peace could be achieved in societies lacking in central authority, codes, courts, and constables. His definition of crime was ‘‘the law broken.’’ Precision in definition defied Malinowski, who wrote that crime in Trobriand societies could be only vaguely defined as an ‘‘outburst of passion, sometimes the breach of a definite taboo, sometimes an attempt on person or property (murder, theft, assault), sometimes an indulgence in too high ambitions or wealth, not sanctioned by tradition, in conflict with the prerogatives of the chief or some notable’’ (p. 99).

  1. R. Radcliffe-Brown, a contemporary of Malinowski, was more jurisprudential. In 1933 he made use of Roscoe Pound’s definition of law as ‘‘social control through the systematic application of the force of politically organized society’’ (p. 202). Radcliffe-Brown had studied the Andaman Islanders of the Bay of Bengal, a people he described as without any law at all. By defining law in terms of organized legal sanctions, Radcliffe-Brown concluded that in some simpler societies there is no law. He did not find terms such as civil law and criminal law useful in analyzing data from other societies; instead, he observed a distinction between public law (which made use of penal or repressive sanctions) and private law (which emphasized restitutive sanctions). Like Malinowksi, Radcliffe-Brown viewed crimes as acts that engender a collective feeling of moral indignation.

Modern Approaches

Today most anthropologists of law do not define crime, nor do they attempt to impose such distinctions as those between crime, tort, delict, sin, and immorality on their data. Boundaries are porous. Hardly any anthropologist would accept as valid the distinction between public and private law. Distinctions are discussed, but anthropologists increasingly report data without attempting to categorize them in terms of Western legal thought (unless Western implants are at issue); instead they adopt, for purposes of analysis, the categories used by the people studied or of the social scientist, and eschew attempts to define crime in a universal manner.

Diverse Concepts of Crime

Antisocial conduct is a universal aspect of group life, but the forms it takes and the reactions it provokes vary. In some societies today infanticide, cannibalism, theft, or the selling of products known to be harmful fall in the area of conduct approved by authorities, but standards of good and bad behavior are not constant over time. Records covering the Tswana peoples of Africa over a hundred-year period indicate not only that ‘‘crimes’’ are in a state of flux but also that crime is not necessarily disapproved of by all members of society. In one example, Isaac Schapera observed that a ‘‘civil’’ wrong was treated as such by one chief, made a ‘‘penal’’ offense by another, and denied legal recognition by a third. Notions of specific wrongs may be internalized by and reflect the behavioral norms of a group, or they may be ordered from above. Schapera’s study indicates that native law is not static and that it was founded on deliberate enactment as well as custom.

Since there are no wrongs that are universal to preliterate societies and no behavior that is bad in itself, the nature of an act alone cannot be used to determine its social or legal meaning. For the Ontong Javanese, as for many societies, killing kin is murder and killing non-kin is not. Among the Tiv of Nigeria, killing thieves or witches may be permissible.

The relationship of the parties concerned may determine whether an act is regarded as a crime. For the Kapauku of New Guinea, intraconfederacy killing is murder, whereas killing outside the confederacy is warfare if approved by the elders; otherwise, starting a war is a crime punishable by death. In New Guinea an offense is defined more by social context than by the nature of the act; there are no broad distinctions between types of offenses, and opinions about what constitutes the ‘‘same’’ crime vary widely from group to group or among individuals in a group. Among the Kipsigi of Kenya the same offense will meet with different consequences according to political differences between the opposing parties.

