Criminology Chapters 1 & 2
Criminology Chapters 1 & 2 1300
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Amelia Hernandez on Friday January 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 1300 at Tulane University taught by Professor Hall in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 39 views. For similar materials see Criminology in Sociology at Tulane University.
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Date Created: 01/22/16
Criminology Chapter One Notes Sociological Criminology: A sociological understanding of crime and criminal justice. It gives explicit attention to issues of poverty and race and ethnicity as well as to the structure of communities and social relationships. social backgrounds influence the likelihood of someone committing crime. Sociological Perspective: stresses that people are social beings more than mere individuals. This means society shapes their behaviors, attitudes and like chances. Emile Durkheim is the founder of this. He stressed that deviance will always occur because no social norm is strong enough to prevent all rule breaking. Because deviance is normal, it is part of societal stability. A society can have no social change without deviance. Social Structure: refers to how a society is organized in terms of social relationships and social interaction. It is both horizontal and vertical. Vertical Social Structure is more commonly called Social Inequality and is how society ranks different groups of people. These ranks can be influenced by class, race, ethnicity and gender. C.Wright Mills said social structure lies at the root of private troubles or public issues. He says that the ability to understand the structural and historical basis for personal troubles as the Sociological Imagination. Debunking Motif: things in sociology are not always what they seem and sociological research often exposes false claims about reality and taken for granted assumptions about social life and social institutions. Deviance: Behavior that violates social norms. Deviance is relative in space. Meaning what is considered deviant depends on where the act happens. (ie. Murdering someone in a war gets you a medal, but in your home can get you executed.) Deviance is also relative in time. What is deviant in one time period, might not be in another. (ie. Gay marriage.) Social Control: the restraint a society has of behaviors that violate norms. It enforces the customs of societies. Laws: formal norms that are written down or codified. Classical School of Criminology: 18 century. This method stressed that criminals rationally choose to commit crime after deciding that the rewards outweigh the risks. Legal punishment would have to be severe enough to stop these potential criminals before this crime was blamed on the devil. Edwin Sutherland: sensitive to the crimecausing or criminogenic conditions of urban neighborhoods. He looked at how conditions influence criminality and how peer influences are important. differential association theory. Defined criminology as the study of the making of laws and of a society’s reaction to the breaking of laws. Social Control or Social Bonding Theory: 1970s. emphasized the criminogenic effects of the weal bonds to social institutions. This theory focused on social relationships. Crime: is behavior that is considered so harmful that it is banned by a criminal law. Consensus Theory: First appears in Durkheim’s work. It assumes a consensus among people from all walks of life on what the social norms of behavior are and should be. Conflict Theory: Originates in Marx and Engels works. It is the opposite of consensus theory. It assumes members of the public disagree on many of society’s norms, with their disagreement reflecting the different positions of money and power. Goals of Criminal Law: 1) to help keep the public safe from crime and criminals or to prevent and control crime and criminal behavior. 2) To articulate our society’s moral values and concerns. 3) to protect the rights and freedoms of the nation’s citizenry by protecting it from governmental abuse of power. Mala in se Crimes (evil in themselves): refer to behaviors that violate traditional norms and moral codes. Direct Victim Mala Prohibita (wrong only because prohibited by law): behaviors that violate contemporary standards only. (ie. Illegal drug use and white collar crime.) No direct victims. Actus Reus (actual act): refers to the actual criminal act of which the defendant is accused. For a defendant to be found guilty there must be proof beyond a reasonable doubt that they committed the criminal act. Mens Rae (guilty mind): refers to criminal intent, which means that the defendant intended to commit the crime. Also covers reckless behavior or negligence. Legal Defenses Accident or Mistake Ignorance: Didn’t know the law Duress: You were in fear of your life or your safety SelfDefense Entrapment: a person only committed a crime because a law enforcement officer induced the offender to do so. Insanity: few criminals actually plead insanity. Research Methods Used In Criminology Surveys Experiments Qualitative Research: Observing and Intense Interviewing. Longitudinal Studies are where people are studied over a long period of time. Research Using Existing Data Comparative and Historical Research Criminology Chapter 2 Notes Democratic Theory: policy decisions by public officials should reflect public opinion. politicians are often more influence by the elite than the general public. Public opinion is often inaccurate. Overdramatization: Of crime in media because the more dramatic it is, the more captivating to the audience it will be. The news will also tend to only focus on the most dramatic kinds of crime. often very misleading on what the actuality of the crime was. Crime Waves: where a city’s news media will suddenly devote much attention to a small number of crimes to create a false impression that crime is rampant. Even if crime rates are declining the media will make it seem like the opposite. Crime Myths: false beliefs about crime that the media instills in us. One myth is that crime is rampant and overly violent. Racial and Ethnic Minorities: News will often focus on African American and Latino offenders and white victims. Over exaggerates the involvement and menacing nature of people of color in crime. Understates their victimization. Youths: disproportionately portrays young people as offenders. Only about 14% of violent crime if committed by youth. Virtuous Victims: The news gives most coverage to victims who seem completely innocent and pure. (ie. Small children and wealthy white women who both have relatively low victimization rates.) Other Media Problems: 1) people interviewed show the reporter’s POV. 2) Using language like “preying on victims” instead of neutral terms. 3) Presenting misleading data. 4) Neglecting whitecollar crime. 5) Failing to provide social and historical context. 6) Media can often be biased. Obscuring Underlying Forces: the media can hide underlying social and cultural forces behind crime. Fear of Crime: We are often afraid of crime by strangers when most crimes happen by someone you know. We are afraid of night, being alone, men over women, new locations. Structural Factors: A community’s characteristics. (Quality of living, neighborhoods, the number of people of color, level of urbanization.) People in big cities are more likely to perceive a higher crime rate. Consequences of Fear: fear of crime can weaken social ties within a community. Mistrust of others. Threatens economic value of neighborhoods. Public Judgments on the Seriousness of Crime: they reflect the value placed on human life and on personal property. They affect your own views of appropriate punishment. These judgments influence the penalties made by legislators for violations of criminal laws and the sentences judges give criminals. different demographics usually agree on the seriousness of crimes. They have similar Sentencing Preferences. Punitiveness: judgments of appropriate punishment for convicted criminals. Some people in society hold more punitive views than others. Racial differences exist in certain views on the treatment of criminals. African Americans are less punitive than whites because they think the criminal justice system in biased. Death Penalty: Men, whites, older people, those with less education, Southerners, political conservatives, religious fundamentalists, and residence of areas with higher homicide rates and a higher number of African Americans are more likely to support the death penalty. Is the death penalty Constitutional? Many people think the criminal justice system in unjust. Types of Criminal Offenses: Felony, misdemeanor, infractions. Misdemeanor: fine less that $1,000 and incarceration less than a year. Most crimes get resolved through a plea bargain.
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