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Lecture

Crime and deviance march 22 lecture.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCI 1F90
Professor
S.Cummings
Semester
Winter

Description
SOCI 1F90 Crime and Deviance lecture March 22, 2012  Clockwork Orange clip  We don’t actually have a free will choice, we are told how we can act and how we behave  Deviant or crime What is Criminology?  “The body of knowledge regarding crime as a social phenomenon. It includes within its scope the process of making laws, breaking laws, and reacting towards the breaking of laws”  The scientific approach to the study of crime  Information about the causes, patterns, and trends of crime Crime and Deviance  Crime o Designates certain behaviours and actions that require social control and social intervention, codified in law o Against the law  Deviance o Actions that violate social norms, and that may or may not be against the law o Socially challenging the law  Most crimes are understood as deviant; however all deviant acts are not criminal  Both are different but sometimes overlap What we View as Deviant Changes over time  Female body modification o Proliferation of plastic surgery o Tattooing, piercing  Smoking What is Deviant?  What are the accepted standards?  Where is the line? o Sexually explicit material vs. pornography? o Prostitution? Social Deviance  Any acts that involve the violation of social norms o Includes our appearance, relationships, our sexuality, where we live (e.g. on street vs. in a home), our jobs, how we treat our bodies (alcohol, smoking, drugs), etc  Howard Becker (19966) o Not that act itself, rather people’s reaction to the act that makes it deviant  Who defines deviance?SOCI 1F90 Crime and Deviance lecture March 22, 2012 o Politicians/governments, scientists, religious institutions, media o Informal (each other) and formal (laws) social controls Objective Deviance [act its self]  Ways of thinking, acting and being  How we present ourselves to the world Subjective Deviance [how its viewed by society]  Moral status that is associated with it  How is it viewed? Theories on Crime Causation  A framework for understanding criminal behaviour that can then be tested  Provide us with an indication of how we can prevent or correct crime  Translated into policy  Far from a unified belief on what causes crime  Different perspectives  No theory has ever been excepted that explains all types of crime o We have many that explains one type of crime  What is effective from stopping it from happening/preventing it/correcting it History of Explanations for Crime and Criminals  Demonology  Influenced behaviour  The presence for these things allowed from explanations on why things are done  People that were called witches were the once that caused it o The witches got in trouble for it  Evil spirits, demons and magic thought to be responsible for criminal activities  “The devil made me do it”  Witch hunts  Punishment was physical and aimed at the offender  Eye for an eye mentality Classical Criminology  Rational Choice Theory o Movement to balance crime fairly o Realized that eye for an eye didn’t work as well as we thought  Beccaria and BenthamSOCI 1F90 Crime and Deviance lecture March 22, 2012 o If crime results in some form of pleasure for the criminal, then pain must be used to prevent crime o Sentences must be proportionate to the seriousness of the crime o If the pain was worse than the pleasure, you wouldn’t commit the crime 4 Beliefs of Classical Criminology  People have free will to choose criminal or lawful solutions and thus crime is a rational choice  Criminal solutions are seen as more attractive to lawful ones if they require less work for a greater payoff  The fear of punishment can control people’s choice making  The more severe, certain and swift the punishment, the better able it is to control criminal behaviour Problems with Classical Theory:  More philosophical 1. Crime is not always rational 2. Not everyone is caught 3. Uniformity in laws and enforcement? 4. Assumption that punishment deters 5. Failure to account for individual circumstances Biological Perspectives  Positivism o Application of the scientific method to the social world o Identify features that distinguish criminals from non-criminals o Biological determinisn  Cesare Lombroso o The Criminal Man o Distinguished by anomalies in his hair and in the shape of his head, eyes, eyebrows, nose, ears, skin, teeth and chin o Born criminal  William Sheldon o Body types; mesomorphs [extraverted, muscular, big], ectomorphs [introverted, worried, thin] and endomorph [laid back, extraverted, soft and limp] Biochemical Imbalances  Control and influence antisocial behaviour  PMS o Used to be used as a defense  The “Twinkie Defense” o Was considered not guilty because of the food he ateSOCI 1F90 Crime and Deviance lecture March 22, 2012 Problems with Biological Theories?  Focus on the individual – what about environmental or social factors? o Like living conditions, housing, classes, areas, families, etc  Difficult to control for these other factors in research The Sociology of Crime  Classical and biological approaches fail to explain consistent patterns of crime  Emphasis on the ecological distribution of crime, the effect of social change, and the interactive nature of crime  Is not because of the biological reasons, need to look at other aspects, like the s
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