The task of discovering factors that determine the seriousness of an act has encouraged a relativistic approach, since categories in some societies may bear no resemblance to standard Western ones. There is, for example, no special Lozi term for crime, although Max Gluckman (1965, p. 4) reports a distinction between wrong and great wrong. The Tiv rank acts by their social consequences, the most serious being incest, homicide, and sometimes adultery. The Yakan of the Philippines distinguish between wrongs that can lead to disputes, and wrongs against God (or moral wrongs), which do not bring legal consequences to the offender. Among the Jalé, now of Irian Jaya, intention is less important than consequence in defining an act as an offense. Attempted murder is not a crime since it inflicts no harm, but if a woman dies in childbirth the husband is as responsible for the death (since he impregnated her) as is a man who kills another in a fight. Among the Zinacantecan of southern Mexico, circumstances surrounding an offense are crucial; if an offense is committed when the offender is not under the influence of alcohol, or is a repeated offense, the act is considered serious enough to require punishment as well as the compensation sufficient for lesser offenses.

Radcliffe-Brown’s distinction between public and private law has not been useful for modern anthropologists because of the difficulty in determining whether an offense is against the individual or the society, as Karl Llewellyn and E. Adamson Hoebel have shown with regard to Cheyenne society. Often it is both.

Diverse Concepts of Punishment

Early notions about sanctions in preliterate societies are not supported by data. Durkheim’s theory that repressive and penal law characterizes the ‘‘inferior societies’’ is incorrect. Indeed, restitution plays a predominant role in face-to-face societies. Restitution is the process whereby money or services are paid by the offender or the offender’s family to the victim or the victim’s family: it may be paid in kind (a life for a life) or in equivalence (a wife for a life). There are various forms of liability: absolute and contingent, collective and individual. Klaus-Friedrich Koch has proposed that the distinction between absolute and contingent (relative) liability depends upon the availability of third parties to facilitate a case. Without formal governmental control in indigenous third-party mechanisms, liability will be absolute. Similarly, collective responsibility is likely to prevail where decent groups are the primary units in social organization.

Among the Berbers of the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, restitution follows a pattern of collective and contingent liability. After an act of physical aggression, the culprit and his close kinsmen escape to a sanctuary provided by religious leaders for a cooling-off period, which is then followed by a period of mediated negotiation between the victim’s group and that of the offender. Compromises usually recognize degrees of seriousness of the act and the status of the victim; the higher the victim’s status, the greater the restitution. The Egyptian bedouin of the western desert regard the consequence of the act and the status of both parties as the primary determinants of the amount of restitution. The Ifugao of northern Luzon recognize a scale of payment that varies according to the social position of the injured party and the offender; higher payments accompany higher positions.

The reparation process may function as a deterrent, since the process implicates kin groups on both sides. Once a reparation has been agreed on, the victim is often urged to avoid further conflict with the offender so as not to forfeit the kin’s right to compensation, and the members of the offender’s group usually have a vested interest in keeping him in line because they are paying for his actions. The threat of a mutually destructive feud gives added incentive to abide by the agreement. However, a society that uses restitution as a strategy may also use retaliation, raids, property seizures, and fines. Retaliative sanctions are systematized through rules governing how the injured party may strike back and how much the injured parties should demand for righting a wrong or punishing an individual.

Restitution can be found in societies both with and without formalized political systems. Even societies without centralized systems—the Yurok of California, the Ifugao of Luzon, or the bedouin of Egypt—can have very sophisticated, even if unwritten, indemnity codes. Such substantive law can develop independently of legal procedures, courts and complex political organization. On the other hand, people can have a formal court system and not use it. In Japan restitution is settled almost entirely extrajudicially, by agreements between victim and offender.

Finally, restitution is used sparingly in preliterate societies, most often in cases of murder, theft, debt, adultery, and property damage. The restitutive sanction, whether collective or individual, restores social equilibrium by addressing the needs of the victim or the victim’s kin, by restating social values, and by providing a means for reintegrating the offender into the mainstream without too much stigma. Among the Valley Zapotec of Mexico, who follow both village and state law, the process of reintegration into the village begins after offender’s release from jail. This process entails a gradual resumption of relationships between offender and community by means of material and interpersonal exchanges. By Zapotec definition, ex-offenders build up social relationships by exchange as a means of removing stigma. The Zapotec do not keep the deviant permanently on the margin of society but reintegrate him through the resumption of social interchange and through a ‘‘collective amnesia,’’ which serves to deny that the crime ever occurred in the first place.

