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SOC 1500 Nov 3 2011 Lecture Note (F11)

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SOC 1500
Alexander Shvarts

Hackler: Property Crimes - Chapter 16, Social Control theory and Differential Association the1ry – Chapter 7, Strain theory – Chapter 8, Social Ecology theory – Chatheory – Chapter 8, Social Ecology theory – Chapter 8nd Differential Association theory – Chapter 9, Strain SOC 1500 Thursday, November 3, 2011 Lecture 7: Property Crimes Stealing: Rational Behavior or Getting One’s Kicks? • Neal Shover (1996): Property offenders born into a life of poverty; bad school experiences; poorly supervised at home; attracted to street corner; see failure as normal in school; street corner offers “life as party”; independence from routine imposed by school and work; gambling, drinking, using drugs take priority; increased isolation from conventional others; in need of money; see crime as an option to keeping the party going; these persistent criminals have few realistic alternatives. Many of these people grow wiser with age and search for ways to change, but when they try to change, they often receive the most severe penalties. The best solution is to increase legitimate options and opportunities. > Connection between lower class and likely to commit crime; when got to street, more likely to drop out of school and loosen ties with family members The Seductions of Crime: Shoplifting, Burglary • Jack Katz (1988): Rational choice perspective which assumes that criminals want to acquire money or goods is inadequate. Material needs are insufficient to account for the fascination with theft. > Perception that only poor people who need money and are poor commit properly crime; not completely true: a lot do it because they choose to • Albert Cohen (1955): For many criminals crime is fun. They steal for the “hell of it.> Enjoy crime Robbery: Rational Behaviour or Pleasurable Pursuit? • Katz (1988) and Nettler (1982): Committing crime excites. Monetary gain as the principal reward cannot account for robbery, or for most other property crime. Robbery is risky and, from a rational standpoint, a dangerous, difficult, and not an easy way to make a living. Those who persist spend time in jail and face considerable risk, but sensual attraction comes from the excitement, thrill, pursuit, satisfaction of forcing others to bow to their will. > Exciting to commit crime for these offenders; commit robbery because they enjoy risks; Difficult; not an easy way to make a living; most robbers eventually get caught – therefore hard to argue that it is a rational choice • Fred Desroches (1995): Interviewed bank robbers in Ontario. Modern robber is typically a man who works alone, does not carry a weapon, passes a note to teller, and walks out with $1500 to $2500. > Ex. Ray Ban robber from Toronto; only obtain small amount of $ because bank doesn’t carry much money now a days • Robbery in Quebec: Montreal - tradition of robbery that is unique in Canada. Quebec accounts for 60% of all armed robberies in Canada. > Robbery capital of Canada • Robbery in United States: African American minority is over-represented in most crime categories, but even more so in robbery. Social Ecology theory – Chapter 10 Schmalleger and Volk: Social Control theory and Differential Association theory – Chapter 9, Strain8, theory – Chapter 8, Social Ecology theory – Chapter 8 • Gabor and Normandeau (1989): French Canadians and blacks were both going through upheaval during 1960s. Both faced political oppression and exclusion. Most of the robbers they studied did little planning; younger robbers liked the thrills, status, and feelings of power; some had a code of ethics; excluded certain targets, such as small businesses. Explanatory Models of Street Crime/Property Crime 1. Social Control Theories (Hackler, Ch.7 – pp. 94-97, 100-101, 103) • Social control theorists: Social bonds to conventional institutions such as family and school constrain crime. Social controls are learned, and were it not for these controls, we would all be lawbreakers. Inadequate or ineffective external socialization can result in weak or absent internal controls over behavior. Parents who are close to their children act as a deterrent to delinquency. Conflict between parents characterizes the families of delinquents. Children who are adequately supervised by their parents have lower delinquency rates. Criminal parents may provide a model of aggression. For those who are successful in school and who enjoy their educational experience, the school provides a stake in conformity, and makes them less likely to engage in delinquency. > Why doesn’t everyone do it? • Hagan and McCarthy (1997) – study of homeless youth in Toronto: Once youth were on the street, their need for food, shelter, and money led to delinquent behavior. While most juvenile delinquents do not become adult career criminals, most of those who do begin as juveniles. > Delinquents loose bonds (family – ran away, school – dropped out, employed – left jobs) and go to streets; have to commit crime Explanatory Models of Street Crime/Property Crime 1. Social Control theories (Ch.7 – pp. 94-97, 100-101, 103) a) Walter Reckless – Containment Theory: Inner control or containment system and an outer containment system makes people conform. These containments restrain the tendency of juveniles to get into trouble because of internal pushes, such as need for immediate gratification and external pressures arising out of poverty, unemployment, racial minority status, and limited opportunity and external pulls such as delinquent companions, membership in deviant groups, and the mass media. b) Reiss (1951): If social controls and personal controls are absent, delinquency will result. > When you do something bad when younger and parent is physically present/threatening you of punishment = social control; when you get older and about to do something deviant, mom and dad are not there to discipline you… What is holding you back?: voices will always be at the back of your heard c) Nye (1958): Family is the most significant group in the development of social controls. Children who came from families that were close and in which there was agreement on basic values were unlikely to be delinquent. Ex. If you come from family where you get along with parents, whenever you have disputes you sit down and talk about it; mutual respect between parents + children = less delinquent; broken family where you’re always arguing = most likely to be delinquent d) Travis Hirschi (1969) – Social Bonding Theory: 4 elements of social bond constrain people from committing crime: > Expand what is meant by social bond; most influential Social Ecology theory – Chapter 10 Schmalleger and Volk: Social Control theory and Differential Association theory – Chapter 9, Strain8, theory – Chapter 8, Social Ecology theory – Chapter 8 theory in criminology 1) Attachment (bonds with other people) – less likely to commit crime 2) Commitment (to rules and regulations) – have to be extremely committed (ex. to school) 3) Involvement (in conventional activities) 4) Belief (in the legitimacy of conventional values and norms) Explanatory Models of Street Crime/Property Crime  Criticism of Social Control theories: Hirschi excluded females from his analysis. Women have higher levels of conformity; higher levels of parental supervision than boys. Ngaire Naffine (1997) argues that increases in female crime, if there are any, should be seen as a response to the increased economic marginalization of women, rather than as a result of liberation from traditional female roles. Economic marginalization leads to less social support and fewer social bonds. Explanatory Models of Street Crime/Property Crime 1. Social Control
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