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Lecture 12

SOC 212 Lecture 12: Soc 212

17 Pages

Course Code
SOC 212
Lisa Broda

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Soc 212 - Intro to Criminology 12 yrs of age is the youngest to be charged the peak is at adulthood Males are dominant. Higher chances if born into a family with criminal history, described as life style. The media follows trends of crime to gain more attention. Creating a false perception that will negatively impact the public. Ex: Natives are represented as the majority of crimes. Criminology:  the study of crime, criminals, and their behaviour.  Social factors come to play when defining crimes and criminals.  Historically includes issues of crime correlation, crime prevention and correctional reform.  Contemporary criminology involves an integrated and interdisciplinary approach - Concerned with elements of the laws - Utilizes behavioural sciences disciplines. What is a crime?  A crime is an act that violates criminal law and is punishable by law.  A criminal intention (men’s rea) without the action ( actus reus) is not a criminal act by law.  Historically, crimes were considered private wrongs dealt with by retributions and revenge by the victims. It varies by culture. What do criminological sociologists do?  Criminal statistics- measuring trends of criminal activity- mostly quantitive research.  Sociology of law—policy and law changes  Criminal behavioural systems- crime types and patterns; if the crime is psychological or sociological in nature, or socio-psychological.  Penology- correctional system.  Victimology- use of victim surveys, costs to victims, risk, victim culpability, services to victim.  Theorizing/ research- crime correlation- why do people commit crime? Why is theory and research important?  It serves to help us explain and understand things.  Theory and research provides an: - An explanatory framework - Empirical testing- to test theory if it could be held as true. - Findings that relate to outcomes- ie: policy recommendations. - Bandura- if you can learn to be criminal you can learn to be social - Research: involves concepts, variables, hypothesis, predictions, explanations and conclusions. - Theory is the foundation of the “why”- or can be tested to see if valid. Theory as Explanation:  Theory as explanation: - Sociological theories emphasize structure and process. - Structural explanations= external social and economic factors. Conflict theory for example. - Process explanations = emphasize process focus on the processes by which people are labeled deviant. More about relationships than structure. - Assumptions provide the framework of sociological theories of crime - Includes: - Basic assertions about human behaviour. - About the degree of order in society - Nature of the connect6ion between individual and society. - Empirical assessment: - All sociological theory should be testable for reliability and validity. - Theory that cannot be evaluated by data is mere ideology. - Social policy and sociological research provides advice for policy makers. Four main sociological paradigms  Functionalism: macro/structural perspective ﷒ Elements in society are interconnected and interrelated ﷒ Crime and deviancy strengths social cohesion. ﷒ Crime renews commitment to social boundaries for mainstream  Conflict theories - Conflict and change are basic to social life. - Crime is a response to conflict, change and inequality. - Notions of crime and deviance created to impose and justify “control” exercised by authority.  Symbolic Interactionist Approach - Society engages in face to face interactions. - Deviancy is a social accomplishment/rarely practiced solo. - Why do people engage in criminal behaviour? - Socialization/labeling shape identities of the deviant criminal/stigmatize their activities.  Feminist Approach: - Focus on gender and gender inequality - Studies the history of “androcentric” sociological thinking - Focus on genderized thinking on crime and study of crime. Interdisciplinary Approaches and Criminology- What are they? 1. Sociology is the science of interaction between people in terms of culture and social structure. 2. Psychology examines individual behaviour/ characteristics, personal traits - Personality traits and mental characteristics of criminals 3. Biology the examination of certain human biological traits within criminal behaviour. 4. Economics, ex: white collar crime – Unemployment – economic recession – capitalism 5. Geography/ Environment involves examination of geographical and environmental factors related to crime patterns. 6. Political science- policy and law making within justice system. Crime as individual/social problem? - an integrated and interdisciplinary approach attempts to treat all disciplinary perspectives as equal. - Hot topic: criminal act is a product of free will/choice VS being a product of external/internal factors (determinism) - (Debate that continues— public interest) Social problem Vs Social responsibility - social problem perspective = crime is a manifestation of underlying social problems ex: poverty, discrimination, family violence. Advocates of this program focus on the funnel the problem/root of the problem. - Social responsibility perspective= the belief that individuals are fundamentally responsible for their own behaviour. Critical Criminology - Critical criminology- focuses on structures/systemic barriers inside the CJS (Criminal Justice System) - These may privilege certain groups while oppressing others. - Generally, takes an oppositional position to mainstream conventional ideas. - Is radical in nature and builds upon basic concepts and strategic concerns of Marxist and Feminist Theory. - Critical criminology is rooted in a call for change—challenge of status quo. - Justice= based on principles of fairness; the idea of moral equity. - Social justice= a concept that embraces all aspects of civilized life- linked to fairness. - Criminal justice= refers to those aspects of social justice that concern violation of criminal laws. - Structuralism= refers to institutionalized power related to inequalities of race, class, and gender. - Structural Critical Criminology (CC)—concerned with structural forms of oppression. - Concerned with crimes of both powerful and less powerful. - Suggest “causes” of crime are marginalization/racialization. - Suggest social empowerment, re-distribute social resources, and participatory democracy. - Emphasizes crime prevention. - Emphasizes restorative justice, self determination at justice level and open accountability of the system. - CJS appears to follow ideology of social and criminal justice. - Critical theorist suggest that criminalization is more complicated than following the criminal code. Social exclusion – Race, Class, Gender - Social exclusion: refers to the structures and processes of inequality among groups in society. - It is a by product of uncontrolled processes of capitalist production and accumulation. - Social Exclusion (S.E) can transcend class and economic lines. - Social exclusion is experiences by individuals and communities. - Its characteristics occurs in multiple dimensions. 