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Criminology Week 1 Notes

by: Melanie Kopriva

Criminology Week 1 Notes Soci 288

Marketplace > Northern Illinois University > Sociology > Soci 288 > Criminology Week 1 Notes
Melanie Kopriva
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About this Document

These notes are from the first week of criminology
Michael Ezell
Class Notes




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Melanie Kopriva on Tuesday September 20, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Soci 288 at Northern Illinois University taught by Michael Ezell in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 9 views. For similar materials see Criminology in Sociology at Northern Illinois University.

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Date Created: 09/20/16
SOCI 288: Criminology Sociological Concepts  Structure: “Seeing the general in the particular” o Reason(s) why someone commits crime are external social forces o Age, gender, social class, race/ethnicity, community structure  For example, age. 8 year olds have adults around constantly, whereas 15-16 year olds are more independent. Therefore, when there is likely to be an adult around, it is more likely for a crime to be committed.  Norms: Shared cultural expectations of appropriate behavior in a given social situation  Deviant Behavior: Behavior violating a norm o Crime is a serious form of deviant behavior  Both norms and deviant behavior are socially relevant – it isn’t the act itself, but the reactions  Folkway  Social punishment ; more  Law (e.g. killing somebody) o Reactions  Social norm (nature)  E.g. lightly slapping someone versus having a baseball bat  Actor subject to norm (social status)  E.g. someone eating pasta with their hands versus a baby eating pasta with his/her hands  Social audience (social context)  E.g. Men running naked versus women running naked  If you change one of these things you will get a completely different reaction Defining Crime/Criminals  Very problematic  Are crimes… o Only behaviors in the penal code? Business code? Health code? o Regulatory laws? o Infractions/violations/ordinances? o Illegal here but legal elsewhere?  To be a criminal, do you… o Just engage in criminal behavior? o Have to be arrested? o Have to be convicted? o How long do you have to be crime free?  Consensus versus conflict views of law o Consensus: Everyone’s best interest o Conflict: Only the powerful get the benefits  Mala in se versus mala prohibita o Mala in se: Evil in itself  Morally wrong o Mala prohibita: Wrong because it is prohibited  Felony vs misdemeanor vs infraction/violation/ordinance o Felony: Can be punishable by more than a year in state prison o Misdemeanor: Can be punishable by less than a year in county jail o Violation/Infraction/Ordinance: Local laws. Usually get a ticket or a fine. Two Key Elements of a Crime  Actus reus + mens rea = criminal liability  Actus Reus: Guilty act o Commission – do something o Admission – forget to do something o Possession  Mens rea: Criminal intent  Ex: Murder. “Unlawful killing of a human being” + “with malice aforethought” o Intent becomes huge  First degree murder vs second degree vs involuntary manslaughter vs voluntary manslaughter


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