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Lecture 5

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 1500
Professor
Michelle Dumas
Semester
Winter

Description
February 12, 2014 Crime and Criminal Justice: Lecture Five Social Reaction Theories: Labeling Theory Context: teaching young children, self-fulfilling prophecy, when an individual is labelled they tend to fit this label through a self-fulfilling prophecy, not the act but the contextual meaning attached to that behavior Reaction: from those in power Three questions 1. Who – gets labeled as deviant 2. How – does this process occur 3. What – are the consequences of being labelled There are two types of the labelling theory: Informal: the label given by people whom you have a close social relationship with such as your friends, family, peers, coworkers (there are less severe consequences with these labels) Formal: Labels as given by official agents of social control such as police, doctors, teachers, courts (these labels are more severe and more important) Defined vs. Definers -those who are defined as deviant or criminal are often of lower class, less authority or less power -dominant groups decide these labels -people of power have set up severe consequences such as institutionalization Dramatization of Evil (Tannebaum, 1983) -an offender is seen as ultimately and irrevocably bad -Juveniles are labelled by adults and are more likely to get involved in a lot of activities as part of experiencing the world and growing up -participating in activities such as vandalism, skipping class, and smoking is thought to be a normal process of growing up -laws have been made to prevent these activities because adults disapprove of these actions -severe sanctions can be referred to as the dramatization of evil -laws often cause juveniles to act out more often (stimulate more of these behaviours) Status Degradation ceremony Garfinkel, 1956 -there are sometimes ceremonies of passage of one status to another (an acceptable or good status is no longer viewed as acceptable, and is instead viewed as a negative status) -public identity becomes transformed due to the decrease in status -convicted of crime process ceremony is formally labeled as a criminal status degraded to a convict or ex-convict H.S Becker (1963) 1. Moral Entrepreneurs – a person with power, such as a politician that creates laws that enforce moral norms and work against ‘non moral activities’ such as drugs, drinking and prostitution) 2. Deviant Career – normal and acceptable careers or deviant career each go through a sequence of statuses • Novice – new, may need special training when entering into the new career • New Recruit – rookie stage, has gone through training or initial process of learning trial and error • Veteran – provide training of skills to novices • Retiree – retire from a career 3. Master Status – status that overrides all others of importance, when subject to a reaction or social persona – how others respond to you, see you – a threat or not • Achieved – worked for that status – schooling, master it, doctor of high prestige • Ascribed – born into it, more difficult to exchange (gender, race, able body, disabled), the result of things beyond your control, can be discriminatory • Consequences – can be positive or negative, based on how people react to your Master Status (can impact housing, voting and social services) Edwin Lemert (1967) Primary Deviance: initial violation of norms • Requirements – initial violation of norms, everyone engages in breaking rules/norms at one point or another, of the individual is not caught they remain in primary deviance, opportunity or experimentation • Label – if the label is not permanent they stay in the primary stage • Conditions • Occurrences – happens with everyone, breaking rules, deviance is primary if it is occasional or hidden without strong negative reaction Secondary Deviance: continuous deviant behavior, individuals that are in the system more than once • Result – second or third time punishments tend to be more severe and result in arrest or penalty • Self-fulfilling prophecy – go through the system, individuals after being labelled begin to fulfil this label believing that they might as well keep acting as they have been acting • Consequence – can become master status -stigma: if an individual is different and is given a negative evaluation by others, they have a distorted identity (employment and housing can all be affected) *assume the role of deviance through being labelled and associating with those who are labelled Legal stigma (Schwarts and Skolnick) -they did an experiment with employers to determine the consequence of having contact with the criminal justice system (criminals attempting to gain employment) Folder 4: resume with the essential skills that would be needed (Record of 36% positive response for work) Folder 1: resume with the essential skills that would be needed with a record (Record 4% - one person said they would use them) Folder 2: accused by acquitted but found not guilty (Record 12% - three were offered the job) Folder 3: not guilty of a crime, acquitted with a letter from the judge stating that they were innocent (Record and Judge 24% - 6 people would hire them) There is a better chance of being hired if you haven’t had contact with the criminal justice system Polices • Official Labels – labels leave a stigma and can negatively impact the lives or individuals • Institutionalization – eliminate being institutionalized for minor and non-violent offences • Diversion Program – used to help eliminate problems before they even occur (out of being