Criminology Chapter 6 Notes
Criminology Chapter 6 Notes 3600
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kathryn Hardison on Tuesday March 1, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 3600 at University of Missouri - Columbia taught by Andrew Fisher in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 22 views. For similar materials see Criminology in Sociology at University of Missouri - Columbia.
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Date Created: 03/01/16
Criminology Chapter 6: Social Structure Theory Social Structure Theory o Definitions Social structure theory: social forces are the cause of crime and not individual traits. Disadvantaged class positions are primary cause of crime. Social stratification: a system of structured inequality in which people receive different amount of society’s valued resources. Video on US distribution of wealth o Intersecting Stratification Categories of class/habitus, race/ethnicity, and sex/gender are socially constructed categories that reflect power structures of society (privilege and oppression) Classism Racism Sexism Ideology of Isms o Society is naturally divided into parts o The different parts displayed intrinsically relate to one’s nature o The different among natures are innate, not subject to change, and on the basis of their legitimacy from Society, some natures are innately superior to others o Theories Social Disorganization theory Poverty Social disorganization o Broken families/households may experience more crime o Anything that isn’t as “society” should be Breakdown of traditions Criminal areas o Crime rates are elevated in commercial and residential neighborhoods experiencing change (business closing, buildings torn down or renovated) o Columbia neighborhood experiences a high number of shooting and they are paying a police officer to live there Cultural transmission Criminal careers o People will join criminal groups to get attachments and social needs to feel less alienated o Gangs claim territory and have authority with lack of external support or investments. People don’t care that much and then crime grows. People become career criminals Shaw and McKay o Transitional neighborhoods: an area undergoing a shift in population and structure, usually from middleclass residential to lowerclass mixed use o Studied Chicago o Explained that Chicago had developed into distinct neighborhoods and poverty neighborhoods were unable to come together as a community o Concentric zones Crime rate as you leave downtown gets lower and lower Social Ecology o Community disorder Crime rates are associated with community deterioration. Areas with high percentage of deserted and abandoned homes and businesses o Community fear In neighborhoods where people interact with each other, they are less likely to be afraid of crime If they are a afraid, they’ll get scary dogs and put bars on their windows o Siege mentality Leads to sense of powerlessness and a hostile worldview. They may think that police are there to harass them, not to protect and serve o Community change Can’t just be a poor community, but a poor, unchanging community leads to the fear of crime o Collective efficacy o Informal social control Neighbors disciplining other children and disagreements being handled outside of the courts. Ex: He stole my lawnmower so let’s get a neighbor to help steal it back o Institutional social control Institutions being a part of neighborhoods… schools and churches, for example, help prevent crime. After school programs help monitor children. Community centers and churches are often available o Public (formal) social control Government services, clinics, police are often ineffective in neighborhoods that are afraid of crime or are disorganized. Do police only monitor wealthy neighborhoods? Strain theory Suicide as a social fact o Social integration: the degree of attachments and inclusiveness a member of society has relative to others You’re included in society somehow Altruistic integration Too much integration to a degree that you lose your self identity Ex: kamakazi bombers who selfdestruct Egoistic No integration... feeling lonely Ex: jumping off the Golden Gate bridge o Social regulation: the degree to which rules, norms, and values are expected to be followed by members of a society Fatalistic Too much regulation makes you feel powerless and causes you to do harm Anomie The lack of regulation. You have so much power and you end up doing harm to yourself AnomieStrain theory o Anomie: a disconnect between socially defined and universally mandated goals and the legitimate means and reality to achieve these goals You see the goals and you know you’re supposed to do it, but you are detached and feel strained. You can’t do what you need to do o Strain: the difficulty in attaining positive social things o How do social structures exert positive pressure upon certain parts of society to engage in nonconforming rather than conforming conduct? Deviance and conformity are both psychologically normal o Assumptions of AnomieStrain We should all strive for the same goals Failure is a waystation to ultimate success Real failure consists only in lessening or withdrawal of ambition and goals o Culturally defined goals: the goals, purposes, and interests seen as legitimate objectives for a group of people o Acceptable means: the normal ways of achieving cultural goals Institutional anomie theory o Devaluation of the noneconomic o Subordination to the economic o Penetration of the noneconomic by economic o There’s a drive for material wealth o Changing our traditional values due to the desire to succeed o Ex: We used to go to school for education, but now we go for economic reasons Relative deprivation o A precursor to crime that incites envy, mistrust, and aggression resulting from perceptions of economic and social inequality o Being deprived of social status and wealth will make people feel a certain way to make them commit crime o Ex: when you see people on vacation on Facebook General Strain Theory (agnew) o Failure to achieve positively valued goals Someone who aspires to wealth and fame but lacks the resources to achieve those goals (financial, personal, etc.) Ex: You’re a good singer, you should apply for American Idol… then they fail and go bankrupt and commit crime o Disjunction of expectations and achievements Ex: Just sitting behind a desk all day when you were picturing something else o Removal of positive stimuli The loss of a job or loved one might lead someone to delinquency A person may seek out the person who was responsible for their loss o Presence of negative stimuli Child abuse, victimization, conflicts, physical harm Critiques of Strain theory o Assumes universality Changing goals and means of society due to laws and wealth o Class bias Success and pressures to succeed is greatest for the lower class but they don’t commit crime as much as highend businesses. They may experience strain o Simplicity of explanation Why one would choose one adaptation than another. Are you a rebel or innovator? o Retreatism from one perspective People often consume drugs whether conscious o Alternative perspectives Strain theory can explain crime attached to goals and means Cultural Deviance theory Conceptual Hierarchy o Society o Culture o Institutions o Organizations o Groups o Individuals Culture o The expressive aspect Norms Values Beliefs Symbols o As a tool kit A repertoire of habits, skills, and styles from which people construct strategies of action Ex: learning how to eat at a fancy dinner o The Location of Culture by Homi Bhabha (the time shared) o Subculture: a culture with different values and ideas than the dominant culture it is embedded within without conflict o Counterculture: a culture with conflicting values and ideas of the dominant culture Cultural Deviance theory o Focal concerns: values that have evolved specifically to fit conditions of classed environments o Subcultures of violence (1950s gangs) Trouble, toughness, smartness, luck/fate, autonomy o Delinquent subculture: a value system adopted by individuals that is directly opposed to that of the larger society o Differential opportunity the view that people whose legitimate opportunities are limited, join gangs and pursue criminal careers as alternative means to achieve universal success goals Criminal gangs Conflict gangs People who fight to fight Retreatist gangs Alcoholics or druggies who give up and run away Social structure and social policy o Government spending vs. charity Public assistance Social stability Community improvements
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