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Week 1 - Sept 12.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Nicole Myers

SOC305 – Theories in Criminology Sept 12, 1012 What is Criminology?  Crime is a social phenomenon  Nullify- get rid of the laws  Crime is a problematic term because of the questions, what is crime? and who determines that?  What is theory – a way of looking at the world, a way of understanding the social world, a way of understanding; in crime, a way of understanding crime  Foucault looks at how do we regulate behavior  Feminists try to understand the gender differences and why different theories apply differently to males and females Policy stems from Theory  Theory is tested by peoples common sense ideas of the world  We are seeing a decline of the expert What Should Criminology Study?  Should it follow only the decisions of the CJS?  How do we make the system better? What is the role of theory ? Typology of knowledge Production  Innovation – were creating something new  Retrieval – going back to what was known or already known and trying to  Translation – taking others previous work and using them  Reinterpretation - taking an intellectual priorities and applying them in ways they weren’t used before  Changing intellectual priorities – when a theory is validated  Changing social conditions – new social facts, different realities of living in 2012 vs. that of 1950  Developments in cognate fields of injury – new social facts, different realities of living in 2012 vs. that of 1950  CLASSICAL THEORY AND BACCARIA  Enlightenment ideals –  All have free will – classical approach, we all have free will, we all decide what we are going to do, pleasure and pain, everyone seeks pleasure and avoids pain  We anticipate consequences…… b/c we all have rationality  In this sense we can make crime systems attainable, b/c the punishments can be painful. Eg. Is stealing really worth it for the pain of having to do community service after? On Crimes and Punishment  Work was banned from the churches  He said it was not about retribution but rather the idea being that in order to prevent crime one must punish people  Not that we have to punish them harshly but punish them enough to prevent further crimes by others  Death penalty? Torture? If he is innocent you have tortured the innocent. In the eyes of god everyone is innocent.  He believes that torture is not the appropriate means.  He didn’t believe that torturing someone was an appropriate means of receiving a confessions, b/c almost anyone would commit to a crime in order to get the physical pain to stop  Classical Theory Today  Culpability = guilt - did you do it or not  Classical theories today are often called control theories – these are theories emphasizing the prevention of crime through consequences painful to the individual  3 elements to the deterrence theory o Severity – how harsh is the punishment? o Certainty – how likely are you to get caught? Once caught, how likely are you to get punished?
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