SOCI 1F90 Lecture Notes - Differential Association, Labeling Theory, Racial Profiling

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4 Apr 2012
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
o Designates certain behaviours and actions that require social control and social
intervention, codified in law
o Against the law
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
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?
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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
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 Bentham
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