Habitual misbehavior is considered more threatening than single offenses in preliterate as in complex societies. The custom of group lynching among the Kamba of East Africa was reserved for habitual thieves or sorcerers. These community killings involved no blood guilt but did require consent of an offender’s nearest relatives. The Tiv are critical of Nigerian state law, which punishes single murders harshly while denying the community the right to execute habitual offenders for behavior that the Tiv see as more dangerous. The Tiv judge a person’s general behavior, rather than a specific wrong.

Social Control and The State

The evolution of the state and the growth of governmental machinery for regulating social relations provided the political context for the development of penal criminal law. In large and complex societies, in which social differentiation is great and conflicting values are juxtaposed, a small number of people representing powerful interests often define what the law will call criminal. The criminal act becomes an act against the state. As the initiator of third-party hearings, the offended merely becomes the victim, and loses the important status of plaintiff.

With the emergence of the state, there is an increasing reliance on penal sanctions to deter antisocial behavior. In preliterate or prestate societies the legal sanction, whether penal or restitutive, represents only one means of enforcing conformity to norms. Control mechanisms such as sorcery and suicide, which had often been labeled as criminal behavior by Western observers, were seen by Malinowski as legal and socially rehabilitative mechanisms—behaviors that supported the preliterate social order. Beatrice Whiting’s work on Paiute Indians reported that sorcery was found in societies with decentralized political systems, and she argued that sorcery is an important mechanism of social control in decentralized systems. A study of purely criminal law among preliterate peoples misses just such important phenomena of their legal life.

Radcliffe-Brown argued that in preliterate societies there is a close connection between religious behavior and the sanctions of criminal law. In fact, supernatural sanctions may be more threatening to an offender than physical retaliation against him or material compensation to his victim, because they are so vague and unpredictable. Public shame and ridicule or the sanction of supernaturally imposed sickness both constitute a means for societal regulation. When formalized legal sanctions coexist with less formal controls, the latter have often been more effective in restraining disruptive social conduct and strengthening the cohesion of social relations. It is important to realize that courts, police, and the like are not necessary to achieve order in societies where there is a wide range of checks on human conduct that are functionally equivalent to enforcement agencies in state societies. Among the eighteenth-century Iroquois, for example, theft and vandalism were almost unknown. Public opinion in the form of gossip and ridicule was sufficient to deter most members of the tribe from such property crimes.

Crime and Social Structure

Order and Disorder

Theories have been proposed to explain the relation between modes of production and the organization of social controls. For example, a number of anthropologists observed that hunters and gatherers do not develop means for adjudicating disputes, but rather for avoidance of disputes. Order and disorder are present in both small and large societies. For this reason, the presence or absence of order (however one measures order) is not easily explained by theories of size, means of livelihood, or ecology. Although understanding diversity in relation to law is crucial to understanding prestate societies as a group, law as it relates to order can never be comprehended by universal rules of evidence outside the context of the particular society that houses this law.

A productive approach to an examination of order and disorder is to analyze the influence of social organization. Most ethnographic studies of a specific society describe how relationships or institutions function to coordinate social activities or to organize social relations, or they describe how the society is disordered by just such factors. In the social organization of the Mexican Zapotec town of Talea, the binding force of reciprocity and the principles of social organization provide systematic ordering (Nader). The ties that link citizens are those of kinship, locale, common work interests, friendships, and shared obligations and values. Three dimensions of Talean social organization best indicate the manner in which principles of social and cultural control operate outside of governmental organization.

