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SOCY 387 - Topics 1, 2 & 3

14 Pages

Course Code
SOCY 387
Vincent F Sacco

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SOCY 387The Sociology of Crime and DelinquencythThursday January 12 2012 3 separate but interrelated issuesWhat is criminologyThe way in which crime and criminal justice and social control manifest themselves in popular cultureConcept of crime and what it has meant to criminologists historicallyo How has it been used o What is wrong with the way in which the concept has been used What is CriminologyDifficult to answerThere is no agreed upon consensually based answer o The term criminology can be used to refer to a vast array of disciplinary approaches o Not the exclusive domain of any one discipline o So much variation across disciplinesRemarkable variation in respect to what constitutes criminology o What causes to crime to how the victims deal with the crime etc etcSociology is a perspective lens of criminology Interdisciplinary o Mutual distrust between disciplines o Antagonisms o Most of what we call interdisciplinary isnt actually so o Berger form of consciousnessCriminology is not a perspective it is a subjectproblem area Whereas sociology is a perspectiveLimited approach sociology of crime and delinquency o We may seek out other disciplines at other points in the course Crime and Popular CultureThe study of crime is different from other areas of study since one has a lifelong exposure to the subject matter in a relatively casual yet consistent mannerOur popular culture is saturated with crime images it always has been Growth of popular media brought growth of crime imageryTabloids and their compelling narrativesCrime in popular culture leads to Crime Myths o Crime profiling and the lie detector mythCrime permeates contemporary culture o TV shows music o Rap reported on the neighbourhoods that original news medias ignored o Stagger Lee o Tourism crime tourism is becoming increasingly popularChicago The untouchable tourCrime is rich in some aspect or another in popular cultureIn the past decades there has been a relatively dramatic increase of crime in popular culture o A tremendous increase in the carrying capacity of popular culture media ex 2 TV stations to 700 TV stationsAt least 5 24 hour New StationsCrime fills a lot of this space because it is very to produce and has a dramatic narrativeWebsites movies etco The diffusion of certain kinds of relatively sophisticated news technologiesTelevision camerascell phones are now capable of videoWe have the ability to capture on going violence that previously could have never been captured due to cell phones smart phones etcA lot of what is captured has no intrinsic value it is uncriticalMedia is a business wants to capture peoples attention y Many stories are only on the news because there is video evidenceproofTelevision is a visual medium o Neil Gabler Writer Life the Movie essentially states that the major shift in the last few decades has been a shift where entertainment trumps everything elseVirtually everything in our culture has become entertainmentEntertainment always wins it is the supreme value to which we owe our allegiance News in every form has transformed into a form of entertainment as well o Entertainment before informationcrime is the perfect narrative o Crime is an excellent form of melodrama and uncomplicated narrative featuring the idea characters villain vs hero o Disappearance of fiction vs nonfiction what is realWhat are the characteristics of crime imagery that seem to be fairly consistent across various types of media oAtypicality very significant disconnect the kinds of crimes that happen most commonly are the ones that one is least likely to encounter in the media and vice versaLeast commonly occurring offence is murder it is the one that you see the most in the mediaDisproportionate representation o Simplicity we recognize and our willing to admit its complexity but the media operate differently in that they present crime as very dumbed down and dramatic version of real life Villain vs victim heroes easy to understand argue that corporate crime is too difficult
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