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Crim exam #3 study guide

by: Peter Wright

Crim exam #3 study guide CJA2225-01

Peter Wright


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About this Document

This is a special bundle type study guide. Dr. Battin usually goes over an official study guide the day or two before class so use this bundle (and the list of subjects he provides) to word search ...
Introduction to Criminology
Dr. Joshua Battin
Study Guide
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This 7 page Study Guide was uploaded by Peter Wright on Wednesday November 4, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to CJA2225-01 at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania taught by Dr. Joshua Battin in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 42 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Criminology in Criminal Justice at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania.


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Date Created: 11/04/15
Social Process theories (Micro level theories) Includes…  Social learning theory  Social control theory  Social reaction/labeling theory Social process (in the broad scope)  Theorizes that all people can become criminal (this is the underline assumption)  Views crime as a function of people’s interactions with organizations and processes in society  What you are/became started the day you were born Socialization – The process of human development and enculturation Elements of socialization  Family relations (how well you get along)  Peer groups (what positive or negative pressure you receive)  Social institutions (church/school/other influence) Effects that come from this – Can reduce crime inducements with positive self image, moral compass, parental support, etc. Social learning (Micro)  People learn to be aggressive from observation (seeking goals/rewards)  Differential association leads to social learning  Imitation (copy cat behavior) is an element of this but is not the next step, it’s a tangent.  Techniques of neutralization is also an element of social learning, but it is also more of a tangent/an off shoot of the main problem that can go down a bit of a subject rabbit trail Edwin Sutherland (Differential association theory) 1939  At first Sutherland was interested in white collar crime (after all why would someone so well off and comfortable feel the need to commit such an act)  This lack of strain/anomie made him curious  Symbolic interaction (see the 9 propositions)  Maybe crime is just another learned behavior Sutherlands 9 Propositions 1. Crime is a learned behavior 2. Learning happens with interaction and communication (Proximity matters. If you are close to someone the strong their influence will be) 3. Most happens in family, peers, and intimate groups 4. The actual behavior itself does not teach crime, but rather the interpretation of it by the observing individual (This is a case of definitions. Is it being given a positive or negative definition) 5. Motivation for the crime comes from an individual’s personal views 6. Excess definitions favorable to law violation will result in criminality 7. ^this^ various in frequency, duration, priority, and intensity 8. Mechanisms of learning by association incorporate in learning criminal behavior 9. Criminality is an expression of needs and values, but is different than non criminal ones Definitions – The values you place on specific behaviors Intensity and proximity is critical to social learning theory (ex - how much does a person passing you in the hall compare to how your parents influence you?) Symbolic interaction – Placing meaning on something you observe (you look at something and make a judgment, happens every single day) Definitions is what causes a person to commit one kind of crime (like shoplifting), but not another similar one (like burglary) Ex – In prison being a murderer is ok, but a sex offender is not (favorable vs. unfavorable definitions. People are able to select certain crimes through observation and definitions Criticisms of differential association  Fails to account for the origin of criminal definitions (Causes Tautological aka = circular reasoning). Ex- Excess of favorable definitions for crime causes crime, why? Because they have excess of definitions. Repeat. (And how do you define ‘excess’ anyway? These are the questions that are not accounted for)  Assumes these criminal acts are rational and systematic  How do you even measure these ‘favorable definitions’ and the ratio of favorable vs. unfavorable measurements? (You can’t)  Mechanisms (related directly to definitions) of learning. How you decided whether or not to do something. Experience you got yourself or learned from other people’s mistakes  Sutherland did not talk about the learning process (how we decide it’s a positive/negative definition. We may do this for social gratification) Ronald Akers 1966  Social learning theory related  Retains idea of favorable and unfavorable definitions  Adds how behaviors are specifically learned (operate conditioning). This is also known as the learning process Imitation  Tarde’s law of limitation 1890  Level of imitation is in proportion to closest contact  Inferior imitate superior  New fashions always replace the old  Superiors will be the trend setters (the leaders of new movements) For quiz – Know the definition for  Definitions  Differential association  Differential reinforcement  Imitation Neutralization theory  Theorizes that violators learn how to neutralize conventional values/attitudes, which enables them to drift back and forth between conventional and criminal acts  Explains why some delinquents never become adult criminals  Explains why youthful violators can still take part in conventional behavior Basics of this theory  Criminals sometime voice guilt  Offenders often respect/admire law abiding citizens  Criminals can define who they can victimize 5 techniques of neutralization 1. Denial of responsibility (“They made me do it” “I had no choice”) 2. Denial of injury (“What’s one DVD to Wal-Mart?” “They have insurance, they can afford it”) 3. Denial of injury (“They had it coming” “They were asking for it”) 4. Condemnation of the condemners (“Everybody does this” “Why pick on me”) 5. Appeal to higher loyalties (“I had to protect my buddies” “God called me to do this”) There is empirical support for the learning theories Social control theory  Why people do NOT commit crime  Assumes that deviant behavior is attractive because it is fun/rewarding/most efficient way to archive goals  It doesn’t matter why people commit crime the action, only that it is attractive to them  Social constructs/bonds stop people from committing crime Social Bonds  Family, friends, organizations (the elements of informal social control)  Without these nothing is holding you back from criminal actions  You don’t want to disappoint loved ones, jeopardize your future, you have faith in rules