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Lecture

Feb. 27-29-Mar. 2.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 2700
Professor
Scott Brandon
Semester
Winter

Description
th Feb. 27 Contemporary Classicism - Contemporary Classicism o Umbrella for several theories o Motivation and choice in crime - Classical Thought: early influences o Cesare Beccaria  Rationality of people’s behaviour  people choose to commit crime (free will) o Jeremy Bentham  Economical  payoff of crime vs. jail time, etc.  Human nature  people can self-regulate themselves o Utilitarianism philosophy - Core ideas: o People are rational calculators o We all have free will  Association with people (good or bad people) o People choose behaviours o People also fear punishments  Benefits vs. consequences o Methods of crime prevention - Deterrence Theory o Draws on classical ideas o Importance of rationality o Punishment can deter crime o General vs. specific deterrence o Three dimensions of punishment: severity, certainty and swiftness (or celerity) - Debates about deterrence o Effectiveness of deterrence-based policies o Do they increase or decrease crime? - Other debates: problems of certainty o Tests of absolute deterrence and marginal deterrence - Other debates: problems of severity o Role of capital punishment o Brutalization effect Feb. 29 th - Tests of deterrence o Scared Straight programs  Don’t necessarily work o Boot Camps o Talk shows - Rational Choice Theory o Ties to classicism o People are rational by nature o “Economic” ideas of behaviour o Maximization of benefits/rewards o Avoid costs of crime - Rational choice and crime o Sanctions can be informal or formal o Benefits can be tangible (money) or intangible (thrill, peer respect) - Research on Rational Choice o Derek Cornish and Ronald Clarke o The importance of decisions in crime o Criminal involvement, criminal event and income (does crime pay?) o Burglary: selection of good areas and targets - Routine Activities Theory o Developed by Cohen and Felson o Assumes rationality of offenders o Motives of offenders  Fast food restaurants, vacations, etc.  the opportunities for offending occur more often o Condition 1: motivated offenders  Tourist areas = local criminals  prey on tourists with their guard down (ex: drunk tourists) o Condition 2: suitable targets  Objects that are easy to steal (ex: iPod, cell phone, etc.) o Condition 3: absence of a capable guardian  Lack of people at home (easier to break into a house)  because of new attractions (ex: restaurants, sports, etc.) - What is a suitable target? o Value (iPods, iPads, notebooks) o Inertia (Can it be moved quickly?) o Visibility (location) o Access (quick getaway?) - How does Routine Activities explain crime? o Importance of work and leisure o Structure of the family (divorce) o Importance of “hot spots” of crime Mar. 2 nd Social Leaning Theory - Basis of Social Learning Theory o Results of s
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