SOC 311 Notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Emily Wagner on Saturday December 5, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to Soc 311 at University at Buffalo taught by in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see Drugs and society in Sociology at University at Buffalo.
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Date Created: 12/05/15
SOC 311 -- Drugs and Society (Kristen Connolly) [Notes from 11/30/15-12/05/15] Drugs and Crime: The Connection Use of drugs leads to higher rate of crime Criminals are more likely to use drugs Criminogenic: having the capacity to cause or influence the commission of criminal behavior Dependent variable = a factor that is caused by another factor, the independent variable, example: age (the independent variable) causes drug use (the dependent variable) Independent variable = a casual factor, one that has effect on another factor 3 Models: 1. Enslavement: accidental narcotic addiction – engage in bad things a. Drug addiction causes criminal behavior 2. Predisposition: explanation for the connection between drug addiction and criminal behavior is that the kinds of people who are likely to engage in drugs 3. Drug addiction accelerates,, but does not generate money- making criminal behavior a. Connection is not fully explained Psychopharmacological Model: drugs and violence are very strongly connected because direct use of drugs causes violence Economic-Compulsive Model: strong connection because users need money to support their drug habits Systemic Model: power struggle in sellers—legal issues Goldstein – systemic model = best o Looked at sample of criminal homicides in NYC o Majority were systematic Cocaine and Violent Behavior Gender related Men: use of cocaine causes increased rate of abuse Heroin Addiction and Violence Polydrug use: using more than one drug at a time Before 1970s, heroin addicts were looked at as peaceful After 1970s, looked at as a cause for violence In the 1970s, it became popular in the younger crowd o Marked a “new breed” of heroin addicts Alcohol and Violence Drunken Comportment: behavior under influence of alcohol Cognitive-Guidedness Approach: behavior under influence of alcohol is guided by cultural norms Disinhibition Model: direct effect of alcohol that causes drinkers to be liberated from society’s norms and leads to danger **Most crime happens between people who know each other Drug markets have geographic specificity Victims of Violence Not all victims are directly involved Others victims include: officials, reporters, singers of Narco Ballads U.S. Crack Market Violence 4 Factors a. Youth of the participants: violence rates peak at ages 18-22 a. Crack market and bootlegging dominated by young men b. Value of drugs: suddenly situational violence may have very high pay-offs since the cocaine is so expensive c. Intensity of law enforcement: transactions are conducted with a degree of suspicion and insecurity d. Indirect consequence of drug use: crack users are known to be violent and aggressive Why Rick Kids Sell Street Drugs: Wankstaz, Wannabes, and Capitalists in Training If money and upward class mobility is the primary motivator for selling street drugs, then why do affluent college students choose to become drug dealers? o This seems to go against so many theories Contradictions Affluent kids who decide to sell street drugs contradict much that we believe to know about crime, public/policy/the war on drugs, and the usual stereotype of drug users/dealers Their decision to engage in drug sales seems counterintuitive and non-sensical Motivations to Sell Drugs Proved worthy of them risking everything that they have and can count on through life if they maintain the socially prescribed path Combination of tangible things and social rewards Motive 1 Underwrite the costs of their own drug use o Avoid paying retail prices o Earn enough profit to wipe out the cost of their pot Pot was part of daily lives, not just for parties/on the weekend Motive 2 Underwrite other incidental and entertainment expenses o Expenses such as treating friends, alcohol, vacations Motive 3 The spirit of capitalism Potential for huge profits, disposable income o Business-y people, seen opportunity: supply and demand Motive 4 Ego Gratification and the Pursuit of Status o Seen as a business decision to avoid being labeled as a criminal Motive 5 Sneaky/thrill of anti-authoritarianism Discuss LaCoste: openly selling, parking in no-parking zones with drugs in car on campus Motive 6 Warding off the emasculating force of privilege o Desire for independence o Use drug dealing as a way to seem independent Delinquent Gangs Most people don’t join gangs because of money o The money is close to that of minimum wage Join because gangs offer social acceptance and a place they will belong Symbolic values Selling Crack in El Barrio Crack was widely available and sold in the inner city Participation in drug trade comes from not having a job in normal ways, can’t fit in with society Alternative to formal economy Class and Ethnic Styles of Dealing Street style of drug dealing may help explain portion of racial disparities in drug-related arrests Middle-class style entails dealing in private to customers known to the seller, large quantities a small number of times o Violence rarely takes place in these locations Inner-city style entails dealing to strangers in small quantities, public and semipublic places o Violence often takes place here Mexico Cartels, Corruption, and Cocaine: The Gulf Cartel Headquartered in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico – directly across border form Brownsville, Texas Oldest organized crime syndicates in Mexico Before 2007, there were 4 major cartels: Tijuana, Juarez, Golf, and Sinaloa—now there’s 9-20 Has a presence in all of Mexico, as well as in some of U.S. most brutal and violent Also involved in many other crimes, not just drug-trafficking Founded in 1920a-30s in response to demand for smuggling people and drugs into the U.S. Loz Xetas: The Enforcers Used to be faction of Gulf Cartel, now they’re separate U.S. provided training to this Mexican military enforcement Most technologically advanced, sophisticated cartel When part of Gulf Cartel, kidnapped, murdered, and robbed for them Violence and the Gulf Cartel Weapons are superior to those of law enforcement Illegality of the drugs, and illegal weapons in Mexico are to blame for the violence Role of Law Enforcement Gulf Cartel are known to intimidate law enforcement Police are paid little, not extremely strong, corrupt, not trusted by citizens Collecting Taxes Gulf Cartel collects taxes (tolls) on anyone who wishes to traffic anything illegal into the U.S. by going through Mexican territory o Human trafficking, weapons, drugs Globalization Technology has made it easier for cartels to avoid prosecution A Threat to the State Gulf Cartel has facilities in the U.S. even with efforts to keep them out o Bribe government officials, operate with exemptions from punishments
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