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Introduction to the Course and Criminological Theory

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SOC 2700
Scott Brandon

September 13, 2011 INTRODUCTION Criminological Theory: What is it? *theory defined - sociological components - factors and circumstances leading to outcomes - a way of understanding how and why crime occurs - theories – propositions Goals: Explain and Predict *most theories of crime do both - if you don’t learn from the past, you’re doomed to repeat it - theory is important to resist repeating history – explain and predict why crime occurred - past: beard/no beard; tattoos - can theory be used to predict outcome of behaviour - sociological components used to predict behaviour - anime – American dream – work hard/go to school/get job = millionaire – everyone has an equal chance in society – realization that this is a false reality causes criminality The Creation and Evaluation of Theory *theories of crime either explain crime or attempt to predict crime *evidence helps to verify a theory - labeling theory – crime becomes part of your identity - used to explain crime based on observations – gather data and make sense of it - if you possess a list of things you would like to prove (i.e. a list of what may make someone likely to break the law – child abuse, mental illness, lack of power) - what type of person is likely to be victimized by crime - person likely to break the law, or to be victimized - what houses are more likely to be targeted – visibility; security; type of neighbourhood - if victim has personal property on them – easy to steal – purse; disabled; openness - technological – easy to steal – ipod, cell, laptop, chargers - time of
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