4 Aspects of social exclusion: - Exclusion fro participating fully in society via legal sanctions and structural mechanisms. - Denial of access to social services/goods. - Denial of opportunity to be active fully in society - Economic Exclusion Swift,certain, severe—centered around the idea of punishment must be useful History of Criminology- Bentham - Bentham advanced Beccaria’s ideas by focusing on utilitarianism - Bentham ideas were to promote that conformity was the best way to be happy - Bentham best known for” Panopticon” prison More History- Classical Criminology - Basic elements of classical criminology: - people have free will. - crimes require less work with greater payoff - Criminal choice is controlled by the fear of punishment - Determinant sentences - Punishments must be swift, certain, and severe. - Rules of evidence and testimony - Deterrence via punishment - No death penalty ﷒ wont be able to undo It if a person is found innocent. Neo-Classical Criminology - Neo-classical theory revised the classical view - Viewed too rigid and did not take into account circumstance of individual - Incorporated three new concepts - Extenuating circumstances. - Past record - Differences in free will. - Good laws and harsh punishments will deter criminals. - Plea bargain—linked to discretion - Resulted in public response:  Failure of rehabilitative punishment  Increase in crime rates  Risk to public safety  Punishment should fit the crime History of criminology- Positivist Criminology (Post- Classical) - Positivism= based on scientific thinking- motivated by new discoveries in biology, astronomy, and chemistry - Auguste Comte (1798-1857- father of sociology)- first introduced the positivist concept - C. applied the scientific method to the study of society - People passed through the stages of social development - Final stage is positivistic - * Important to know he is the father of positivism* - positivism tradition has two basic elements:  human behaviour is a result of external forces beyond individual’s control  criminologists use the scientific method to solve crime problems. Criminal Justice System Police, Courts, and Corrections Overview How do we understand the law/system? - Is the law fair and impartial arbiter of social conflicts vs/or - A tool for the reproduction of gender, race, and class inequalities - Fair, impartial, neutral, due process, ethics codes of conduct…. - Intersection of race, class, and gender- individual/system action (s) between professionals and system. Police - Police= the “gatekeepers” who are frontline workers in the criminal justice system - Use of discretion- police use od discretion very important and serious - “arrest” viewed as a very serious step in the CJS because it involves the removal or suspension of the individual’s rights and freedoms. - 3 jurisdictional levels of policing:  municipal, provincial, and federal. - Goal in the rise of municipal policing:  Maintain public order  Control and prevent crime  Provide services to the community The organization of policing: Representation of justice video: New Zealand: tough or tender policy? 60% of prisoners who are released have high recievdism rates. Should we be tougher on crime? or be creative and find better ways to punish people for their crimes? In California: Tougher laws for crimes. 3 strikes ideas became the law. 3 time strike lands you in 25 years in jail. it appears that the 3 strikes law affects prisoners. Most say they don’t wanna go back to prison. The chain game in Alabama- the concept is you’re not entitled to anything/respect. No TV, no radio, nothing. Just making it tougher, with the focus on repeating offenders. When the criminal refuse to communicate they leave him alone without food or heat, outside. Make jail miserable enough—is the most education they’ll get about not recommitting crimes. Assaults/burglaries/rapes were reduced by 25% It will not lower recidivism, it will just increase offending if no help is offered. Canada- Saskatchewan- judged by judge and community (Circle) Family suggested several penalties other than jail time. The judge took the recommendation FILM—TWO WORLDS COLLIDING Location: Saskatoon Darrell night left a party that seemed out of hand Darrell giving his testimony Darrell driven out of town and left abandoned Rodney’s frozen body was found frozen in the same place Darrell was abandoned by the police Darrell and his uncle were at the police station for a driving ticket Lawrence Wagner—found frozen to death in the same place RCMP force were set to investigate Lack of police trust from Aboriginals—Police’s racism against aboriginals Aboriginals hired someone they trust from their side to investigate The hired man set up a phone to receive calls about any info—received more than 800 calls Aboriginals don’t tend to come forward because of fear of mistreatment from police In Saskatchewan- a young aboriginal male is more likely to go to jail than finish high school Highest province in north America with youth incardinated—aboriginals Craig—peace keeping program bringing aboriginal youth with police Aboriginal lesion officer for 9 years 2 Saskatoon police officers were charged after they abandoned Darrell in cold January and their maltreatment of aboriginal people the police officers claimed that Darrell asked them to be dropped off the two police officers- they were found not guilty and they were sentenced to correctional facility and they will be out in few months the evidence of the socks—the suggestion that Lawrence walked from downtown to where he found death without his socks being worn off was odd and fishy Dave Scott is fired as chief police Craig was hired as the new chief police Cultural awareness was prompted for better understanding of the aboriginal culture An aboriginal teen was found frozen to death in the 1990’s- Niel Stonechild His friend’s testimony Jason, said Niel sc
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