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Lecture 1

CRM 1300 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Jaywalking, Herbert Annesley Packer, Fundamental Justice


Department
Criminology
Course Code
CRM 1300
Professor
Carolyn Gordon
Lecture
1

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CRM 1300B
Chapter 1
Introduction to Criminology
Introduction
Definitions
Norms: Social expectations of how we should behave or values or beliefs
They can be implicit or explicit – priority seating is written on the bus and therefore
explicit; not talking when the professor is lecturing and respecting personal space would
be implicit
We have norms because it helps us interact and makes people belong – there is order
and predictability with norms as they manage behaviour
Deviance: Anything that goes against the norms.
Formal deviance – violates formally enacted laws (crime), and with this comes formal
sanctions – imprisonment, fines, etc.
Informal deviance – doesn’t necessarily result in formal sanctions (rolling your eyes,
acting out), informal sanctions can include ostracization, etc.
What we find deviant can change over time
Crime: An act or omission (not doing what you should do or doing what you’re not
supposed to do, ex. negligence) prohibited by criminal law that is subject to sanctions by
state authority and social stigma. It’s key ingredients are the Actus Reus (wrongful act)
and the Mens Rea (guilty mind)
Crime and deviance are not the same: Consider jaywalking – a crime, but not deviant;
consider topless women in Ottawa – deviant, not a crime

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CRM 1300B
Are crime and deviance the same? Are all criminal acts deviant? Are all deviant acts
criminal?
Crime and deviance is relative
To time: ex. In the 1960s beating your wife was more acceptable than homosexuality;
the consumption of alcohol in the 1920s was prohibited, it is not now
To place: ex. In Singapore, it is illegal to chew gum
To gender: clothing trends – ex. Crop tops on boys is deviant, and promiscuous girls is
seen differently than promiscuous boys
Social status: each group is probably committing the same amount of crime, but the
lower class get caught more and are treated differently – ex. Loitering in a suit is seen
differently than loitering in ripped jeans and a hoodie
Social context: Canada day in the market – drinking in the open is often ignored; hitting
during hockey is not seen as assault
Social Constructionism
An act isn’t necessarily bad in and of itself – we have given it that label
Socially constructed problems: the moral panic
Laws get created often through a moral panic
Moral panic: an instance of public anxiety or alarm in response to a problem regarded
as threatening the moral standards of society
Happens when there is a condition, episode, or people deemed harmful to society and
the media takes hold of this (if it bleeds, it leads)
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CRM 1300B
Ex. The idea that crime is increasing (not true, it is actually going down) leads to people
pushing for more prisons, etc. – after 9/11 certain groups of people became targets,
such as Muslims – SARS, H1N1 – global warming – violent video games and movies
(there is always something about music being held responsible for the youth doing bad
things)
Moral entrepreneurs: groups or people who start this – try to get certain rules/laws
passed for their own agenda, try to get others on board
Folk Devils: groups (fictional or not) who are targeted – ex. Chinese who worked on the
railroads- Canadians worried about the loss of jobs (Opium Act of 1908)
The moral panic of sexting – child pornography charges, reputations, etc. – the panic is
from parents, the consequences are harsh, and so is the panic warranted?
The Criminal Justice System
Social Control: refers to the various types of organized reaction to behavior viewed as
problematic – ex. trying to control criminal behavior with punishment
Informal and formal sanctions being introduced to regulate behavior is an example of the
emergence of social control
The CJS is a vast network of organizations
Police:
Municipal – Ottawa Police
Provincial – O.P.P
Federal: RCMP
Courts:
Lower courts/ provincial courts (assembly line justice, initial court system – is
further divided, ex. Family court)
Superior Court (two subdivisions: trial and appeal)
Supreme Court of Canada (appeals only)
Correctional System
Provincial and territorial (for sentences of 2 years less a day)
Federal (for sentences of 2 years plus a day)
Across Canada there are 250 jails and prison (73 federal/ 177 provincial)
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