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Chapter 6 notes.docx

7 Pages

Course Code
SOC 2760
Rob Shearer

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Chapter 6Social and Cultural Explanations for Homicide Focus on factors outside individuals to explain criminal behaviour o Environment influences behaviour o Societies structured differently and cultures vary so crime rates vary by place and time Across world men more likely than women to be victim of homicideUS southern states reflect higher homicide rates than northeastenersAfrican Americans and poor people are over represented as both homicide victims and offenders Classical School PerspectiveCesare Beccaria 17381794Argued that people are rational and hedonistic and that they possess free willHedonisticmotivated by desire for pleasure and you attempt to avoid painRationalcapable of exercising logic by considering consequences Free willcan determine own actions o Individuals make decisions on how they act o Weight the costs and benefits of homicide Perspective seen in rational choice theory o Assume people are rational and consider risks involved in their actions before acting o Strongly associated with deterrence theoryLaws may have an effect on human behaviourCriminal justice system set up sp people punished when commit crimeDeters people from committing crimes Social DisorganizationCrime is more complicated then just people making choices Crime more prevalent in urban areas Social disorganization theories look to the structural causes for explaining crime Shaw and Mckay 1942 o Transitional zone of city had higher delinquency and crime ratesNo matter who reside thereo Studied city of Chicago over some time and saw significant change in population of transitional zoneEnglish Germen African Irish descent Concluded not the people so much as structural conditions of area they lived that led to criminal behaviouro Found that transitional zone had worse housing conditions o Higher rates of poverty o Fewer in tact families and less of a sense of community Theorized this zone was disorganized leading to unclear norms and a lack of structure that helped keep individuals in line
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