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Lecture 7

Lecture 7 social structure and process.docx

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SOCI 2450
Darryl Davies

Lecture 7 Social structures theories/ perspective: - Locate the causes or explanations of crime within the structure of our society. Poverty, discrimination, and unemployment are all factors that tie to the social structure - Ecological theories • Founded on the Chicago School. • Focus on society and the impact of the social structure on the lives of individuals  An approach that looks at the impact of demographics on crime. • Park and Burgess  Looked at “concentric city zones” – as you move farther from the core of the center of the city to the periphery, the number of crimes as well as the type of crimes changed.  Zone 1- where retail businesses and like manufacturing occurs.  Zone 2- a transitional zone because you start to move into residential areas (houses, businesses, condos)  Zone 3 is the working class district (working class homes).  Zone 4 is mainly middle class.  Zone 5 would be the homes on the periphery of the city (real suburbs)  You can gear specialized policing to specific areas: ZONE POLICING [through this process you can develop and target the type of offences in the specific zones] • Broken window theory  Physical deterioration in an area leads to increased concerns for personal safety among area residents and to higher crime rates in that area.  Belief that since one window is broken, left unattended, invites other windows to be broken, which leads to a sense of disorder that breeds fear and serious crime.  By ignoring minor crimes we lose opportunities to repair the first signs of disorder and to hold offenders accountable • Defensible space  Defensible space: using defined areas of influence and improved opportunities of surveillance of its residents  Protecting your environment through surveillance  Taking proactive measures to reduce criminal activity  Tied to victimized individuals  Trying to create protection for people in neighborhoods  Reducing the opportunities for crime and limiting the areas where people can commit crimes - Anomie- Strain Theory- Robert K. Merton • Anomie = normlessness. The state of a society that collapses when there is a disjunction between institutional means and cultural break down – a level of powerlessness and alienation is created • Society is the accumulation of wealth or money – not everyone has the same access and money • In society not everybody has the same means of obtaining the same amount of money • Income can be tied to education • There is a disjunction between institutional means and cultural goals  The means to obtain the money and to fulfill the cultural goals that society creates • Access to means and acceptance to means are part of a typology: MODES OF ADAPTATION  Conformity- have the means and the goals – accept the way to earn the living and how to  Innovation- do not accept the means but accept the goals – Ex. Mobster, obtains money through criminal behaviour  Arises when an emphasis on approved goal achievement combines with a lack of opportunity to participate fully in socially acceptable means to success  Ritualism- accepts the means but doesn’t accept the goals, have scaled down their aspirations. Ex: Likes their job and doesn’t want a promotion  Retreatism- abandon the means and the goals  Rebellionism- accept and don’t accept the means and goals – ex. Youth - Differential Opportunity- Ohlin and Cloward • This had substantial influence in the production of social policy (programs for youths) • Subcultural paths to success that are not approved of by the wider culture • Delinquent behavior may result from the ready availability of illegitimate opportunities with the effective replacement of the norms of the wider culture with expedient subculture rules. Hence, delinquent activity becomes “all right” or legitimate in the eyes of gang members • Argued that not everybody has equal access to opportunity  Legitimate: basic way of getting a job (going to school and getting a job).  Illegitimate: something that is viewed as not acceptable in society. • Delinquent acts are acts that violate basic norms of the society and officially known, it evokes a judgement by agents of criminal justice that such norms have been violated • Delinquent subcultures have 3 identifiable features:  Acts of delinquency that reflect subcultural support are likely to recur with great frequency  Access to a successful adult criminal career sometimes results from participation in a delinquent subculture  The delinquent subculture communicate to the conduct of its members a high degree of stability and resistance to control or change • 3 types of delinquent subcultures:  Criminal subculture: criminal role models are readily available for adoption by those being socialized into the subculture  Conflict subculture: participants seek status through violence  Retreatist subculture: drug use and withdrawal from the wider society predominate - Culture Conflict Theory- Sellin • The root causes of crime can be found in different values about what is acceptable or proper behavior. Conduct norms are achieved through childhood socialization in families. • Culture conflict theory sees the root causes in crime in clashes of values in social groups • Primary conflict is where different cultures clash. • Secondary conflict is when smaller cultures within the primary conflict clash.  