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SOC 1500 Sept 8 2011 Lecture Note (F11)

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SOC 1500
Alexander Shvarts

SOC 1500 Thursday, September 8, 2011 - Professor Alexander Shvarts [email protected] - Office: MacKinnon 602 – by appointment - TA’s Morgan – [email protected] Ashley – [email protected] Melissa – [email protected] - Books (Package): Hackler – Canadian Criminology: Strategies and Perspectives (4 th edition) th Schmalleger and Volk – Canadian Criminology Today: Theories and Applications (4 edition) - September 27 – hand out essay assignment (posted on D2L) - September 29 – Talk about different types of crime - October 13 – Test #1 – Cover chapters - November 3 – Essay due - November 22, 24 - Finish off course by discussing solutions to crime - Exam covers everything AFTER test 1 - Test 1 (Midterm) – 30% - October 13 Essay Assignment – 30% - November 3 – 8-10 pages double spaced, cite/reference Final Exam – 40% - Essay Assignment – choose 1/10 articles and one theory – relate the theory to the crime in the article (6-7 sections – each section will be out of a certain amount of marks) Lecture 1: Intro to CCJ – What is Criminology and Crime, Crime Stats and Patters of Crime Hackler: Chapters 1, 3. Schmalleger and Volk: Chapters 1-3 ** When printing: handouts 3 per page, black and white What is Criminology? - Discipline of Criminology - 6 Major areas: 1) Definition of crime and criminals 2) Origins and role of law (ex. Chapters like drug crimes – how laws over time change for crimes like drug crimes) 3) Social distribution of crime (How crime is distributed throughout crime rates) 4) Causation of crime (Why people commit crimes – in the eyes of different theorists) 5) Patterns of criminal behavior (Males vs. females, young vs. old) 6) Societal reactions to crime (How do we react? How should we react?) Why Should we Study Crime? 3 Reasons: 1) Learning about crime can tell us a lot about our society (Crime rates can teach us about our laws and constitutions. Ex. Americans have the right to bear arms in your household to protect yourself – maybe as a result of creating this culture in the US, there are more crime rates) 2) If we wish to reduce crime we need to understand it 3) Crime directly or indirectly affects all of us (If a lot of crimes begins to happen, it can affect society/where you live. If you work, you pay taxes – this money goes to the criminal justice system) A Definition of Crime - Is white-collar crime really crime? – Sutherland – fraud, embezzling money, polluting the environment – Company’s steal billions of dollars each year and no one realizes it – cost society so much more money than street crimes - A continuum of crime and deviance: John Hagan - Seriousness can be assessed on three dimensions 1) The degree of consensus that act is wrong – ex. Which acts do Canadians believe is more serious? Murder or pot? Murder. 2) The severity of the society’s response to the act – What happens when you are in jail for murder – jail for life. What happens if caught smoking pot – gives a fine (weak response). 3) The assessment of the degree of harm of the act – Murder is the most serious crime - Hagan’s approach shows four major categories of crime and deviance: 1) Consensus crimes 2) Conflict crimes – theft, burglary 3) Social deviations – prostitution (not many people think it should be decriminalized, but a small group of the population, lets say 30%, believes it should be) 4) Social diversions – marijuana
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