and the law, and you have self control. General theory of crime = impulse control Self control – A strong moral sense that renders people incapable of hurting others/violating social norms (AKA - you believe it) Commitment to conformity – Develops w/ a strong commitment to conventional institutions and processes (AKA - you don’t always believe in it, but you do it anyway) Travis Hirschi 1969  Delinquent acts occur when an individual bond to society is either weakened or broken (there are of course exceptions)  A person can break the bond themselves Contemporary social control - Links onset of criminality to the weakening of the ties that bind people to society The 4 social bonds 1. Attachment (family, friends, organizations) 2. Commitment (future, career, personal goals) 3. Involvement (Religious and social groups, activities in school and organizations) 4. Belief (Morality, honesty, responsibility, fairness, patriotism) A lack or a breakdown in any of these bonds and criminality is likely to occur. Once one starts to weaken the others follow Testing social control - Simply put, it can be easily measured (Just ask questions like – how close are you to family/friends? How involved are you? Do you care about your future? Etc) Attachment could be empirically measured  The more attached to parents a person was the less likely they were to commit crime  The more attached to peers a person was, the more they rejected unconventional acts  Unless of course your peers/family are a bad influence  In order for this to work it must be a positive, pro social relationship Involvement could also be empirically measured  More good/conventional involvement someone had, the less crime they committed  The more bad/unconventional involvement they had, the more crime they committed Believe could NOT be empirically measured, because both delinquents and non delinquents held similar beliefs on society Commitment could NOT be empirically measured/supported either Criticisms of Social Control  Delinquents are not loaner General crime theory (GCT)  Developmental theory that modifies social control theory by integrating various other concepts (Like biosocial, psychological, routine activities, and rational choice theory)  Views the criminal act and the offender as two completely separate concepts  When opportunity comes to commit the crime the offender will take it  General crime theory (GCT) fits into the social control paradigm The offender  Individuals (criminal or not) operate everyday as abiding citizens  Behavior is based on individual factors, with each reacting to criminal opportunity differently  Likelihood of criminal behavior Is based on Prosperity (remains stable over one’s lifetime), or Frequency (based upon the number of criminal opportunities) Self control  What causes a person to be crime prone  No matter what opportunity comes your way, your self control can keep from committing a crime  Views that the cause of delinquent behavior is impulsive personality  Weak self control = weak bond to society  Develops as we grow up, poor parenting has a significant impact  Age 8 is when it develops the most  Those with low self control still do not commit crime if the opportunity never arises Tautological (circular reasoning)  Impulsivity = crime  But all criminals impulsive? (According to GCT yes they are)  Higher crime in cities areas is attributed to more criminal opportunities, rather than city people for some reason having low self control  GCT does not account for turning points in people’s lives. Which is why it says most self control develops at 8 and that criminal propensity does not advance past 10 years old)  With peers, GCT theorizes, that it is more about more opportunities for criminal behavior is presented rather than the peer pressure itself causing the criminal act “You can never account for all behaviors, but GCT accounts for all the basic ones.” Example of labeling theory  Tannenbaum 1938  Evil acts = evil individuals Edwin Lemert 1951  First systematic analysis focusing on the effects/impact of labeling Primary deviance – A norm violation/crime with little to no long term impact on the violator Secondary deviance – A norm violation/crime that comes to the attention of society and has significant impact on the violator (since this is the result of continued crime), it leads to labeling Becker 1963 and 1973  Wrote the book outsiders  Society creates norms  Going outside of the parameters TOO WIDLY will lead to labels and an impact “Acceptance is the most important concept here. Because if you never accept it, it will never stick” Policy linked to labeling theory  Promote conventional lines of behavior  Focus on family and school to reinforce bonds  Reconfigure offender’s self image  Diversion and restitution programs  We, over all, try to get juveniles through the system without giving them labels (hence terminology differences. Ex, adjudicated vs incarceration etc) “Becker 1963 (wrote the book Outsiders) but in 1973 (he addressed its criticism)” “Labeling theory is actually a PERSPECTIVE, not a complete theory because it relies on primary deviance for it to even occur. (also relies on other prior to factors/criminological explanations)” Model  A theory we don’t know leads to Primary deviance (which in turn leads to labeling). But at this point you have a choice, you can accept the label, or deny it.  Denying it causes nothing. It’s a dead end. It cannot impact your behavior.  Accepting it leads to interaction with subcultures (looking for support/accepted socialization) and opportunities (like job acceptance) become constrained.  Self concept is formed in subculture through differential association, which could push to your secondary deviance On the exam there will be several empty boxes for you to fill in.  First box = Primary deviance  Box bellow that = No impact  Next box over from the first = Labeling  Next box over = Opportunities  Bottom box = Subcultures  Middle box/box just above the bottom = Differential association  Far right box = Secondary deviance  Top box = Self image “Labeling was drawn out of Outsiders, even though the book was about subcultures” Social reaction/labeling theory  Theorizes that people become criminals when labeled as such, and when they accept it  Explains the role in society has in creating deviance  Behaviors considered criminal are subjective  Those in power define crime (just think about the 1960s)  Both people and acts are labeled  Subjective interpretation of a behavior could have positive or negative outcomes Contributors to this  Recognizes that criminality is not a disease or psychological behavior  Distinguishes between criminal acts (primary deviance) and criminal careers (secondary deviance) Roots of labeling/social reaction theory  Symbolic interactionism  Identity is also formed by those around you Cooley 1902  “Looking glass self”  Our self concepts are reflections of others opinions of us


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