Thursday, September 24, 2015
Soc: Lecture 3
Sociological Explanations for explaining crime (objectivist)
Social Structural Theories of Crime
- Chicago School: Theorists who came up with it came from Chicago. Based on Human
Ecology Model and inspired by biological of plants and environments (changes in this
system). Looked at the way people move in and out of an urban city (Chicago). Concentric
Zones— Zone 1 (best land, most expensive, centre of the city, commerce and industry);
Zone 2- Transitional (next to the business core. Always in transition. Sharply eroded
properties. Don’t maintain or ﬁx any of the buildings. Rents very cheap. Inner city. Ethnic/
Religious ties); Zone 3 - Working class (working class, richer people); Residential (more
expensive rent for apartments, better than downtown, much better lighting than zone 3); Zone
5- Commuter zone (bigger properties, rich)
- Highest rates of crime were in zone 2. Social controls are weakened or severed in this zone.
Disorganization in this zone.
-Policing- police ofﬁcers in bad zones
- Organization- more organization in the community
- Education- Improving schools and education
Quality of life- increase rec centers, social services there.
1) Class bias — assume classes are better. Assumes no crime exists when you move to the
2) Discrimination — if you place more police in one area, more arrests will be made in that
Question — what causes deviance/crime?
Main argument- no society is crime free. There is a function/service for crime which are
manifests functions (those that are intended) Latent functions (those that are unintended,
typically done informally. Sending people to prisons and they learn from other criminals and
come out and learn how to do other crimes)
Functions of Crime
1) Group solidarity — community standards are seriously violated and this outrage of violation
and these people come together. Commonly happens in cases of child abductions or child
1 Thursday, September 24, 2015
2) Boundary setting— borders that clarify acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. See how far
we can go before people see it as wrong
3) Reinforce conformity — when people do good things, we want to reward them for that. We
see people who do the right thing then get rewarded for it.
4) Innovation (ﬂexibility and change) — breaking the law can sometimes help or promote
progress. Can help end war, help with civil rights movement
-One of the founding fathers of criminology
-Did an important study on suicide, suicide is not just individual/psychological. Suicide rates
were different from place to place. Suicide also has a lot to do with religion. The catholic
countries had lower suicide rates than the other places. Probably higher in protestant countries
because suicide was seen as less of a problem in these religions than in catholicism.
-ANOMIE- explains suicide and crime. Anomie is a state of normalessness. Lot of changes
-Mechanical solidarity- happens in households that are more agriculutral. A lot of sameness
and shared conditions. Very small scale societies. The group becomes higher than the
-Organic solidarity- a lot of difference between people. Mutual dependence among people.
Complex division of labour. If you violate the rules, punishments less severe because the
chance at risk for the group is less harmful
GOALS (cultural) —
MEANS (institutionalized) — material wealths and possessions. American dream.
Adaptation … Goals … Means ———— See chart online
1. Crime — How can you explain crime? Assumes Middle class and upper class have no crime
— not true
2. Gender— Female opportunity is more blocked, their pay for same work is often less,