Criminology Chapter 7
Criminology Chapter 7 3600
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kathryn Hardison on Thursday March 3, 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 12 views. For similar materials see Criminology in Sociology at University of Missouri - Columbia.
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Date Created: 03/03/16
Criminology Chapter 7: Social Process Theories Social Process Theories o Definition The view that criminality is a function of people’s interactions with various organizations, institutions, and processes in society It happens because of what happens in society Theorists believe this is from politics, religion, economy, schools, etc. All people have the potential to commit crime o Institutions of Socialization (the process of becoming a member of society) Family relations Major determinant of behavior. Criminologists find strong relationships between supportive parents and noncriminals, but kids with troubled homes are more antisocial. Teenagers with fighting parents are more likely to be antisocial. Kids who don’t receive affection are more likely to be aggressive and use drugs. Abused children are more prone to crime, depression, suicide, etc. Educational experiences The type of classes and education you get depends on what school you go to. Different schools have different kinds of kids. You may not be as motivated at one school than another. Vastly different experiences in life Most likely to engage in criminal activity: less motivation in school and feel like they don’t fit in Peer relations Kids who hang out with friends for long spans of unsupervised time are more likely to commit crime Kids who completely reject people and don’t spend time with anyone are more likely to commit crime Peer pressure Prosocial friends may help shield you from criminality Religions and beliefs Belief systems bind people together Religious service attendance = less criminality You can’t be legal and illegal at the same time Church = less drug use Holding religious beliefs aren’t enough to combat criminality. You have to engage in the beliefs o Social Process Theories Social learning theories Criminal behavior is learned through social interaction with criminal peers Crime is like any other activity… you have to learn the techniques Ex: How to hotwire a car, roll a joint Becker, Howard, “Becoming a Marihuana User” o You can only use marihuana after you learn how to smoke it right. Then you can enjoy it Differential Association theory o Sutherland Began with idea that crime has nothing to do with your class, gender, etc. but can affect anyone because it’s a learning process o 9 Points Criminal behavior is learned Just like writing, reading, driving, etc. Criminal behavior is learned by interacting with others Learning criminal behavior occurs within intimate personal groups Learning criminal behavior involves assimilating the techniques of committing crime The direction of motives and drives is learned from perceptions of various aspects of the legal code as favorable or unfavorable A person becomes a criminal when they perceive more favorable than unfavorable consequences to violating the law Can be from peer pressure and then parent restriction Differential associations may vary in frequency, duration, priority, and intensity The process of learning criminal behavior by association with criminal and anticriminal patterns involves all of the mechanisms that are involved in any other learning process Although criminal behavior expresses general needs and values, it is not excused by those general needs and values, because noncriminal behavior expresses the same needs and values o Testing Studies (observations) Scales (numbers and rates) o Critique It can’t account for the very first criminal. Someone had to start the criminal behavior for it to be passed on Assumes criminal acts are rational and ignores irrational crime and random acts of violence Serial killers learn on their own Neutralization theory o The view that law violators learn to neutralize conventional values and attitudes, enabling them to drift back and forth between criminal and conventional behavior o Enables people to commit crime and then return to a conventional behavior o Criminals don’t commit crime 24/7 So there has to be some sort of process to prevent that o When a person moves in and out of delinquency, that is referred to as drift o Techniques Denial of responsibility They made me do it Denial of injury They have insurance and too much money Denial of the victim He had it coming Condemnation of the condemners Everyone steals Appeal to higher loyalties I have to protect my friends o Testing o Critique Social control theory The view that everyone has the potential to become a criminal, but most people refrain due to their bonds with society Theorists are interested in why people obey laws Selfcontrol or moral senses keep people from breaking laws o Ex: I think about the ducks and birds so I don’t litter Socialized to conform to society’s rules o Ex: family is dependent on them or their job. Santa Claus is watching you! Hirschi’s “Social Bonds” o Attachment Weakening of ties that attach people to society Family, friends, community o Commitment Will their commitment to other people keep them from behaving in such a way? Future, career, goals, success o Involvement You’re involved in school activities, organizations, religious groups, sports teams, social clubs, etc. Little time for involvement in illegal activities o Belief Honesty, morality, fairness, patriotism, responsibility, etc. You have similar beliefs to people around you o Individuals are more likely to engage in illegal activities without these bonds o Testing Youths who are more attached to their parents are less prone to crime People who shun antisocial behaviors will be closer to their peers and will commit less crime o Critique Influence of friendship Can be negative, rather than positive Family connection is more positive Group activities and peer pressure lead to criminal activity Failure to achieve You can be committed to doing something great, but if you fail, are you crimeprone? Deviant involvement Multiple romantic relationships = more trouble Deviant peers and parents If you’re attached to deviant peers and parents, then you’ll copy their acts Mistaken causal order Is it the bond that came first or the criminality? Kids with more problems are provided with more support Labeling Theory o Definition The view that people become criminals when they are labeled as such and the label is applied to their identity It’s not until you’re labeled successfully that you’re labeled that way There has to be an action (you’re caught) Criminals emerge out of stigmaproducing encounters Labels are internalized and acted on as truth o Theory Assumptions Behaviors that are considered criminal are highly subjective Even the worst crimes in society are never crimes until we decide that they are. It’s simply a matter of perspective Crime is defined by those in power Labels apply to people and acts Positive and negative labels involve subjective interpretation of behavior o Consequence of Labeling Theory Selflabeling Joining deviant cliques Retrospective reading o Primary Deviance A violation with little or no longterm effects Ex: DUI, noise complaint, etc. o Secondary Deviance A violation that leads to the offender being successfully labeled deviant o Research on Social Reaction Theory Targets of labeling Minority group members, poor and powerless, etc. Effects of labeling Negative labels dramatically influence the self esteem of a person Children negatively labeled by parents are antisocial and self image Helps sustain criminality over time o Validity 3 important contributions Definition of law. This is criminal. This is a thing. Crime isn’t a disease, they’re acts. Different conceptual realities of criminals and these concepts have to be treated differently. Labeling dictates actions of all parties. Consequences of Social Process Theory o Social Process Theory and Public Policy Relearning You have to relearn how to live a life without crime Paying back in society Rehabilitation We don’t want to label and punish them… but drug offenders may need to go to rehab
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