institutionalized, rehabilitation, community services) • Minor Offences – seek other ways to channel these offences in the community other than institutionalization to avoid stigma (such as volunteering for teenagers) • Records – ensure that teenagers (12-17) cannot be identified to avoid labelling them and avoid the negative impact, not tried as adults until 18 • Probation and Parole – integrate people back into society to avoid the stigma • Identification and Decriminalization – teenagers (12-17) cannot be publicly identified on the news in an effort to avoid labels and give a change for a legitimate life • not publicly labelled criminal in adulthood for a chance for a legitimate life Problems with the Labelling Theory 1. CAREER CRIMINAL – a career criminal will continue fulfilling their label (serial killers will do this without being labelled) 2. DETERRENCE – sometimes labels result in deterrence, scaring them from participating in criminal activity 3. CAUSES – what causes more deviant acts 4. PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS – the stigma doesn’t cause psychological problems, it is there before the label 5. PASSIVE REPORTER – labelled & take it in takes away free will to reject the label 6. SUSCEPTIBILITY – not clear for labelling 7. FORMAL LABELS – greater consequences, ignore people being affected by informal labels – significant others/ family may have a stronger impact Marxist Theories (‘Radical Criminology’) Didn’t write about crime, but more about social structure. -Relations of Power ­ Societal structure ­ Bourgeoisie (upper class, people with power, the elite) ­ Proletariat (lower class citizens that must sell their labor for money, depend on the Bourgeoisie for jobs, have no say in decisions and no power) Reaction to Deprivation thesis (Greenburg 1980) -why crime exists, the reaction to being deprived CAPITALISM – confront economic conditions – react to subordinate position PROPERTY CRIME – deprived enhance income VIOLENT CRIME – unsophisticated means of stealing by using violence Contemporary Marxists Crisis of Legitimacy (Friedrichs 1980) -why subordinate statuses riot 1. Legitimacy of Authority – people in power have more rights and legitimacy 2. Political leaders and institutions – legitimate authority is seen as ineffective and inhumane – protests and rebellion as a reaction to social institutions that people have lost faith in 3. Social Institutions 4. Consequences – rioting and violence as a response can spiral out of control (Riots in Athens – December 2008 – changing laws and restricting employment resulting in protests and riots) Application of The Law (1960s and 70’s) Instrumental Marxism • Ruling Class: upper class conspiracy together to get profit & protect their interest – create laws for themselves to protect economic & social interest • The State: the state helps to protect the upper class, economic wealth is in their best interest • This explains statistics – there is an over representation of lower class and an under representation of the upper class in the criminal justice system (those in upper class may commit crimes but they are not enforced by the law) • School and education works towards reinforcing the status quo and following rules Higher class citizens use tools and work together to keep capitalism and ensure that their best interest are secured Structural Marxism • Ruling Class: doesn’t care about the lower class, cohesive group working together to protect their own interests (depends on the protection of capitalism) • State Role: mediates between different groups to protect both workers and consumers to avoid an up rise • State Protection: protect workers in safe conditions and allows consumers to keep the system working long term Self-sustaining system, everyone is in it for themselves and the government or state backs them up to protect capitalism Liberal Conflict Theories General Model of Conflict Theory Control of law and Society  Application of the Law  Criminal Activity  Criminal Careers Power: -laws favor the affluent (the wealthy) -powerful groups create laws that directly control and target particular behaviors -safe streets acts target homeless youth that panhandle -these individuals refuse to conform and are now career criminals to survive and make money Cultural Conflict (Sellin, 1938) Conduct norms: a set of rules society engages in, people are expected to behave Culture and Subcultures: more than one culture that come into contact with each other can be subcultures and conflict in the norms their groups abide by Conflict: increases in complex societies, resources conduct norms valued through the state, legitimate ones, successful areas share resources with the state and dominant groups make the laws Resources Law – individuals who violate the law are seen as criminal Group Conflict (Vold, 1958) Groups: humans are compelled to form groups or group context (collective action) Competition: with one another for resources or laws causes conflict Resources: state resources on their side Role of the State: group with greatest/public support wins Political support: workers/management (strike management attempts to get state involve to put them back to work) Authorities / Subjects Power: those with power are authority and those without are subjects Institutional Structure: authority controls the institutions such as educations, church, work, the state Authorities and Subjects: authorities have power over all so they comply and rarely rebel, criminal behavior is most often the result from subjects Criminality: subjects comply and if not t
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