Middle-class values, upon which the criminal law is based, may find fault within inner-city or lower-class norms. Ex: prostitution and gambling in Sellin’s time - Violent subcultures- Ferracuti • Violence is a learned form of adaptation to certain problematic life circumstances and that learning to be violent takes place within the context of a subcultural milieu that emphasizes the advantages of violence over other forms of adaptation • Violent subcultures expect violence from members and legitimize its occurrence • Propositions:  No subculture can be totally different from or totally in conflict with the society of which it is a part  To establish the existence of a subculture of violence does not require that the actors sharing in these basic value elements express violence in all situations  The potential to resort or willingness to resort to violence in a variety of situations emphasizes the penetrating and diffusive character of this culture theme  The subcultural ethos of violence may be shared by all ages in a subsociety, but this ethos is most prominent in a limited age group, ranging from late adolescence to middle age  The counter-norm is non-violence  The development of favorable attitudes towards and the use of violence in a subculture usually involves learned behavior and a process of differential learning, association, or identification  The use of violence in a subculture is not necessarily viewed as illicit conduct, and the users therefore do not have to deal with feelings of guilt about their aggression • If a member of the subculture kills another member of that subculture, the punishment is most often less severe. Ex: gangs • Punishment is related to the seriousness of the offense, and if members of the subculture within which a crime occurs accept the offense as part of the landscape, then so too will the members of the wider culture that imposes official sanctions on the perpetrator. Ex: gangs Social process theories - Talk about the interaction between people and the interpersonal relationships people have with one another. How strong your bond is that you have with and within society. Place the emphasis on communication and socialization Social Learning Theory (all things before social control) - Maintains that all behavior is learned in the same way (whether it is legal or illegal behavior) and that crime is also learned - Social learning theory: Places primary emphasis upon the role of communication and socialization in the acquisition of learned patterns of criminal behavior and the values that support that behavior - Conduct norms apply- you learn what the rules are - DifferentialAssociation- Southerland 1. Criminal behavior is learned 2. Behavior is also learned in interaction with others, and through a process of communication. 3. Criminal behavior also occurs within intimate groups. 4. When criminal behavior is learned, it involves: the techniques of committing the crime and the specific direction of motives, drives, rationalizations, and attitudes. 5. The specific direction of motives and drives are learned from definitions of the legal codes that are either favorable or unfavorable.  You break the law because you have no respect for the law 6. A person becomes delinquent because of an excess of definitions favorable to violations of the law over unfavorable violations of the law. 7. The same mechanisms involved in learning criminal behavior are the same in learning law-abiding behavior. 8. You cannot explain criminal behavior by general needs and values, since non-criminal behavior is the same expression of the same needs and values. 9. Differential associations vary by intensity, propensity and duration. - Neutralization techniques- Matza and Sykes • Away of mitigating (making excuses) behavior- justifying why you did something 1. Criminals deny responsibility  Ex: pointing out background like poverty, abuse, lack of opportunity, etc... 2. Denial of injury  Claims that “everyone does it” or victim could “afford it” 3. Denial of the victim  Claiming the person deserved what happened. Ex: I only beat up drunks, or the person had it coming 4. Condemning the condemners  The police are corrupt and responsible for their own victimization. May claim society made them who they are, and must now suffer the consequences 5. An appeal to higher loyalties  Like in defense of family honor, gang or girlfriend. Have greater loyalty to the gang or w/e • Justifications that are valid to the criminal but not to the justice system • When opportunities arise, they use these justifications to relieve their guilt Labeling Theory- Becker - Points to the special significance of society’s response to the offender, and sees continued crime as a consequence of limited opportunities for acceptable behavior that follow from the negative responses of society to those defined as offenders - Becker • Becker studied how drug users were treated as outsiders in society. • All social groups make rules and attempt to enforce them. • Social rules define situations and the types of behavior that are appropriate to them. • Deviance is not a quality of the behavior itself, but rather the consequence of the interaction. • Social groups create deviance by making rules whose infraction constitutes deviance and by applying the rules to particular people and labeling them as outsiders. • From this perspective, deviance is not a quality of the act the person commits but rather a consequence of the application by others of rules and sanctions to an offender. • The deviant is one to whom the label has been successfully applied. • Deviance continues to occur in, say, a young shoplifter, because opportunities for conforming behaviors are seriously reduced, leaving, for the majority, only deviant behavior • Pure deviant: commits norm-breaking behavior and whose behavior is accu
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