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Lecture 4

SOC 1500 Week 4

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SOC 1500
Michelle Dumas

Week 4 October 2, 2012 Social Structural Theories of Crime Chicago School  Human Ecology Model  Biology (invasion & dominance)  Urban/city o Based on growth patterns seen in Chicago o Chicago had concentric zones o Zone 1: transitional zone (business core, higher property values) o Zone 2: impoverished, new immigrants (inner city)  People don’t stay in zone 2 for very long o Zone 3: working class residential zone  Those who live in zone 3 are those who were able to move out of zone 2  Ethnic ties, little Italy o Zone 4: residential zone/middle class  More expensive apartments and single family dwellings  Professionals with businesses (doctors, dentists)  Brighter, more light than in zone 3  Better lit, better maintained, more grass and trees o Zone 5: commuter zone  Commute into city for work  Bigger properties, bigger houses (Oprah) Social Disorganization Shaw &McKay  Illegal conduct/crime is highest and most likely going to happen in zone 2  Disorganization o Social ties between people in that zone are broken o No community ties o Social concern is weakened  Constant influx of people in and out of that part of the city  People have the belief they aren’t going to stay there long, so don’t get to know other people Policies  Policing o Concentrate effort in places where they know is going to be more crime  Community  Organization o You try to promote the organization of the people who live there  Education  Quality of life o Once we improve the organization, it will decrease the level of crime Week 4 October 2, 2012 Criticisms Class bias  Higher class is more organized, lower class disorganized  Crime doesn’t happen in middle class neighborhoods (not the case)  Crimes occur in every location, regardless of class Discriminatory Functionalism (Consensus Theory) What causes deviance? Chicago school-Where is deviance? Main argument  No society is entirely crime free, crime always existed Functions of Deviance:  Manifest functions o Functions that are apparent and intended o Purposefully done o Set out by institutional goals and done through formal/official means  State punishes criminals so other people will obey the laws (intended form of punishment)  Latent functions o Unintended, informally, outside control of state o While society punishes individuals, and unintended function  Prisons like a school of learning new crimes Functions of Crime Group solidarity  A crime can create solidarity among a group  Happens when community standards seriously violated  Outrage of an act brings a community together and they all have a common goal Boundary settling  What is acceptable and what isn’t  Sometimes not always clear, so it can show how far we can go until an act is unacceptable o How far is it till we say its sexual harassment in an office Reinforce conformity  Give more attention more to people who act well o Reward them publicly  Those with bad behavior, we punish them badly  When people sacrifice lives, or something heroic=rewarded Innovation function (flexibility &change)  Through people breaking the law it can come to progressing in a new way o End wars o End discrimination (civil rights movement) Week 4 October 2, 2012 Emile Durkheim Founding sociologist/functionalist Suicide  Classic study on suicide  Suicide differed by different groups in society (specifically to religion) o Argued that it’s a social decision  Protestants more likely to commit suicides than Catholics  Social controls are stronger among Catholics than protestants  Catholics more likely to commit suicide than Jewish Anomie  Occurs when social norms and values are unclear or confusing  Where we have a sense of not knowing how to behave  Religion began to have a less impact  Concept used to explain first year students coming into university  Mechanical Solidarity o Based on saneness and shared conditions o What binds people together o Small scaled society’s, those with similar background o Very important for them to attach themselves with each other o One person falls, whole team falls  Organic solidarity o More modern and urban o Based on differences o We bind ourselves to people who are different from us but similarities (geographic space) o When you shift from one area to another it can create an anomie o More grey areasif you violate the rules, whole system doesn’t break down Strain Theory/Anomie (Merton, 1968) Argued that, yes there is anomie, but people adapt to that in different ways. What you have defines you, and because of that there is a lot of pressure on people to prescribe to a particular status and own certain things. If you work for it you deserve it. Cultural goals  Goals that society sets (material wealth and possessions, “American Dream”)  Obtaining wealth, obtaining possession Institutionalized Means  Getting it all legitimately  School and working hard Week 4 October 2, 2012 Five ways to adapt to Anomie: 1. Conformity a. You accept the goals and institutionalized means of getting those goals. You work hard and don’t break the law. 2. Innovative a. One who accepts the goals, accept gaining wealth but reject the means or have blocked opportunities to getting to the institutionalized means. These people dealt with crime to make wealth (drug