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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Rahsaan Rohan on Wednesday September 30, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to SOCL 330 at Western Kentucky University taught by James Kanan in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 21 views. For similar materials see /class/216756/socl-330-western-kentucky-university in Sociology at Western Kentucky University.
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Date Created: 09/30/15
Mega n Smiley SOCL 330 Self Analysis Paper As I sit here and re ect on how my perception of what being a criminal is it has de nitely changed I realize that before my criminology class I never really took the time to think about it If someone had said the word criminal to me before a dirty mysterious guy with a ski mask on would probably come to mind Criminals are bad people who break laws some that really harm society But after a discussion earlier this semester in class I realize that Ibreak laws could I be a criminal Does breaking laws that we do every single day make us criminals I will admit that I do break laws I do go over the marked speed limit while driving parked illegally and when I was younger I even illegally downloaded music That is all petty stuff right What I really think counts as whether a person is a criminal or not is the psychology and thoughts going on in a person s head Sometimes when you are so mad at someone you might say Oh my gosh I want to kill them Everyone knows you would be joking but deep down inside are you kidding There are many different theories and explanations on why or why not someone might be a criminal In this paper I will be discussing two theories that Ithink are very important in discussing criminality and why Ithink I am not a criminal according to these theories I come from a small town in Breckinridge County Kentucky Almost everyone knows everyone and farming and the drag strip are the talks of the town When Iwas ve I moved to a different town in the county after my parents divorced Irvington wasn t the friendliest place in the county and certainly had the most crime rates but at my age I didn t know the difference In the second grade one of my classmates Dominic came in on a Monday morning with his arm in a sling Did he fall down the stairs Did he trip while playing baseball Or did he fall out of a tree Megan Smiley SOCL 330 Everyone wanted to know what had happened to him but none of those were the answer Dominic had been shot at his apartment complex All of us were stunned especially me As I got older I realize that though I went to the same elementary school as my classmates we lived in very opposite neighborhoods This is where the social disorganization theory comes in to play Social disorganization which was one of the most important theories developed by the Chicago School links directly high crime rates to neighborhood ecological characteristics youths from disadvantaged neighborhoods were participants in approved behavior and that criminology was acquired in a social and cultural settings through a process of interaction Dominic lived in a neighborhood where crime was high where the community didn t care what you did and where you can more likely can get hurt or in trouble His older brother was always getting into trouble so I m sure to Dominic this was an approved behavior I grew up in a nice neighborhood where parents were involved where we had curfews and getting into criminal trouble was never on our mind In middle school Dominic got into lots of trouble especially with ghting with other kids Ithink he eventually was expelled and heard around that he got into a lot of trouble with the law Today I couldn t tell you where Dominic is or what he is doing now but I m sure his living environments had a lot to do with his criminal behavior I m not saying that I was any better than him just because of the neighborhood I lived but I know that I did learn right from wrong especially in the criminality sense This is an example of why I think I am not a criminal by growing up with classmates from disadvantaged neighborhoods witnessing their start of criminal behavior and comparing the differences Another theory that I believe is probably the biggest of why people are criminals and why they act of it is the theory of low selfcontrol Gottfredson and Hirschi believe that criminality Megan Smiley SOCL 330 re ects the absence of selfcontrol but what is crime so appealing to people with low self control A couple of reasons are because criminal acts provide immediate grati cation and also easy or simple grati cation The best example for this theory would probably be a robbery of some sort whether it s a bank or a store These criminals who commit these crimes do not want to make this money on their own by working They have low selfcontrol and want the money NOW so that is what in uences them to commit this sort of crime The source of low self control is the absence of good nurturing training and discipline which was stated in our notes during class Ithink this also plays a part in the environment you grow up in not necessarily in the neighborhood but in the home itself We all know that someone is who is spoiled and gets everything they want WHEN they want it Sure we all have that moment of wanting something right then and there but from how we were brought up and raised we have learned selfcontrol and have learned a very popular phrase that you can t always get what you want Some of the requirements for teaching selfcontrol are willingness to monitor child s behavior ability to recognize deviance and willingness to punish bad behavior I believe punishment is a big key on raising your child and teaching them what is right from wrong If you don t punish them the rst time they will do it again Ithink my parents have done an exceptional job on raising and punishing me I wasn t on always a good kid and I had my share of speeches and timeouts given to me As a kid there were many toys trinkets and things that I wanted but my mom would refuse by saying that I didn t need those things but ultimately teaching me a lesson that I couldn t always get what Iwanted Her lesson has taught that in order to be successful Iwill have to work at it by going to college not by having it handed to me Listed in our notes are results from children who receive the requirements from learning selfcontrol Some of these include less xated on pursuit of immediate pleasures and more accepting of restraints placed on Megan Smiley SOCL 330 behavior I believe I have bene ted from these results and that s why this theory is an example of why I am not a criminal In conclusion I have used the social disorganization theory and the theory of low self control to explain why I think these theories are the best in explain why people are criminals and to also explain how these theories have helped me to re ect on why I am not a criminal Though I have broken many petty laws I feel that my environment and surroundings has taught me from right and wrong and that I could never act on any serious crimes
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