Class Notes (808,126)
Canada (493,084)
Sociology (9)
SOC 1500 (9)
Lecture 2

SOC 1500 Lecture 2: Soc: Lecture 2

15 Pages
Unlock Document

McMaster University
SOC 1500
Michelle Dumas

Thursday, September 24, 2015 Sociology 1500: Lecture #2 Non Sociological Explanations Explaining Crime (Theory) Theory- understanding a certain phenomenon Concepts- allows us to symbolize a theory Variables ◦Independent- can be causal, helps the outcome outcome, what we are trying to explain ◦Dependent- outcome, what we are trying to explain Hypothesis- set up a statement on how these variables are connected, different conditions can be included Defining & Explaining Crime 1) Objectivist (Consensus) Approach Individual- a way to explain why people commit crimes, genetics, where they grew up, their childhood, good or bad, right or wrong Consensus- majority agree what is right or wrong 1 Thursday, September 24, 2015 Causation- answers the why, why are people committing crimes, determine the cause, understand it and find a solution Defining & Explaining Crime 2) Subjectivist (Conflict) Approach (more modern) Label- defining something as a crime determines or applies the label to an act, different applications of the label Power- who has power to define crime, apply the law, define what is bad, who gets to decide? Conflict- there is not a consensus, subjected to those in power, victimised Individualistic Theories of Criminal Behaviour 1) Non-Scientific 2 Thursday, September 24, 2015 Myths & Legends- supported by religious belief, tales that are told to people to get them to behave, consequences to behave and listen, we still have them today as urban legends, hear say information Contemporary Demonic Perspective- if you acted bad, you had a demon inside you, possessed, engaged in bad because you were possessed Witch Craze- women who acted in ways that weren’t normal, tempted by the witches Modern Witch Hunts- particular people are targeted and shouldn’t be trusted, if you were a socialist you were evil Classical School Beccaria & Bentham –Enlightenment- explaining human behaviour 5 central tenants to explain people’s bad behaviors, 1) Hedonism- we are seeking pleasure and trying to avoid pain and harm, calculate the risk of our activities 2) Free will- engage in the behaviours that they want too 3) Social contract- gives up our hedonism so we can have social order and get along without harm 4) Punishment- justified, calculating our pleasure and our pain, riskier to choose, consequences for our actions 3 Thursday, September 24, 2015 5) Utilitarianism- move away from religion as explanation, greatest good for greatest number Punishment Appropriate: 1) Profit- value of punishment must outweigh the pleasure 2) Seriousness- greater punishment for more serious offences 3) Discouragement- less serious punishment for less serious crime 4) Value- should mean something 5) Consistency- we should have even punishments for everyone Neo-Classic Theory Self-Control Theory (Gottfredson) Calculations- how people outweigh pros and cons of behaviour, how people see pain and pleasure varies for each person, can be based on certain characteristics Characteristics Gratification- to what extent a person wants to seek out their own gratification, some want it right away 4 Thursday, September 24, 2015 Self-Control- less control they have over themselves, more likely they want their gratification, more likely to be criminal with no self-control Critique Nature of crime- there is not a lot or long term benefit, average robbery take is $200, risk of prison time is jail tome with is longer then what you would get for money’s worth Characteristics – plan ahead, weight out the costs and benefits, crime tends to be at random at the heat of the moment Opportunity- having the time to commit the crime Deterrence Theory Calculate the risks of our behavior, the more the risk the less people will do it Absolute deterrence- when you make quick terrible penalties that you want to omit crimes (no parking zoned parking- death) Relative deterrence- reduce crime if you make it more controlled, risky to do (more money for alcohol and restricted hours) Cross-deterrence- the fear of penalties for one crime makes people commit other crimes Restrictive Deterrence- avoid punishable acts selectively, cautious (increase penalties for drug offences- drug dealers more cautious about buyers) General Deterrence- most common, demonstration affect, watching someone else get punished sends the message that if you commit the crime you too will be punished, discouraged to engage from that act (public hangings) 5 Thursday, September 24, 2015 Specific Deterrence- most common, direct personal effect, being punished makes you conformed, experience makes you not want to commit the crime again Capital Punishment First degree murder (Defined) Research- does not work as a deterrent, becomes controversial, Planned or deliberate Police officer is killed in the line of duty Somebody dies in the commission of another crime (kidnap and then death) Findings 1) Innocent- killed because of a wrongful conviction 2) Discriminatory- poor and ethnic minorities 3) Circumstantial- don’t have physical evidence, but behavior is suspicious Canada- 1892-1962 had the death penalty History- death by hanging - Canada will not extradite to somewhere where there is capital punishment USA States- 23 had the death penalty 6 Thursday, September 24, 2015 Juveniles- can’t kill a juvenile Public Polls- capital punishment is good for deterring people INDIVIDUALISTIC THEORIES: BIOLOGICAL WILLIAM LOMBROSO (1835-1909) - medical doctor, considered the father of criminology ATAVISM- throwback to a more primitive time, people who appear more primitive, lower level people were born criminals, more Neanderthal looking, more muscular Criminals Males- more likely to commit crimes Females- more atavistic, more evil tendencies, criminality is oppressed Expert witness- sent to determine the person’s physical characteristics to determine if they were a criminal or not Problem: many serial killers don’t have the stereotypical physical attributes as other criminals ENRICO FERRI TYPES: 7 Thursday, September 24, 2015 1. Born or instinctual- primitive appearance 2. Insane- body chemistry makes them insane 3. Passional- commit crimes in the heat of the moment, rely on their emotions 4. Occasional- may drift in and out of crime based on opportunity 5. Habitual- career criminals, don’t look like it but act like it, born criminals Policy & Criticisms Policy 1) Isolation- lock them up and throw away the key, can’t change the biology 2) Eugenics- improvement through selective breeding, selective sterilization, no offspring, no born criminals Criticisms 1) Methodology- the way they went about collecting data, there for serious crime, bias population, people who move through the crime funnel 2) Methods- no way to observe biological factors that can influence someone to commit crimes, social environment 3) Definition of Crime- change over time and with culture 4) Causes-the environment they grow up in 8 Thursday, September 24, 2015 Modern Biological Theories 1) Hooton (1887-1954) Her
More Less

Related notes for SOC 1500

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.