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Lecture 1

Lecture One - Intro to Theory.docx

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Carolyn Gordon

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Do we use theory in everyday life? • Yes, we theorize to explain everyday situations like reason for break-up, weather Columbine Shooting: Many theories for shooting: • Video games • Marilyn Manson • Bullying and possible depression What factors do you think contribute to crime? • Drugs • Unemployment • Lack of education • Difficult upbringing • Strain (goal you can't achieve) • Mental health issues Theory • A particular way of looking at something • Why do we have theories, especially in criminology o Understanding of criminals and behaviour o Aspects of phenomena (criminal life, ideas) o Fid patterns and make predictions to help solve & stop crime • Attempts to describe, explain, predict, and ultimately to control some class of events What is a theory? • It’s a hypothesis, an understanding, an explanation • Can be simple or complex, abstract or concrete • A theory is not the truth, nor is it the answer Assumptions in Criminological Theory • Levels of study: o Macro (big picture) or micro (focused) • Basis of society: o Consensus (same norms) or conflict (marginalized) • Individuals o Active (rational, make own choice) or passive (irrational, outer forces) • Criminological nexus: o Theory, research and policy Kitty Genovese - 1935-1964 • Diffusion of responsibility, bystander effect: many people witness her being attacked but they all believe someone else is helping so in the end nobody tries to help and Kitty is murdered 2 Systems of Reasoning Inductive Method: • Observe, analyze, explanation (theory) Deductive Method: • Explanation (theory), test, verify/refute The Experiment • Is variable X a cause of variable Y? o Independent variable i.e show watched o Dependent variable i.e behaviour after show
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