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Lecture 4

SOC 1500 Lecture 4: Lecture October 1st
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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC 1500
Professor
Michelle Dumas

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Thursday, October 1, 2015 Soc: Crime and Criminal Justice Social Reaction Theories: Labeling Theory - Context — simple act is not considered deviant until it is reacted to as being deviant - 3 questions: • Who is getting labeled as criminal • How does this process occur Whats the consequence of being labeled as criminal • Two Types of Labeling Informal labeling- our family, less severe consequences Formal labeling- by actual lawful institutions. Police etc Defined (as being deviant) vs Definers — people defined as deviant tend to be less powerful If you have power you get to define what is crime and what is deviant Dramatization of Evil (Tannebaum, 1938) - Juveniles — adventurous to learn what they do and dont like. Status Degradation (ceremony) - being in court - public identity is being transformed or decreased - when you are found guilty in court - public status decreases H.S. Becker (1963) 1 Thursday, October 1, 2015 1.) Moral Entrepeneurs- people with power who create moral norms which get put into law. See something morally wrong, then go on to make it illegal 2.) Deviant career • people can have a legit career in the same way they can have an illegitimate career (drug dealer, prostitute) • Process: novice, new recruit, veteran and retiree 3.) Master Status - Status that overrides all other status’ regardless of context of which person finds themselves - Might change how people see you - Master status could be Achieved (earned) or could be Ascribed (one that you are born with) - (Could be gender, could be race) - Consequences to these statuses Edwin Lemert (1967) Primary deviance- initial violation of rules or norms. Could be environment or peers which makes you do this. Usually not formally labeled for this. Deviant acts could happen by accident or by peer pressure. Occurrences are very common for most people if not all people. Deviance reminds primary as long as its hidden or occasional Secondary deviance- severe social reaction, through formal labelling, police and court find you guilty. You get a formal label for this. This could be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Consequence of this is stigma. Stigma is a differentness of an individual that is given a negative view by others. Legal Stigma: Schwarts and Skolnick - Experiment: 100 employers, 4 different folders that were paired. Wanted to see if people with criminal court records have the same chance at a job. - Folder 4: Person had no record. Out of 25 resumes. 9 gave positive responses. 36%. - Folder 1: Person had been convicted in court. Only 1 person got positive feedback 2 Thursday, October 1, 2015 - Folder 2: Person was accused and found not guilty. 3 people got positive feedback - Folder 3: Found not guilty and letter from judge affirming persons innocence. 6 positive results back. Policies Official Labels- want to minimize people wrongfully convicted Institutionalization- reserving alternatives to prison for lesser serious crimes Diversion persons- redirect people out of the criminal system before their label begins Minor offences- try to minimize contact with those who come into the system for minor offences. Probation and Parole- Increase probation and parole programs so we can reduce periods of incarsination. Teenagers: -Records - once they hit adulthood their record should be wiped clean -Identification- cannot release the name of a minor to public PROBLEMS- Labelling Theory 1. Career criminal- can engage in crime with out the criminal label 2. Deterrence- scaring kids to not get back into system 3. Causes- causes could be anything 5. Passive receptor- once they're labeled 6. Susceptibility- some people are more susceptible than others Marxist Theories (Radical Criminology) - Relations of power - Societal Structure (conflict between two important conflicts) 3 Thursday, October 1, 2015 • bourgeoisie- owned the factories • proletariat- were the workers, used their wages to live Contemporary Marxists 1. “Reaction to deprivation” thesis — people may not be able to pay for food so they resort to crime to live. Social reaction to financial position. (Capitalism). Resorting to violence (violent crime) 2. “crisis of legitimacy” . Social order exists because of people perception of authority being legitimate. These people in authority can be corrupt. Consequences can result in protest or rioting Application of Law 1. Instrumental Marxis
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