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SOC 4410: Criminology, week 5 notes

by: Alison Carr

SOC 4410: Criminology, week 5 notes Soc 4410

Marketplace > Bowling Green State University > Sociology > Soc 4410 > SOC 4410 Criminology week 5 notes
Alison Carr
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About this Document

These notes cover the lectures of week 5.
Dr. Finkeldey
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Alison Carr on Friday February 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Soc 4410 at Bowling Green State University taught by Dr. Finkeldey in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 8 views. For similar materials see Criminology in Sociology at Bowling Green State University.


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Date Created: 02/12/16
SOC 4410: Criminology, Spring Semester 2016 Week 5 Chapter 5: Classical and Neoclassical Perspectives Understanding Theories of Crime  Why are some individuals more likely to commit crime?  Why are some categories/kinds of people more likely than others to commit crime?  Why is crime more common in some locations than other locations? Types of Theory  Micro-level  Macro-level  Have implications for efforts to reduce crime From Theology to Science  For most of history, religion formed most explanations of human behavior  Crime/deviance was caused by: o God o Devil o Demons] The Age of Reason  Enlightenment Period o Provided a new way of thinking about natural and social phenomena o Weakened the influence of religion o God had left people to govern themselves Classical School of Criminology  Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794) o Father of modern criminology o Believed in free will and rational choice o To deter individuals from engaging in crime, punishment should be:  Certain  Swift  Severe  Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) o Hedonistic calculus Positivism  Recognizes forces external and internal to individuals influence behavior and attitudes  Auguste Comte suggested forces beyond a person’s control determine human behavior Charles Darwin  Led the rise of science as a mode of inquiry  Origin of the Species  Became blue print for research across all disciplines, including criminology Neoclassical Perspectives  All theories under this banner view criminals as rational  Economic thinking (emphasizes rationality)  There are 3 theories in this area: o Rational choice theory o Deterrence theory o Routine activities  Rational Choice Theory o Assumes that potential offenders weigh the costs/risks and benefits/rewards of engaging in crime o Modern inspiration comes from economic models of rational decision-making  Gary S. Becker  Choosing to engage in crime is similar to choosing to make a consumer purchase  Expected utility model  Expected Utility Model Factors o Opportunity to earn money through legitimate occupations o Amount of actual money people can earn legitimately o Amount of money gained illegitimately o Possibility of arrest o Possibility of being punished Cornish and Clarke  Criminology had neglected the actual decision-making process  Said there were more benefits other than money/financial benefits  Included concepts of: o Benefits o Fun o Excitement o Prestige  Event decisions o Preparing to commit a crime o Selecting a target o Committing the crime o Escaping o Aftermath of the crime  Related concepts o Initiation: committing crime for the first time o Desistance: ceasing to commit crime o Situational factors o Opportunity  Limitations of rational choice theory o Exaggerates the rationality of offenders o Violent crimes are often emotional crimes o The presence of drugs/alcohol in the offender’s system Deterrence theory  Assumes that potential and actual legal punishment can deter crime  Types of deterrence o Absolute- having a punishment vs. not having a punishment o General- people ae deciding to not break the law because they are scared they might get in trouble  Speeding o Specific- when someone has already been punished  Don’t speed again, because you’ve already been pulled over o Objective- impact of the actual punishment  Being in prison o Subjective- what your perception of the actual punishment would be  Deterrence considerations o Type of offense  Instrumental (more deterrable) s. expressive o High/low commitment to offending o Public( easier to deter)/private sitting of crime


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