CJ3024 Notes from 2/16 (lecture 10)
CJ3024 Notes from 2/16 (lecture 10) CCJ3024
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Haley Kairab on Friday February 19, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CCJ3024 at University of Florida taught by Dr. Marvin Krohn in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 116 views. For similar materials see Advanced Principles of Criminology Justice in Criminology and Criminal Justice at University of Florida.
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Date Created: 02/19/16
CCJ3024 Advanced Principles of Criminal Justice Lecture 10 (2/16) - The Nature of Theory (I.) What is Theory? A.Ideas about why B. Purpose to understand/explain something C. Ron Akers "Theory is not the antonym of fact…It is not irrelevant musings that should be ignored in the pursuit of knowledge. It is indeed a necessary process in producing knowledge." (II.) George Homans discovery and explanation in the scientific endeavor A.Discovery figuring out that two different phenomena are related B. Explanation shows that the relationship can be deduced from a set of general statements C. Is someone tries to find relationships, it is a science. If it explains those facts it is an effective science (III.) What does a theory do? A.Explains B. Focuses attention on important (within the context of that explanation) C. Guides research D.Suggests applied functions of the explanation (IV.) Definition of a theory A.Kubrin Et Al. a systematic way of saying our ideas on the how and why of social phenomena B. Akers and Sellers a theory is a set of interconnected statements or propositions that explain how two or more events are related to one another (V.) Deduction generating testable propositions from more abstract statements or propositions • Ex/ Durkheim on suicide 1. Relationship people that are protestant have a higher suicide rate than people that are Catholic or Jewish 2. Jews and Catholics are more integrated into their church and synagogue than protestants are 3. The more one is socially integrated the less likely the probability that they will commit suicide 4. Other propositions that can be derived from the abstract proposition • Marriage • Significant national events (VI.) Components of a Theory A.Concepts B. Assertions or propositions linking concepts C. Assumptions D.Scope conditions E. Operational definitions (VII.) Ways to evaluate a theory *** A.Definition of concepts B. Structure or logical consistency C. Scope or applicability D.Testability if the theory can be disconfirmed (tautology) E. Empirical validity probability F. Practical application Ways that theory directs research • Identifies research questions (hypotheses). It can also eliminate extraneous questions • Identifies target population • Identifies concepts to be measured can be used to determine if operationalization of measures is reasonable • If applicable identifies causal model to be examined • Suggests variables that should be "controlled" • Helps to interpret the findings • Suggests ways that research can be modified to examine the theory better Impact of research on theory • Allows us to "tentatively entertain the theory" • May suggest that the theory should be discarded • May suggest ways that the theory needs to be modified • Can suggest the 'next' research question Social Structural Theories Social Structural examining issues at an aggregate level • Notion of social facts (Durkheim) • Accounts for differences in the rates of crime across different grouping ◦ Neighborhoods ◦ Social classes ◦ Race or ethnicity ◦ Gender • Caveat: even though we categorize theories into social structural or social processural theories, we need to recognize that many time, theories deal with issues at both levels or at least implications for both levels Two Perspectives that begin with different assumptions • Social disorganization theory ◦ A social control theory so the question it asks is why doesn’t everyone commit crime most of the time ◦ What constraints us from doing so? ◦ Answers lie at the neighborhood level Strain perspective • Something in the social structure creates a strain that leads people to adapt • Adaptive response can be criminal • Creates a motivation for crime (need to adapt) Social Control Theories • Assumptions ◦ Deviance is attractive ◦ We would if we could ◦ We need to explain why we don't not why we do ◦ Classical school notion rationality ◦ Look for something that constrains us ◦ The Chicago School first ' chair' of sociology established at the University of Chicago in the 1890's ◦ What Chicago was like during that time • Growth 18304000 people living in Chicago • By 1890 1 million people • By 1910 2 million people ◦ Along with population increase • Immigration ethnic diversity • Industrialization • Urbanization • Old traditions waning new ones in formative stage • Social reform movement beginnings of social welfare/work • Citywide problem individual approaches seen as having limited applicability • Sociology influence of European scholars • Robert Park and Ernest Burgess ◦ The Growth Of The City ◦ Park studied in Germany and was influenced by conflict of sociologists and plant ecologists • Used the analogy to plant ecology to account for what was happening in Chicago • Invasion, dominance, and succession Concentric Zones • Zone of transition ◦ Invasion of businesses out of central business zone ◦ Impact on land values multiple family housing ◦ Attract new arrivals ◦ High mobility in and out of zone ◦ Low income population • Social Disorganization ◦ Inability of neighborhood to organize ◦ Little solidarity among residents ◦ Lack informal social control ◦ Weak social institutions ◦ Why????? • Poverty • Ethnic diversity • Residential mobility • Clifford Shaw and David McKay ◦ Focused specifically on crime ◦ Rate maps ◦ Naturalistic observation ◦ Not formal theorists • Neighborhood factors > social integration > crime • Shaw and McKay's Research ◦ Found that the zone of transition had the highest crime rate ◦ Found that zone of transition had the highest rate over a number of years ◦ Found this to be true regardless of ethnic group that moved in • Early research ◦ Established relationships among neighborhood level variables of poverty, ethnic diversity and residential mobility and crime ◦ Problems: • Did not measure intervening variables • Measure of neighborhood • Multicollinearity • Contiguous neighborhoods • Static v. dynamic analysis • Popularity of social disorganization theory declined in the 1960's ◦ Self report studies ◦ Relationship between social class and crime
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