First, in Talea all groups, whether kinship, governmental, or religious, are organized hierarchically according to sex, age, wealth, or experience. Second, a value is placed on symmetry (a term that translates as equality only in some contexts), which serves to level relationships. Such leveling mechanisms as those that redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor mediate the harsher aspects of hierarchy but do not sabotage the virtues of superordinate-subordinate relationships. The third dimension of Talean social organization brings people together as groups or as individuals, and at the same time divides them by linking some of them with different groups. These three dimensions stratify, level, and integrate the town: they reinforce hierarchy and symmetry by buttressing traditional and changing values, and they strengthen the linkages by ensuring the presence of third parties in case of dispute. Asymmetry is both unappealing and dangerous; it is often the underlying cause of envy, witchcraft accusations, and court disputes. The integrative links between individuals and groups provide a safety valve and with the aid of harmony ideology cool most disputes before excessive pressure builds up.

The Taleans are therefore a relatively peaceful people, unlike their neighbors in the mountains, the people of Yalalag, who have a high annual rate of violent killings. Yalalag, divided into two traditionally opposed parts, each with its own leaders, illustrates that without social and cultural principles that link groups together, discourse in the peaceful settlement of disputes does not develop. Although Talea and Yalalag are similar in cultural history, size, ecology, and economy, differences in social organization have produced different means for managing problems and disputes. The Taleans tend to use third-party mechanisms and coercive harmony, whereas the people of Yalalag use self-help tactics such as assault, battery, and killing.

The social correlates of relatively violent or peaceful societies have been the subject of extensive research. For example, studies on preliterate societies have correlated place of residence after marriage with the management of conflict. H. U. E. Thoden van Velzen and W. Van Wetering have examined the question of residence and violence cross-culturally and have found a consistent relationship between the predominant use of passive means of managing conflict, and the use of matrilocal residency rules, which locate married couples with maternal relatives. They also recognized the relationships between residence with the paternal relatives of the group, the development of mutually exclusive fraternal interest groups, and the frequent use of physical violence among males within such societies.

Koch found a relationship between patrilocality and the use of physical violence in the Jalé society of western New Guinea (Irian Jaya). In the New Guinea highlands most disputes are of the intermunicipal sort, like contemporary international conflicts in which a sovereign power does not exist. The Jalé are a farming people who live in villages divided into two or more wards. The wards form the principal war-making units in intravillage and intervillage conflicts. There are no political and judicial offices, and thus selfhelp—often in the form of violent retaliation—is an institutionalized method of resolving conflicts when negotiation fails.

A number of problems are evident in Jalé conflict management. The first is the snowball effect of inadequate procedures to deal with grievances: if there are no authorities capable of settling conflicts, even minor disagreements may escalate into war between whole villages. A second is the potential of every retaliation to generate new troubles. Brakes are provided by kinship and residence, but these are not strong enough to prevent escalation in any particular conflict. Such observations support the proposition that both the style of conflict resolution and the occurrence of conflict derive from a society’s principles of human association.

The Factor of Early Environment

A crosscultural study of the correlates of crime by the psychologists Margaret Bacon, Irvin Child, and Herbert Barry examined the frequency of theft and personal crimes (defined to include assault, rape, suicide, sorcery, murder, and making false accusation) in forty-eight preliterate societies. They found that both types of offense are more frequent in societies having polygymous motherchild households than in those societies with monogamous, nuclear households.

Whiting expanded on this work and examined the idea associating household organization and conflict frequencies in six cultures. Her study combined social, structural, and psychological variables to test this hypothesis: If, during the first two or three years of life, a boy is frequently with the mother and only infrequently with the father, he will identify strongly with his mother; if, later in life, he is living in a world dominated by men, he will face internal conflict, which may lead to attempts to prove his masculinity. The ‘‘masculine protest hypothesis’’ was concerned with the sex identity conflict theory: where the father has less importance in infancy and where men have higher prestige and salience from childhood on, violence becomes an expression of ‘‘protest masculinity,’’ as among the Gusii of Kenya or the Khalapur Rajput of India.

