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Overview Of Crim. Theory-Week 1 notes

by: Aubriana Romero-Knell

Overview Of Crim. Theory-Week 1 notes SOC 312 002

Marketplace > University of New Mexico > Sociology > SOC 312 002 > Overview Of Crim Theory Week 1 notes
Aubriana Romero-Knell
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About this Document

These notes cover the first week of class.
Causes of Crime and Delinquacy
Brian Soller
Class Notes
sociology, crime, crime theory, delinquency




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Aubriana Romero-Knell on Thursday January 21, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SOC 312 002 at University of New Mexico taught by Brian Soller in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Causes of Crime and Delinquacy in Sociology at University of New Mexico.


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Date Created: 01/21/16
Aubriana Knell-University of New Mexico Causes of Crime and Delinquency-SOC 312 Spring 2016th st January 19 -21 , 2016 Overview of Criminological Theory  Spiritualistic v. naturalistic explanations of crime  Establishing causation research  Social and psychological processes  Why are there so many theories? o “more than one way to skin a cat”  Some are better than others, though  For example: spiritualistic is arcane o Important to understand crime to stop it o In a theory, we want correlation, theoretical rational, and a lack of sporadicity  Spiritualistic understanding of crime o Events are the result of otherworldly powers o This model is primitive o Behavior and outcomes can be explained by things that are immeasurable, like god’s love. They are not rooted in the real world o Crime=result of otherworldly causes, like devils or witches o This underlies the modern prison system  Late 1700s: Quakers isolated criminals and gave them Bibles and manual labor to do.  This provided them time to “repent” and fix their souls.  Prison incapacitates them and reforms them, hopefully changing the way they think about crime  Naturalistic Explanations o Science presents us with explanations of crime o Crime is explained through observable processes that are rooted in the real/material world o Scientific theories of crime/deviance as resulting from biological, psychological, or social processes that can be observed/measured o Not definite, but probabilistic o Underlying causes of crime have to be able to be measured/observable  Main differences between spiritualistic and naturalistic o Naturalistic can be measured/observed, spiritualistic cannot o Naturalistic=science based, spiritualistic=faith based o Naturalistic theories can be falsified; they can be disproven  Research: process of falsification o Testing theoretically informed hypotheses using statistical analysis is one way to assess a theory o Process of research: 1. Systematically observe relationships in theory 2. Compare observations to primary arguments of theory 3. If observations are inconsistent with theory, it is then falsified 4. If observations are consistent with theory, it is supported, but not proven  Why doesn’t a consistent observation prove a theory? 1 Aubriana Knell-University of New Mexico Causes of Crime and Delinquency-SOC 312 Spring 2016th st January 19 -21 , 2016 o The observations may be due to chance o Other theories may explain the same observed relationship  Methods of establishing causation in theory testing (x causes y) 1. Correlation a. X varies systematically with y b. Positive v. negative correlation i. +: as x increase, y increases ii. -: as x increase, y decreases c. Things must be correlated for one to cause another i. Correlation is necessary, but alone, it is not sufficient for establishing causation ii. correlation≠causation because lurking variables (confounding variables) could be present d. example: delinquent rates and harsh, physical punishment from parents have a positive correlation 2. Theoretical rationale a. Helps establish causation also b. Coherent and plausible explanation for why causal relationships exist i. Correlation+theoretical rational≠causation c. Example: delinquent rates can be higher in children who receive harsh, physical punishment from their parents because they have pent up anger and rage that manifests itself as violence and deviance. 3. Establish the correct time sequence of events a. Helps establish causation b. X can’t cause Y if Y predated X. c. Example: parents may punish children’s deviance with violence, which disproves the idea that deviance comes from parental violence; parental violence comes from deviance. 2


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