Crim 103 lecture 1.docx

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Crim 103
May 5/09
Lecture 1
No easy answers
-complexity of crime and crim.beh.
-No all-encompassing explanation for crime
- The importance of theories
-What is theory?
- Why do we need theories?
Theory
- Beliefs, information, attitudes, intellectual atmosphere
-Never free from influence
- Never objectivestarts from a point of view
- Underlying assumptions
- Context:
Socio-political
Intellectual
Underlying assumptions
Conformity----Strain Theory (merton)- Humans are good, unfluenced by attitudes and values of society
NonconformistSocial Control (hirschi), Biological Explanations- Humans are undisciplined, individuals;s
ties to society are weak, innate tendencies must be controlled by society.
Learning---Differential Association (Sutherland), Social learning (Bandura) Humans are born neautral;
behavior is learned through association with criminals or people around you.
How do we know what we know?
-experience
-intuition
-common sense
-science
-Someone told us
-we read about it
-etc.
What is a “good” Theory?
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