SOC 2700: Criminological Theory
Man steals 360 Billion – mental illness?
Organized crime: bikers, the mafia
People do drugs for recreational use
Prostitution: people do it for money & to survive
Reasons for decline in crime: changes in laws, what constitutes a crime, economy
Why do we not do physical forms of punishment? unethical, immoral- our ethics change
Past previous in middle ages: putting hands in hot water, putting yourself in water
What is criminology? : The study of crime (aspects of crime)
To be a criminal you need to break the criminal code. If the codes are not there, there is no crime.
-In criminology we have 4 different approaches where crime is referred to in a different way
ASPECTS OF CRIMINOLOGY
(1) Wrong doing (ie: crime)- when people commit a crime there is 4 perspectives: ***** test: (ie: which
one of the following is a sociological example of a wrong doing***
(1) Sociology: deviance: breaking the social norms. There are no written rules about it; it is
accepted by society (a common courtesy). T
(2) Psychology abnormality\disorder: also known as wrong doing- When you commit a crime
you may suffer from mental illness
(3) Religion: sin (wrong doing; when you break gods rules you commit sin)
(4) Legal: crime
(2) Sociology of law: (a cause outside the individual)
Social conditions determine forms of law and legal systems
Theoretical explanations (poverty being present)
Criminal justice system: Detection\Judgement\Punishment
Penology: Philosophy & methods of punishment
Victimology: Past several decades, people have moved the focus on crime to the victim as well.
The study of victims of crime. There is a pattern to be a victim of crime. Certain characteristics
put you at risk for being victimized
Why do laws change?
The study of the criminal justice system.
Justice means it is good or it is right
Justice is the psychological aspect of the criminal justice system
We call it justice because we believe that those people who do bad things for no reason deserve
to be punished (retaliation). In addition another aspect is that we want to avoid punishment of
the innocent. The meaning of justice is that we come up with fair rules (ie: the police did not
Distributive justice: about the unfair distribution about what we value in life (wealth, power etc)
(3) Elements of crimes
Actus reus: guilty act Mens Rea : guilty mind
1990-2000:biggest recession in Canada since the Great depression happened this time and then
disappeared when the economy changed (drop in crime since). – certain economic and social changes
took place for this to happen
(3) Major Pardigms
-consensus\conflict and interactionism
Science and Religion:
Sociopolitical\natural forces (demons, god, the devil); people use to point to the two causes of
Scientific method: these are the forces we can meaure (sociological, economic forces).
Positivism is when you use the s