dealers, people who steal and sell goods for cash) 3. Ritualism a. When a person has accepted legitimate means (have legit job) but they have given up on obtaining wealth. Not really criminal but do the least amount of work to get through the day. 4. Retreatism a. Rejects the means and goals. They retreat from society (escapists). (Drug addicts) 5. Rebellion a. Rebelling against status quo for change. They want to change the means (anarchists, communists, civil rights movement). Negative: 9/11 (rejection of goals and means) Problems (criticisms)  Crime o Assumed that middle class and upper class don’t commit crime  Gender o If you have more blocked opportunity you become an innovator (women less likely to commit crime)  Consensus o Only cultural goal we should have is to obtain wealth  But for some people that might not be their entire goal  Then why do we have legislation against things  Statistics o Some people are more likely to be questioned by police  Assumption o Lower class people are frustrated  Are they really frustrated? Do they want to achieve same thing as middle class?  They can have other goals besides money o Doesn’t explain deviance done for fun (underage drinking) Status Frustration Albert Cohen (1955) In school atmosphere, it can become highly competitive, so in schools there is competition for status. And lower classes are more likely to fail or not be able to Week 4 October 2, 2012 achieve the high status that middle class can. Lower class learn different values and home than middle class peers. There is a frustration trying to achieve this status.  Lower class cannot live up to the middle class’s measuring rod  Frustrated that they are not able to achieve that  In subculture, can achieve status in a way that’s more meaningful to them o Therefore, they reject middle class values o Acquire their status to violence and fighting Differential (Illegitimate) Opportunity Cloward & Ohlin (1960) Lower class are denied to equal access to legitimate and illegitimate ways on meeting their goals.  Isn’t one type of subculture, there are 3 types: o Criminal  Members learn techniques to commit crime  Need to be smart enough to acquire those skills  Ex. Selling drugs, auto theft, selling goods for money o Conflict  Based on violence and fighting  Essentially capable for fighting  Only way to obtain status is through fighting  Need combat skills, enthusiasm in risking safety  Gangs that fight for territory o Retreatist  Double failures, not smart enough to be criminals and not good enough to fight  Turn to alcohol and drugs to cope with that Policies  We need to reduce deviance through regulation o Regulate people through policing  Economic expansions o If opportunities blocked to wealth, then we need to increase their opportunities or abilities to get better jobs or better education  Education o We want to broaden access to education o Give grants to people who can’t afford it  Redistribution o If people feel they have access to things that they need, they are less likely to commit crime  Training o Better training for better jobs Week 4 October 2, 2012 Differential Association Sutherland (1934) Main question  Why are some people more criminal than others? His research has been most influential in white colour crime and juvenile criminals. Main argument  How the process of socialization occurs within groups? We are socialized to be conforming or non-conforming. Groups that encourage deviance will have higher levels of crime committed. And those who encourage conformity will have lower levels of crime.  Cultural traditions o Through the degree to which cultural traditions stimulate conformity or nonconformity to the group  Generation o This conformity passed form one generation to the next Nine propositions 1. Criminal behavioral is learned (not psychological). Same way you learn surgery and to tie your shoes. 2. Criminal behavior is learned with the interactions with other persons, process of communication. 3. Intimate personal groups will have a greater impact than non-intimate groups. The people you are the closes too you will learn from the best. Which is why parents don’t want children to hangout with the wrong crowd. 4. Learning includes (a) techniques and (b) specific direction of motives, drives, rationalizations and attitudes for other conforming or non-conforming behavior. (Drug smuggling and prostitution requires techniques) 5. Definitions of legal codes as favourable or unfavourable. If group sees favourable, you are more likely to see it as favourable. Reference group affects the way you see the law. 6. A person becomes criminal because favourable to violation of law. If people associate with patterns that encourage criminal behavior than they are most likely to commit. 7. Differential association varies in frequency, duration, priority, and intensity. More frequent more duration, higher priority increases chance of breaking the law. 8. Process of learning criminal behavior involves all mechanisms involved with any other type of learning. Learning to be criminal and learning to conform. Any criminal could have been conforming if they had a different reference group. 9. Criminals and conforming people have the same needs and values. *Crime is learned through the process of communication and other people, w
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