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week 6 notes

by: Ranayzia Notetaker

week 6 notes Soc 3600

Ranayzia Notetaker
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About this Document

these are the notes from week 6 of class
Nicole kaufman
Class Notes
25 ?




Popular in Criminology

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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ranayzia Notetaker on Tuesday October 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Soc 3600 at Ohio University taught by Nicole kaufman in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 9 views. For similar materials see Criminology in Sociology at Ohio University.


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Date Created: 10/04/16
Week 6 9/26/2016 notes Roots of the bigger Thomas character Southern Bigger Thomas  Was a playground bully, ended up in prison, killed during prohibition by a whit police officer, ended up in the asylum very violent, & threaten to be killed numerous times, by a bus driver during Jim Crow. Northern bigger Thomas  Fearful, alienated, violent youth, urban landscape created the landscapes for the three books (fear, flight, fate) in the south, noisy, violent, crowded, frustrated, had so much promise but not much ways to use it and get it. Commonalities porotypes  Nervous conditions shaped by modern life  Shaped by their environments  Searching for identity  Exclusion and alienation  Distinctly American Major themes in native son  Structural limitations  Tense cities  Fear, violence  Hunger, as a metaphor  Taboo  Blind vs conscious  Outsiders  Quest for identity as an individual Food for thought?  Any other fate?  Motivations?  Why?  Cry for help?  Urge to create or destroy? How to evaluate criminologist theories Theory:  A set of explanations for phenomena  Why is something the case? Basic concepts: What is the role of law? o Constraining or enabling activities? o Creating crime? What definition of crime is used? o Focus on particular kinds of crimes? Defining the “problem” Image of criminal & victim that are used? o Classifications of kinds of peoples or kinds of situations? What are the underlying assumptions? o Core ideas about humans, society, crime o Models, of society (conflict vs consensus) Heart of the theory (solutions) Casual Logic o What is the most basic unit of analysis? o What is the role of external forces? Methods required to answer the question o Reveal aggregate patterns? o Reveal differences in how meaning is being constructed? 9/28/2016 notes Classical Criminology  Key elements of a theory? (last class) o Casual -> can be tested, does A, cause B o All theories of crime have a problem & a solution Context: Demonology  A theological explanation of crime o Basic views:  Supernatural forces determine human action (Sheep drawing)  Evil forces enter body, often through 3 party, leading to crime  Crime control: torture, mass panics, -> witch hunts Why did demonology decline? Concern re: false accusations in witch hunts – judicial skepticism  Spectral evidence  Influential books  Acquittals Reforms limiting torture  Enlightenment  Declining power of church  New view of citizen o Rational o Rights o New view of how authorities should respond to human’s behaviors o Protect those rights Classical Criminology (1700-1800) The classical school Context: enlightenment era philosophy, including Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, James Mill (They were all selfish, we all want what’s best for us, how society functions)  Emphasis on acts (crimes) above, types of people (criminal)  Social control philosophy: crime can be prevented through the effective threat of punishment Important thoughts Hedonism  Pleasure seeking  The old times square, Gothamist (gettys image 1975)  (sex, gothic, “x” movies 24 hours) Consequentialism  The moral worth of an action is based on the action that results  Everything has a result or a consequence  When people are punished, how should people be punished? Based on what that is they are being punished for? Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794 Italy)  On crimes and punishments (1764)  Improve the system of accusations and trials (crime justice reform)  Modernize penal codes, systems of accusations and sentencings  Crime is an injury to society, look at the consequences of the damage to understand how grave the crime is.  There are more and less extreme crimes o More: dissolve society, deserve most severe punishment o Less: injustice to a private party, least painful  Punishments should reflect how serious crimes are  Incarceration should be used as a form of a punishment Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832 England)  An introduction to the principles of moral and legislation (1780)  Human nature: we are pleasure seekers (hedonist) and self-interested individuals  Individualist view of choices (atomistic) Utilitarianism (principle of utility)  Happiness occurs when total amount of pleasure is greater than the total amount of pain  What best is: creating the greatest happiness (for the greatest number of people)  What evil is: creating the most pain How does crime occur?  Every person makes a felicity calculus  Taking into account the gains but also the consequences of actions  We weigh out what well get out of the act & what could happen to us. 9/30/2016 notes  PM: How does punishment work to control actions? o Bentham: Rule 1:  "the first objective is to prevent all sorts of offenses as far as this is worthwhile; therefore, the value of the punishment must always be sufficient to outweigh the value of the profit of the offense." o We call this deterrence  PM: Deterrence o We call the manipulation of actions through threatened or demonstrated punishments deterrence  Specific Something specific to one person.  General Teaching the population at large why crime is not worth it, compared to the punishment. o To prevent crime, Bentham argues that punishment must be  Certain  Proximate (quick), or, if not Shouldn’t be time between crime and punishment  Severe  Proportionate to the offenses they're for  Clearly laid out  "distinctions that are too complex for a potential offender to take in will be worse than useless" (an introduction to the principles of morals and legislation)  Neoclassical criminology: Rational Choice Theory and Crime o Emphasis on explaining criminal events with the assumption that:  Someone decided to offend, and  It was a result of a conscious thought process o There may be influences on that decision in…  Personal factors (IQ, temperament)  Background factors (class, family structure, neighborhood) o Still, what's most important is rationality  Rationality o Rationality means:  Logic and reason drive behavior and thought.  Goals and means used are connected. o Rationality is bounded or constrained, limited. How?  Imperfect information  We don’t have time to find out more information  Emotions can interfere  Rational choice and crime o Greatest support for RC is in the commission of instrumental crimes  Property crimes  Drug crimes  Prostitution  People encountering an opportunity can be deterred based on their perception of being seen or known to police


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