SOC 2760 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Differential Association, Lust Murder, Karla Homolka

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Unit 5
Brookman’s chapter theories
o Chicago School of Criminology and the concept of social disorganization
1930s
Social disorganization within particular areas or communities
The ways in which communities evolve and grow using a social ecological
model
Argued that certain neighbourhoods had periodically to cope with an
influx of outsiders
Example: the forum of new immigrants or business organisations
Could lead to conflict and struggle over space and a general
negative effect on the balance or equilibrium of the community
Zone of transition: a particular area or zone within the city of Chicago that
was especially criminogenic as a result of such processes and
disturbances to the social equilibrium
Refers to the inability of a community structure to realize the common
values of its residents and maintain effective social control
Emphasis on the criminogenic nature of particular jurisdictions or specific
neighbourhoods as opposed to the individuals who inhabit them
Example: even when people who live in that city move out he
crime rates stay the same
o Robert Merton and Strain theory
1938
Using the concept of relative deprivation
Argued that it was not deprivation per se that was important, but rather
the ways in which individuals subjectively experiences deprivation
Represents a blend of both structural and cultural theory in that he argued
crime arouse due to a conflict between the cultural goals of ‘society’ and
the structural limitations within the social strata
Suggested that people in the US had become increasingly encouraged to
strive for monetary success
But lower class individuals were often prevented from achieving
such success through legitimate means
It was recognised that people could adapt to strain in different ways
Example: some individuals may continue to conform to the cultural
goal of material success, regardless of how they were actually
performing
Four deviant reactions: innovation, ritualism, retreatism, and rebellion
Innovation: most associated with the commission of crime in that it
involves individuals remaining committed to the cultural goal of acquiring
wealth
Involves them gaining such wealth via illegitimate means (robbery)
Suggested that the failure to achieve a variety of goals could produce
strain
Example: autonomy and status goals
Desire of certain males to be viewed and treated as ‘real men’
Deprivation in one form or another is associated with high rates of
homicide
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