CRM 101 Notes – Week #1
What is Criminology?
• Scientific study of crime
• The body of knowledge regarding crime as a social phenomenon
What is a Norm?
• A hegemonic ideology, ideology that is accepted by the majority or those in power
What is Deviance?
• Those who do not follow the norm, results in formal or informal condemnation
What is the legal definition of crime?
• Crime is an act that violates the criminal law and is punishable with jail terms, fines, and other sanctions
What is moral panic?
• A condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to become defined as threat to the societal values
and interests. Those who start the panic when they fear a threat to prevailing social or cultural values are
known by researchers as moral entrepreneurs, while people who supposedly threaten the social order have
been described as "folk devils”
• Witch hunts are an example of mass behaviour fueled by moral panic
What is moral regulation?
• A social process that defines what is right and what is wrong in society, encouraging certain forms of
behaviour while discouraging others
• Moral regulationists are not concerned why people are poor, homosexual or drug users but simply in how
and why groups are controlled, as well as in the ways groups resist that control
Explain the idea of crime as a “social construction”.
• Crime and deviance are considered to be social constructs
• We as a society construct ideas of what is a criminal activity or what is deviant
• Example is sexual assault is a socially constructed crime because society feels it sis harmful and damaging
to the victim
• What may be deviant or criminal in one country may not be for another country
• For example, the possession of marijuana (more than 30 grams) in Canada is illegal and is a crime, while in
Colorado it is legal and not a crime
• Another example would be adultery, in Canada we know cheating on a spouse is bad but we do not punish
people for that, in Iran they do, they stone the cheaters to death
• Even though most societies consider murder, rape and theft as criminal in some societies these things are
accepted and encouraged
Explain consensus vs. conflict vs. group conflict.
• CRM 101 Notes – Week #2
Defining & Measuring Crime CRM 101 Notes – Week #3
History of Criminology & Social Control
Evolution of social organizing by mode of production
• Hunting & gathering was the main form of social organization, there’s no centralized power
• You cooperated, had mutual aid, or kinship
• Disputes were resolved by self-restraint (keeping yourself under control), mediation, shaming, temp
ostracism, expulsion from group
• As these communities got bigger and more developed they leaned towards agriculture & farming and
tribalism, private property division of labour and growth of inequality came
Early forms of state-based dispute resolution
• Trial by ordeal, made to do a task that was potentially harmful e.g. walk across hot coal
Explain the witch hunt situation
• They deviantized older women who were different from the norm who were either not married or had no
children (like witches) and were executed for it
• In Iceland men were executed as well for witch craft
• Witch craft exploded in the 15 century
• Malleus Maleficarum (witch hunting manual) was published and it increased the witch craft executions
• People found of witchcraft were publicly executed, burned at stake or hung
Explain the Spectacle of Public Executions.
• Pretty much any crime can result in public execution or a punishment
• Violent and brutal punishments
• Served as a way to discipline people
• Was a ritual/celebration for community members, provided a sense of “truth” for the community
• Significantly demonstrated the power of the state, to instill fear within the people and to prevent people
from committing similar crimes
• In the 1700s people were getting less excited, through the birth of science people weren’t as excited to
see public executions anymore, was not a “rational” punishment in this “scientific enlightenment” era
What is the Magna Carta?
• First time laws are written down to establish common law legal tradition
• Based on laws that are codified, and law in practice
• If a decision must be made, they look at other cases that are similar and deal with it that way
What happened during The Renaissance?
• Supernatural beliefs were on the decline
• Birth of scientific inquiry, reason, philosophy, rationality
• Made decisions based on scientific theory, reasoning What happened during The Enlightenment?
• Early criminological thought
• Thomas Hobbes says social order is created by humans
• He believed people were out for their own interests, very pleasure-seeking/greedy
• Thought about what’s going around them and manipulate it through reasoning and rationality
What is the Panopticon?
• Jeremy Bentham designed the Panopticon
• There would be a central watch tower, and all the prisoner cells would radiate from the watch tower,
there would be a window for prisoners to see that watch tower but they could not see in the watch tower
to see if there was a guard or not
• Instill an idea of constant surveil