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Intro to Anomie Strain Theory.docx

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CRIM 104
Barry Cartwright

What Makes a Good Theory: - Good theory is logically constructed (logically sound and internally consistent) - Good theory is based on evidence - Good theory can be empirically validated (i.e., through measurement or observation) - Good theory can unify a number of competing or conflicting theories Problems with Measurement: - Theory may be good, by we may lack the means to measure or observe - Some theories have been measured only once, or from only one perspective (may appear to have been proven, but not through repeated research) Types of Theories: - Metatheories: grand theories that offer wide concepts - Unit theories: emphasize a particular problem and make testable assertions about the problem - Macrotheories: broad, tend to explain the effects of social structure - Microtheories: narrow, tend to explain the process through which individuals or groups become criminal - Bridging theories attempt to address issues of social structure and the process through which individuals become criminal Consensus vs Conflict: - Consensus - Conflict - Associated with Emile Durkheim - Associated with Karl Marx - Society as a functional organism - Society rooted in social conflict - Norms/expectations based on shared - Norms/expectations not shared, but values/interests rather, imposed upon us - Laws and social institutions designed - Laws and social institutions designed to integrate and regulate social behaviour to protect interests of those with money/power Chronology: - Marx 1818-1883 - Durkheim 1858-1917 - Weber 1864-1920 Marx’s Contributions: - Not a sociologist, and didn’t write much about crime - Still most widely cited political philosopher in social sciences as recently as the 1980s - Wrote Das Capital and the Communist Manifesto - Influential in worker’s movements and ideas re: socialism and communism Dialectical/Historical Materialism: - Slave owners - Landlords - Capitalists - Slaves - Serfs - Workers - Dialectical pairs-polar opposites - Depends upon each other for their existence - Contradictory (opposing) interests - Class struggle leads to change in socio-economic forms The Historical Materialism Pyramid: Ideology Social superstitions Relations of production Forces of production Mode of production Basic Position of Marxist Thought: - “capitalism is an exploitative and alienating social order in which inequality is institutionalized by an elite ruling class” - “state serves the interest of the ruling class” - The laws are a “mystifying” force, masking the exploitative nature of capitalism Striking a Blow for Sociology: - Founded sociology at the Sorbonne in Paris - Wrote The Rules of Sociological Method and Suicide: A Study in Sociology - Wrote “Sociology and Social Facts”, appended to later editions of The Division of Labour in Society - Instrumental in establishing and contributing to Annee Sociologique The Influence of de Montesquieu: - Founder of the sociology of knowledge - Studied social facts, social institutions, social organization, social class and social conditions The Influence of Saint-Simon: - Widely regarded as one of the founders of sociology - One of first to view society as functional mechanism, greater than its component parts - Called for a “human science”; introduced the concept of “positivism” (using scientific method to study human phenomena) - Saint-Simon emphasized importance of moral order Don’t Forget Auguste Comte: - Coined the term “sociology” - Like Saint-Simon, Comte was concerned with moral order and moral disunity - Was opposed to social criticism, social conflict and social change - Redefined “positivism” as positive philosophy – the opposite of the critical, “negativistic” philosophy of the French Revolution and The Enlightenment The Socio-Historical Backdrop: - Durkheim was born in 1858, 10 years after the Parisian revolution of 1848; 12 years before the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871 - After the French Revolution of 1789; by 1875, France was going through its third incarnation, as the Third Republic - Time of the industrial revolution, and the rise of socialism and communism Law and the Moral Order: - Moral order more fundamental than economic order - Influence of Saint-Simon, who talked extensively about importance of moral order - For Durkheim, law was reflection of moral beliefs/sentiments - Moral order or moral consensus would create a unified social order Social Solidarity: - Mechanical Solidarity - Organic Solidarity - Earlier, more simple societies - Later, more complex societies - Rudimentary division of labour - Complex division of labour - Limited differentiation - Extensive specialization - Vengeance/harsh punishments - Law as regulated social defense - Repressive law
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