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CRM302 (Criminological Theories)- Lecture 1

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CRM 302
Stephen Muzzatti

CRM302-011 – Week 1 Monday, January 14 , 2013 --- WHAT IS THEORY? - “studying crime and who does it, why they do it and how do we respond?” - This is a conventional view formed from two ontologies (way of seeing) 1. Structuralist Ontology: the social world is a real thing; it is obdurate and has an objective existence outside of what we think 2. Interactionist Ontology: reality is constructed by people through interactions to negotiate meaning - The differences in ontologies causes the questions in epistemology/ knowledge forming “CRIME-ology” - Any serious investigation of crime must lead away from crime to prevent focusing on a singular object - Theory: a statement about how and why facts are related - For a good theory, it should be based on extensive research, logical reasoning, systematic and observation - Avoid broad categories and selective organization (Example: “murder” or “transgressive behaviour”) - Do not aim for simplicity: crime is becoming a “bad deed of a bad person” and pathologizing individuals, alleviating society’s responsibility to ask about social organization/structure - Question: “Why do we accept such a simple answers to prevent violence or punishing criminals?” - Some responses have been banning guns, giving harsher punishments as deterrence - We have been conditioned to accept violence, but that does not mean we want violence (just as we have been conditioned to accept simplistic answers) - belief in Cartesian common sense is the assumption that the average person is intelligent, and therefore we search for more answers, going beyond what the media is feeding us - we do not engage in complex discussion when already engaged in simple discussion - Alternati
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