Witchcraft in Preliterate Societies

Like killing, the act of sorcery or witchcraft is not necessarily a wrong; rather, it depends for its cultural meaning on the context and locus of the action and on who is involved. Furthermore, in many societies there is no division between the natural and the supernatural. For the Mexican Zinacantecans, earthly conflicts are only manifestations of conflicts between supernatural beings and people, often expressed by means of witchcraft. The Kapauku of New Guinea consider killing by arrow, by sorcery, or by forced violation of food taboos to be identical crimes, since all are attacks on people. The Gwembe Tonga of Zambia treat poisoning and sorcery in the same manner; the Tonga reason that they are functionally identical, since both are covert attacks that make people fall sick. The Barotse and Gisu of Zambia and Kenya and the Sepik of Melanesia believe that no death or illness is entirely natural. Each death brings the question, ‘‘Who has caused this?’’

In witchcraft societies people usually fear sorcery, although not everyone condemns it. At times sorcery is condemned, but sorcerers are not punished. The Sepik rarely accuse anyone of sorcery, because they fear reprisals from evil spirits. Among the Gisu, a sorcerer will be killed if the whole community agrees to the killing. In many societies sorcery was formerly sanctioned by death, but today this penalty is considered illegal under state law, and, indeed, such traditional punishment is now defined as murder by some national legal systems.

The identity of the initiator of witchcraft is important, especially since witchcraft itself is frequently inferred from death or sickness rather than directly observed. Among the Azande of the Sudan, people accused of witchcraft are usually those whom people in the community already had cause to hate. Women can be vulnerable to charges of witchcraft in partrilineal societies, where they are seen both as outsiders and as a divisive force. Men may or may not accuse lineage members, depending on whether rivalry or solidarity is paramount.

Some have examined witchcraft as an index to social disorder. Agricultural, rather than pastoral, communities tend to have witchcraft outbreaks as a response to overpopulation, scarcities, or inequalities. Witchcraft in such settings allows people an excuse to leave the community either because they have been accused or because they are afraid of being witched (Colson). Gluckman connected the witchcraft outbreak of 1957–1958 among the Barotse with societal strain caused by the young going off to work and bringing back money, which resulted in loss of prestige by powerful tribal elders. The accusations of witchcraft in this instance were by the young against the old. Waves of witchcraft accusations may be connected with changing times, as among the Barotse; with stress and periods of unrest, as among the Tonga; and with the absence of centralized political machinery, as among the Paiutes of the United States. During Great Britain’s colonial period, the use of witchcraft by indigenous peoples led to heated debates among British administrators, who were called upon to maintain the native customary law according to their policy of indirect rule, which incorporated indigenous law.

Generalizing about Small-Scale Societies

Most stereotypes of preliterate societies have not withstood the empirical test. Preliterate societies, like modern ones, support various, and sometimes contradictory, systems of rules. Adjectives that apply to the law of some African societies—communal, restitutive, cloaked with magicreligious beliefs—do not apply to the Australian aborigines, the Plains Indians of North America, or other societies that may be more individualistic and dominated by consensual, rather than litigious, thinking in relation to law.

One can no longer argue that small, face-toface societies are more peaceful or that large and complex societies, where relations between strangers predominate, are more naturally crime-prone. It is not true that preliterate societies use negotiation to the exclusion of arbitration or mediation, or that industrial societies use adjudication to the exclusion of negotiation. Collective liability is as much a part of the thinking of contemporary insurance companies as it is of traditional Berbers. Preliterate law may be flexible and highly effective or highly unpredictable and destructive because of the absence of formalized controls. There are wide differences in the degree to which societal wrongs are recognized and punished. Research on exogamy rules (patterns of marrying outside the group) has revealed that official sanctions vary from one society to another in response to violation of these rules and include death, fines, beating, banishment, and invoking the disapproval of supernatural forces.

The rare attempts by anthropologists to define the nature of ‘‘primitive’’ crime have frequently placed undue emphasis on categories drawn from Western cultures. Although few efforts have been made to produce a definition of crime that can be applied cross-culturally, it seems clear that the results of norm violations across cultures are loss of status and change in social position. The development of a cross-cultural understanding of ‘‘crime’’ may lie in the study of those normative violations that consistently result in downward change in the social rank for the violator. Such patterns will vary in meaning with authority structures that may be consensual or authoritarian. In preliterate societies the numerous combinations of structures provide means for preventing the escalation of conflicts, and yet they also generate interconnecting systems of behavior in the domains of kinship, economics, politics, and law that give the air of suitability to acts which, to the Western mind, may appear deviant.

