Why This Song:
In their book Explaining Crime, Hugh D. Barlow and David Kauzlarich (2010) write “in the song ‘Breaking the Law’ Rob Halford, the lead singer of the classic metal band Judas Priest, sings about familiar human and social problems: unemployment, instability, anger, disappointment, and boredom (51).” The authors further explain how feelings, perceptions and social institutions influence behavior—including deviant and criminal behavior. Thus by focusing on the social structure or the social context more generally as inspiring a breaking of the law, this song introduces the Chicago school theories of crime causation, providing a contrast to the classical school and biological or psychological positivism that claims behaviors stem from factors internal to criminally deviant individuals.
Barlow, Hugh D., & Kauzlarich, David. 2010. Explaining Crime: A Primer in Criminological Theory. Rowman & Littlefield.
Submitted By: Mary Nell Trautner