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FALL2012 - Lecture 5

4 Pages

Course Code
CRIM 101
Barry Cartwright

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SOCIAL CONTROL, RATIONAL CHOICE AND DETERRENCE JEREMY BENTHAM (1748-1832) - member of the Classical School of Criminology People were rational, and exercised free will  Would employ a hedonistic calculus in deciding whether a certaub action was more likely to result in pleasure than in pain UNDERLYINGASSUMPTIONS Social control and rational choice theories say there is nothing unique about criminal behaviour, and that motivation to engage in such behaviour is widespread Instead of asking why certain individuals commit crimes, social control and rational choice theorists ask why more individuals don’t commit crime Notion underlying all types of control theory is that conformity cannot be taken for granted If you want conformity and social control, you need effective socialization If people don’t learn/internalize social conventions or norms, then social controls will break down or become ineffective WALTER RECKLESS’ CONTAINMENT THEORY Inner containment = self-control, good self-image, ability to tolerate frustration Outer containment = family values, institutional reinforcement, effective supervision Internal pushes = restlessness, impatience, and anger External pulls = poverty, unemployment, media, or delinquent friends TRAVIS HIRSCHI’S SOCIAL BOND THEORY Attachment = ties of affection and respect, with parents, school teachers Commitment = getting good education, learning trade or profession, finding a good job Involvement = being involved in school, recreation, with family Belief = shared values – it’s wrong to steal, people should respect law GOTTFREDSON AND HIRSCHI’S GENERAL THEORY OF CRIME - Low self of control is the cause of all crime - Tied in with Classical School’s “hedonistic calculus” – people will choose to commit crimes if they perceive that prospects for pleasure outweigh prospects for pain/punishment - Agree with opportunity theory or routine activities theory, and requirements for “a motivated offender, the absence of a capable guardian, and a suitable target” in order for crime to take place THE CURE FOR CRIME THE CAUSE OF CRIME: - Crime is caused by low self-control - In turn caused by ineffective or incomplete socialization and ineffective child-rearing THE CURE FOR CRIME: - Adequate child-rearing - Caregiver must monitor child’s behaviour, recognize deviant behaviour when it occurs, and punish such behaviour THE CRIMINALCAREER Sacco and Kennedy question whether the concept Following Gottfredson and Hirschi, they argue that criminal behaviour Doesn't require specialized training or education, doesn't progress RATIONAL CHOICE THEORY  Rational choice theories also have their roots in Classical School thinking  Rational choice theorists say criminal motivation doesn't require special explanation, because criminals are motivated by same things as everyone else – money and self-gratification (hedonism)  Criminals primarily concerned with potential gains that can be realized through criminal activity, and ease with which those gains can be realized  Also borrows from economic approach (pain vs. gain) – offenders decide or not to commit crimes by weighing costs and benefits THE ECONOMY OF DEVIANCE Gary Becker (1968), Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach. Employs principle of utilitarianism, just like Classical School (often aka neoclassicism) Like everyone else, criminals will maximize own self-interests COST BENEFIT RATIOS COSTS - Risks, di
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