Essentially, similarities in social structure and culture will produce similarities in criminal offenses and in the management of such offenses. In small-scale settings, where people know one another and share a broad range of personal ties, there is a special kind of indirect social control that is absent from, or almost inoperative in, settings where anonymity functions as an escape from the controls of kin and neighbor. In this second setting, criminal offenses are increasingly a result of the interaction between people who do not know one another. In the West, such offenses are met directly with sanctions that are likely to be repressive and penal rather than restitutive. Gluckman has noted that the range of relevance is narrow in cases involving strangers and broad in those involving kinsmen. A dispute between two parties who are strangers need not end in reconciliation, but rather can be adjudicated and end in a clear decision. Changes in relationships between disputants and population movements accompany modernization processes. With development new states use transplant law to monopolize the legitimate use of violence and social control in general. Other systems of control either cease to be important, in which case there is increased dependence on police enforcement, or they compete with imported law. In other words, political encapsulation brings into contact different systems of right and wrong and different ideas about who is a wrong doer and how to treat them.

Preliterate Societies in The Modern World

Surviving preliterate societies are increasingly being encapsulated by the modern bureaucratic state, a process that began under colonial governments and has developed further under conditions of independence. Creating central administrations has had a pervasive influence on local communities by acting as a brake on intervillage hostilities. Elizabeth Colson reports that before becoming subjects of the British colonial administration, the Valley and Plateau Tonga of Zambia lived in fear of intervillage raids. Of course, the fear of violence in such societies led to avoiding and preventing violence, but where insecurity was common, colonial governments may have been welcomed as allies.

On the other hand, political encapsulation forces collision and collusion. The Indonesian state and Papua New Guinea entered into economic development by invading indigenous territory, whereby local people became trespassers on their own land. Resisters are considered criminals. In addition, encapsulation may establish ‘‘insider-outsider’’ distinctions that were absent prior to the introduction of modern politics, and may open opportunities for those who see an advantage in using violence. Power is now an issue. Among the Maya Indians of Guatemala, an encroaching Guatemalan state system has been associated with the disintegration of village leadership and with increased resort to homicide for the management of problems and disputes in the community. Alternatives to, and controls over, the use of physical violence resulted from the nature of contact between the two types of systems—state and village. The contact between local and state organizations produced a similar result among the Sidamo of southwest Ethiopia. The Sidamo have increasingly neglected procedural rules of community law, developed a preference for revenge, and refused to accept traditional sanctions. The increased use of national courts underlies these changes in the manner of labeling and processing.

However, not all contacts between indigenous and state systems of control produce similar results. The mountain Zapotec use harmony legal models to control the amount and impact of state judicial involvement in village affairs. It is considered a serious offense against the autonomous Zapotec village to aid the state in gaining control over the processing of a dispute settlement. Most villages are able to maintain control over their customary boundaries of authority by maintaining effective mechanisms for local dispute settlement. Indigenous communities may not define state law as ‘‘legal’’ when the state actively participates in disputes that villagers wish to settle among themselves.

Although crimes, from the Western perspective, are violations of the law, violations of the law from the cross-cultural perspective are not necessarily crimes. Radcliffe-Brown’s definition of crime in primitive societies as a violation of public order is cross-culturally inapplicable if the exercise of a penal, rather than a civil, sanction is at issue. Research on preliterate societies has not yet established that the cost to the victim is the criterion commonly applied in classifying behavior as criminal or in establishing the severity of the offense. What has been established is that societies without criminal populations are those that prevent individuals from obtaining criminal status through their behavior, not those that prevent violations of the ‘‘law.’’ The record on world societies has well illustrated that crime is a cultural construct.


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