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Lecture 2

SOC 1500 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Corpus Juris Civilis, Atavism, Enrico Ferri


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC 1500
Professor
Michelle Dumas
Lecture
2

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SOC 1500 – CRIME AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE (week 2 lecture)
CHAPTER 5; THE CLASSICAL THINKERS
MORES – a small community’s proscription covering potentially serious crime (ie. Murder,
sexual assault, robbery)
FOLKWAYS – time honored laws that are not quite as severe although they do hold the value of
tradition.
Although folkways do influence people, they are still very informal, only laws are
enforced
Mala in se vs. mala prohibitia
EARLY SOURCES OF CRIMINAL LAW
THE CODE OF HAMMURABI
Ruled Babylon from 1792- 1750 BC
created legal code intended to aid the growth of Babylon
dealt with issues of theft, property, ownership, sexual relations and interpersonal violence
emphasized retribution
prior to the code, those who committed crime faced the most awful of punishment
EARLY ROMAN LAW
roman empire conquered England and implemented their laws
TWELVE TABLES – early roman laws regulating family, religion, and economics
oAs the Roman Empire fell, Emperor Justinian had the roman laws pot into
writing, known as the Justinian code.
oThe Justinian code consisted of three documents
I. Institutes
II. Digest
III. The code itself
These distinguished between two major categories, public
and private law
COMMON LAW
Unwritten laws created through everyday practice in England
Shared traditions and standards upheld in court decisions of the middle ages
oA judge’s ruling became legal precedent
They eventually began to record cases to hold records for later use
Common law was a major source for statutory law and case law
EXPLAINING CRIME (theory)

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CONCEPT
Is the building block of a theory
VARIABLES
Are either independent or dependant
oDependant – the outcome
oIndependent – this is the cause, something that assists the outcome
HYPOTHESIS
A statement expressed to explain the relation of 2 variables
1. OBJECTIVIST (CONSENSUS) APPROACH
Relies on the assumption there is a consensus among people on whether something is
right or wrong.
This can look at individual attributes on why people commit crimes
oIt is inherit based on their upbringing
oWhether they are good or bad
A consensus agrees on whether it is right or wrong
This helps us to understand why people commit crimes, understanding them then allows
us to help prevent
2. SUBJECTIVIST (CONFLICT) APPROACH
Someone must apply that certain acts are bad/ criminal
Who has the power to apply criminal status
there is power in enforcement or creation of the law
conflict arises when those without power are subject to criminal punishment
INDUVIDUALISTIC VIEWS ON POWER
NON- SCIENTIFIC

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myths and legends tell people how to behave
they exist today in urban legends and hearsay information
this is where the idea of DEMONIC PERSPECTIVE comes from, it’s the belief that
someone has been possessed and that’s why they took the actions (witch craze)
modern witch hunt – people should not be trusted (socialized in the 1950’s)
CLASSICAL SCHOOL
BECCANA AND BANTHAM – ENLIGHTENMENT
5 tenants on people with bad behavior
oHEDONISM – they seek pleasure and avoid pain, evaluate the actions we take
oFREE WILL – people engage in behaviors they choose to
oSOCIAL CONTRACT – states that people will get along without harming each
other, based on the assumption that people want to co-exist
oPUNISHMENT – this makes criminal behaviors very risky to deter people from
taking part in them
oUTILITARIANISM – the idea for the greatest good for the greatest amount of
people
PUNISHMENT
Should be APPROPRIATE
oThe punishment must fit the crime
oDiscourage all crime
oThe punishment must hold value to the offender
oPunishment must be consistent to people across the board
NEO-CLASSICAL THEORY new classic theory”
SELF CONTROL THEORY
How people calculate cost and benefits may differ
Based on GRATIFICATION and SELF CONTROL
oGratification - how people want to seek gratification (they want it right away)
oSelf control – amount of self control someone has, the less they have the more
likely they are to be criminal
CRITISISMS
Nature of crime – there are minimal long term benefits
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