Intro to Sociology: Crime
Intro to Sociology: Crime Introduction to Sociology
Popular in Introduction to Sociology
Popular in Social Sciences
This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Michelle Chang on Monday April 18, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Introduction to Sociology at University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh taught by Jeremiah Bohr in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Sociology in Social Sciences at University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh.
Reviews for Intro to Sociology: Crime
Report this Material
What is Karma?
Karma is the currency of StudySoup.
You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!
Date Created: 04/18/16
1 Introduction to Sociology SOC 101 (Section 002C) *** Notes from class lectures Crime, Part I: Crime VS Deviance, Theories of Crime Deviance o Deviance Unpopular acts departing from social norms o Punished in form of ridicule, ostracism o Not all deviant acts are criminal o Examples Murder (criminal) Robbery (criminal) Gender bending (not criminal) Never bathing (not criminal) Social Control o Social control How societies regulate and enforce norms and rules Intent is to maintain a predictable social order The “employee handbook” of living in society o Sanctions The exact means by which societies enforce norms and rules Type of sanctions o Positive Rewards given for conformity to norms (getting a raise, e.g.) o Negative Punishments for violation of norms (getting arrested, e.g.) o Formal Officially recognize norm enforcement Expelling a student for cheating (negative) Giving an artist a Lifetime Achievement award (positive) o Informal Face-to-face enforcement of norms Giving someone the “cold shoulder” (negative) Giving someone a flirtatious smile (positive) Crime 2 o Crime Actions that violate laws (formalized norms) o Punished in form of fines, jail, prison o Not all criminal acts are deviant Examples Underage drinking (not deviant) Speeding (not deviant) Illegally streaming movies (deviant) Types of Crime o Mala prohibita Conduct that is wrong because it is prohibited by law Ex. driving without a license o Mala is se Conduct that is inherently wrong Ex. human trafficking o Conflict crimes Deviant acts that the state defines as illegal, but the definition is controversial in wider society o Consensus crimes Illegal acts nearly all people agree harm society Perspectives on crime and deviance o Functionalist (Durkheim) Crime/Deviance is normal All societies across space and time experiences crime Absence of crime or deviance implies absence of liberty and freedom Crime/Deviance is necessary Punishment brings the community together, makes shared values explicit (consensus crimes, e.g.) Some acts can challenge the boundaries of shared values, spur social change (conflict crimes, e.g.) o Functionalist (Merton) o Strain Theory Crime and deviance result from inability to achieve culturally approved goals via legitimate opportunities o Conflict theory Crime does not serve any positive functions Sanctions favor upper classes, punish lower/working classes or racial minorities Examples 3 White-collar crime accounts for far more monetary damages than all of street crimes Imbalance in sanctions for cocaine (primarily affluent white users) versus crack (primarily poorest non-white users) o Labeling theory (symbolic interactionist) Deviance does not result from actions themselves, but the responses of others People become labeled as deviants, then live up to the label Primary deviance Initial deviance, non-consequential in itself Labeling theory does not account for this type Secondary deviance Due to severe sanctions, individual changes their self-concept “Deviant” becomes their master status, live up to the role Robert Merton’s Typology of Deviance Cultural Goals Institutionalized Means Conformist + + Innovator + - Ritualist - + Retreatist - - Rebel ± ± Criminal Justice and Surveillance o Surveillance Institutions Collect and analyze information about populations in order to govern their activity (Haggerty and Ericson 2006:3) o Criminal Justice system as Surveillance About ¼ of adult American population has record on file with criminal justice agencies (Trovis 2002) Interaction with criminal justice is disproportionately distributed o Surveillance, Crime, and Inequality Individuals who have been stopped by police, arrested, convicted, or incarcerated less likely to interact with surveilling institutions 4 However, these individuals just as likely to participate in civic or religious institutions (non-surveilling) “System avoidance” The mechanism that connects criminal surveillance with social stratification o An already marginalized population severed from the very institutions needed to help provide better opportunities and desist from criminal behavior o Avoid banks, hospitals, employment agencies, schools Crime, Part II: Major Crime Trends and Typologies How do we study crime? o Aggregate data Uniform Crime Report Official crime data, published by FBI Concern over accuracy, doesn’t cover all types of crime o Survey research Criminal self-reports Random sample victim surveys o Qualitative research Face-to-face interviews; ethnographies Crime Trends by social factors o Seasonal (weather/climate) o Age o Gender o Social Class o Race Crime Rates o Crime wave that began in the early 1960s and continued to surge in the 1970s and 1980s o Significant decline in crime rates began in 1990s What explains declining crime rates? o Six possible sources 1) Punishment Prison population explodes 5 Accounts for 10%-30% of crime drop But, prison has criminogenic effects, AND it’s very expensive 2) Policing Number of police officers expanded Effectiveness varies by community Accounts for 10%-20% of crime drop 3) Opportunities “Target hardening” – design changes that make crime more difficult o Ex. improvements in auto anti-theft systems Spread of surveillance changes risk associated with crime 4) Economics Does a bad economy = more crime? o Most evidence says “no” o Complex question. Bad economy may simultaneously incentivize criminal behavior while making victims scarcer 5) Demographics Age structures, proportion of immigrants Modest impacts (if any), up to 10% 6) Longer-term social dynamics Some evidence that crime was declining prior to post-WWII era (statistics not as reliable) o 1960s-70s may have been a historical aberration Summary: What caused big crime drop? Strong Evidence Weak Evidence ↑ Punishment Improved economy Effective, but expensive Unintended consequences ↑ Police officers Older demographics ↓ Criminal opportunities Common Types of Crime o Street crime Committed in public Often associated with violence, poverty o White-Collar crime 6 Usually non-violent, committed by professionals at their regular job Overall, causes much more monetary damage than street crime o Public Order crimes Illegal behaviors that violate public morality However individuals directly involved are consenting “Victimless” crimes Public Order Crimes o Sex crimes Ex. prostitution Who are the victims? o Drug crimes Ex. marijuana; meth Who are the victims? Question for class o Should drugs be legalized? With whom do you agree? Why or why not? Legalized drugs? o Yes War on Drugs too expensive and ineffective Many drugs are less harmful than alcohol/tobacco Legalization = regulation (quality control; tax revenue) Eliminate black market for drugs Manage associated violence and health problems o No Legalization would spread rate of addiction Public costs associated with treatment Legalization would officially sanction social ills in poorer communities War on Drugs is good goal, just need new strategies
Are you sure you want to buy this material for
You're already Subscribed!
Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'