CRM 101 - Boundaries of Criminology and Criminal Law

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12 Oct 2011
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CRM 101: Boundaries of Criminology and Criminal Law
WHAT IS CRIME?
There is no single response, they are constantly changing and shifting on what w
e believe a crime is.
Certain types of crimes can be justified, ex. killing is a crime yet it is allow
ed in war
Crime is always socially defined
Boundaries of this definition have changed over time and space
SOCIAL CONTEXT OF CRIME
Important in helping shape our understanding of and reaction to criminal acts an
d actors
Shaped by Following Factors:
Victim
Offender
Specific Nature of the crime
Location of the Crime
Rationale of the Crime
DEVIANCE AND CRIME
Behaviour that violates social norms, including laws
Customary ways of doing everyday things are governed by norms
More serious deviant behaviour is governed by laws
There is a continuum of crime and deviance
Degree of consensus
Severity of social response
Degree of Harm
TWO APPROACHES TO THE STUDY OF RULE-MAKING
The Consensus Approach
Laws represent the agreement of most the people in society that certain
acts should be prohibited in criminal law
The Conflict Approach
Laws are passed by the powerful in order to maintain their privledged po
sition by keeping the common people under control
MORAL ENTREPENEURS
People who are passionate about a cause
Use of politicial, economic, educational influence to raise awareness about an i
ssue
Work towards making changed in law
MEDIA
Most people learn about crime throught the media
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