Crime in America Chapter 2 part 2

  1. Consideration was give to the offender’s
    • •Age
    • •Mental condition
    • •Extenuating circumstances
  2. Positivistic Criminology
    Behavior is seen as largely a result of biological/psychological and social/cultural influences beyond an individual’s control
  3. Individual Determinism
    humans influenced most by biological or psychological factors.
  4. Social/Cultural Determinism
    humans influenced most by social or cultural factors.
  5. •Cesare Lombroso (1835-1909)
    • –Father of Criminology
    • –Studied military criminals versus non-criminals and thought:
    • •he detected physical differences
    • •These differences were symptoms of underlying lesser evolutionary status (atavism).
  6. Schools of Individual deterministic theories:
    • –Physical Type Theories
    • –Hereditary Theories
    • –Defectiveness Theories
    • –Mental Deficiency Theories
    • –Mental Illness Theories
  7. Humans influenced most by social or cultural factors
    • –Social Structure Theories
    • –Social Process Theories
    • –Symbolic Interactionism
  8. Neighborhoods changed populations over time, but delinquency patterns remained very stable.
    • –Thus, the kids were learning crime from the older kids in delinquent areas.
    • –The cultural transmission of delinquency – delinquent beliefs and acts spread from one delinquent to another in neighborhoods, despite differences in race and ethnicity.
    • –Thus, crime could NOT be biological in origin … it had to be learned!
  9. Emile Durkheim (1858-1917).
    • –Viewed the changes in modern society as causing a disjunction between the old norms people had learned and the new social conditions in which they now lived.
    • –The disjunction caused “anomie”
    • •Anomie = a state of “normlessness” occurring when norms do not fit the situation people are in now.
    • –Saw deviant behavior (such as crime, and even suicide) as resulting from social conditions … NOT from individual abnormalities.
  10. Goals-means gap:
    • Adaptation Goal Means
    • 1. Conformity + +
    • 2. Innovation + -
    • 3. Ritualist - +
    • 4. Retreatist - -
    • 5. Rebel +- +-
  11. Social Process Theories
    Major influence on any individual is not society in general but the interactions that dominate everyday life.
  12. Differential Association Theory
    • –Identified by Edwin Sutherland – one of the most influential sociologists in the 20th century.
    • –People learn from other people in the most important of their membership groups – or from the most important of their personal relationships
    • –People learn content and skills as well as motivations to behavior, whether legal or illegal.
    • –“A person becomes delinquent because of an excess of definitions favorable to violation of law over definitions unfavorable to violation of law.”
  13. •Control Theory:
    –Argued that people would commit crimes naturally if they were not constrained in some way by conventional society.
Card Set
Crime in America Chapter 2 part 2
Chapter 2 Causes of Crime