1. Sociological definitions of crime
    • acts that:
    • -violate moral sentiments of group
    • -threaten interest of powerful groups
  2. crime
    acts that are prohibited by law and punishable by the state
  3. Crime is a
    • social construction
    • cultural phenomenon
    • structural phenomenon
    • political phenomenon
  4. crime is a social construction?
    determined by perceptions and meanings people attach to acts and the people who commit them
  5. crime is a cultural phenomenon?
    • rooted in shared beliefs, values,and norms
    • central component of society's collective moral sentiment
  6. crime is a structural phenomenon?
    • built into "routine activities" of day-to-day
    • related to society's system of stratification and inequality
    • patterns of crime are not random
  7. political phenomenon
    • shaped by interests and influence among competing social groups
    • crime and society's response to it, is a contest over power
  8. 3 Non-sociological explanations of crime
    • biological
    • psychological
    • rational choice theory/deterrence
  9. biological explanation of crime
    • some people are born criminals
    • criminality is hereditary
    • criminals have lower IQ and morally underdeveloped
  10. 5 main biological influences in crime
    • genes
    • brain structure
    • neuropsychology
    • psychophysiology
    • hormones and neurotransmitters
  11. psychological explanation of crime
    focus on personality types(specifically types that can lead to criminal behavior)
  12. Rational Choice Theory
    • people are self-interested
    • want to maximize pleasure or happiness
    • people have preferences they rank based on available info(weigh cost and benefits)
    • people choose best course of action according to preferences
  13. 3 sociological paradigms
    • Consensus/Functionalist
    • Conflict/Critical
    • Symbolic Interactive
  14. Consensus/Functionalist paradigm
    • social forces promote social order and stability
    • society is like a human body
    • shared culture and social institutions contribute to social cohesion
    • crime results from breakdown of social order
  15. The Chicago School: Social Disorganization
    • consensus/functionalist
    • studies showed higher poverty and instbility in urban inner-city areas and higher crime rates(Blau and Blau, shaw and Mckay)
    • crime was higher where there was less informal social control and less "collective efficacy"
  16. broken windows
    • under Chicago School
    • people fear outward signs of disorder as much as crime
    • leads to avoidance of one another, weakens social control
    • fixing broken windows can reassert order
  17. William Julius Wilson's theory of crime and Urban Underclass
    • Consensus/Functionalist
    • deindustrialization hit AA communities harder than other communities
    • caused disappearance of decent paying jobs and breakdown of strong families and community institutions
    • increased urban isolation lacking sufficient economic resources and social control mechs.
  18. Durkeim: Anomie and Crime
    • Consensus/Functionalist
    • simple societies have a strong"collective conscience"
    • Social Control Mechs. weaken when society enlargens, diversifies, and individualizes
    • leads to moral deregulation or "anomie" in more individuals
    • deviant and criminal behavior is a common response
  19. Merton's Strain Theory
    • Consensus/Functionalist
    • crime results from misalignment between society's valued objectives and the legitimate means to achieve them
    • individuals who lack access to institutional resources turn to alternative means
  20. revised Merton's strain theory
    • includes objects beyond material success
    • better able to explain white collar and financial crime
  21. Symbolic interactionsim
    • the social world is created through interaction and the meanings we attach to them
    • crime is rooted in ongoing interactive and meaning-making processes
  22. Differential association
    • symbolic interactionism
    • crime is a group and interpretive process
    • learned within subculture
  23. Labeling Theory
    • Deviance and criminality is defined by how society reacts to what people do
    • initial act of deviance leads to the person being labeled
    • label becomes a stigma that becomes a part of that person's identity
    • leads to act of secondary deviance
  24. bounded rationality
    making decisions based on limited information
  25. Deterrence theory
    • narrow version of rational choice theory
    • 2 types
    • specific deterrence-punishment reduces liklihood the punished individual will reoffend
    • general deterrence-the threat of punishment deters crime in the general population
  26. Routine activity theory
    • part of rational choice theory
    • when there are more opportunities for crime, crime increases
    • 2 of 3 requirements are functions of everyday activities
    • Cohen and Felson
  27. Cohen and Felson
    • changes in US crime patterns can be partly explained by major shifts in the structure of routine activities
    • -growth of unattended households
    • -Changing market and consumption patterns
    • -other(drug activity, white collar crime)
  28. 3 things needed for crime to occur
    • motivated offender
    • suitable target
    • absence of guardian
  29. Conflict/critical paradigm
    • struggle over power and resources between haves and have nots
    • inequalities of social class, race/ethnicity, and gender/sexuality
    • dominant groups in society determine what is moral
  30. Marxist/class theory
    crime is a by-product of capitalism and class conflict
  31. Weberton/rationalized power
    crime increases as an issue because technology, scientific expertise, and bureaucratic control
  32. critical gender and race theories
    extension of marxist theory, gender/racial identifies often more fundamental than social class
  33. some explanations of crime drop
    increased incarceration, more police, rising income, lower unemployment rate, decreased alcohol consumption, legalized abortion, aging pop., end of crack epidemic
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