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Oct.25 Lecture

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SOC 2700
Scott Brandon

Lecture October 25th 2011 Contemporary Classicism 1. Contemporary classicism -umbrella for several theories -motivation and choice in crime 2. Classical thought: early influences -Cesare Beccaria -Jeremy Bentham -utilitarian philosophy 3. Core ideas: -people are rational calculators -some component of us where we think about consequences -we all have free will -we don't get compelled -rationalize -people choose behaviours -people also fear punishment -methods of crime prevention -how can we punish so people will think about it -e.g. U.S. more higher penalties -punishment has to fit the crime 4. Deterrence Theory -draws on classical ideas -importance of rationality -goal is to prevent crime -punishment can deter crime -general vs. specific deterrence -general-occasionally deviant -specific- -three dimensions of punishment: (severity, certainty and swiftness) 5. Debates about deterrence -effectiveness of deterrence-based policies -do they increase or decrease crime? -12-17 years of age are most likely to act before they think 6. Other debates: Problems of certainty -tests of absolute deterrence and marginal deterrence -look at when you have no punishment system vs. when you do -people feel more safe 7. Other debates: problems of severity -role of capital punishment -brutalization effect 8. Test of Deterrence -scared strait program -after a movie -took teenagers and put them in a max. security facility and has the ppl come in and shows them what will happen if they misbehave -not hard criminals that this was being done too -not necessarily worked -boot camp -physical work as punishment -temporary solution -talk shows -idea where kids are being talked to so they will "change" -temporary solution 9. Rational choice theory -assumes that there is economic choices behind peoples behaviour -ties to classicism -free will -rational calculators -people are rational by nature -weigh the consequences to the gains -"economic" ideas of behaviour -maximization of benefits/rewards -avoid costs of crime 10. Rational choice and crime -sanctions can be informal or formal -benefits can be tangible (money) or intangible (thrill, peer respect) 11. Research on rational choice -derek cornish and ronald clarke -the importance of decisions in crime -criminal involvement, criminal events and income (does crime pay?) -Burglary: selection of good areas and targets 12. Routine activity theory -developed by Cohen and Felson -assumes rationality of offenders -motives of offenders condition 1 - motivated offenders condition 2 - suitable targets condition 3 - absence of capable guardian 13. What is suitable target? -value (i-pods, I-pads, notebooks) -inertia (can it be moved quickly?) -visibility (location) -access (quick getaway?) 14. How does routine activities explain crime? -importance of work and leisure -structure of the family (divorce) -importance of "hot spots" of crime Social Learning Theory 1. Basis of social learning theory -results of socialization -role of environment over internal causes -symbolic interaction -we live in a world of means, we are not
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