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Lecture 3

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Zachary Levinsky

Lecture 3- January 23, 2013 Why do people commit crime?  Social context taken into account  Biological/psychological theories; issues reside within the individual (genetic predisposition) Durkheim  How criminology shifts over time related to what’s going on in historical period  Wrote about suicide and why people commit suicide (1897)  How does society maintain order? (especially in time of transition/rapid change [i.e. turn of the century, industrial revolution]) o A continuum- mechanical solidarity (more primitive societies); no real institutions are around and may be organized by tribes, little/no division of labour o Organic solidarity- somehow all societies evolve into this; more complex modern society (natural progression of all societies as they become more organized); characterized by division of labour (people have certain function in society)  When fully developed into organic solidarity, order will be achieved in society (society as some kind of unfolding process)  During this transition period when anomie exists (times of “normlessness”); people not sure how to act because it is rapidly changing  Punishment serves as useful function- reinforces collective conscience/moral order and productive in that sense (highlights values, norms and morals of society)  Crime normal and necessary- helps healthy society  Structural functionalist- sets the boundaries (moral boundaries we shouldn’t cross), group solidarity (common enemy “the other”; united against the criminal), adaptation or innovation (why are there changes in attitudes toward crime?; crime helps move society forward and allows society to change its rules of acceptable behaviour [revise its boundaries]), tension-reduction  Durkheim’s quest- why people commit crime ; sociology can help societies to perfect sense of order (social harmony) by using empirical knowledge (scientific approach to sociology) Social Disorganization Theory  Social ecology of crime (Shaw and McKay, 1942)-places being a cause of crime not the individual  Looking at communities  Concentric zone theory- crime generally occurs in the transitional zone 1. Central business district (inner city); banks, financial institutions, noisy, no one wants to live here (mostly where people go to work) 2. Transitional zone- recent immigrant groups, deteriorated housing, factories, abandoned buildings, pushes people out, transitory (little investment into community; no long term intentions to stay here as people leave the first chance they get), characterized by slums 3. Working class zone- single family tenements, more stable 4. Residential zone- single family homes, yards/garages, middle class families, more spacious 5. Commuter zone- suburbs, no big city problems **is this the case only for American cities? Are Canadian cities organized this way?** (i.e. housing in downtown Toronto)  social disorganization endemic within zone 2; community doesn’t function as the residents want it to (social decay of institutions; no new buildings i.e. community centers) o community unable to recognize its values o factors in social disorganization:  transitional population- residential instability (people going in and out constantly); zone of last resort and people unable to establish bonds with other in this zone  racial/ethnic heterogeneity- diversity seen as a good thing, tend to isolate themselves because there is no common background among these people (people stuck to their own ethnic groups); not integrated well, language barrier (zone of immigration)  poverty- poverty doesn’t necessarily cause social disorganization but it promotes disorganization (tax base- less money to draw from and people are focused on survival)  Why do some communities have higher crime rates than others?- less crime in outer city (suburbs) than in inner cities  Crime exists in communities of ‘normal’ (similar) people o Social institutions in these areas had failed  How do you measure disorganization?  Used in policies as a way of combating crime Learning Theories  How people internalize values  Notion that criminal behaviour is learned and criminality is not innate; it is a byproduct of interacting with people  Crime is sometimes a normal/expected response to something in given context/circumstances  Neither free will (i.e. classical theories) nor individual characteristics emphasized; rather, focus is on process of how and what people learn  Who you grew up with it, how you grew up and in what context; environmental factors that affect how one socializes o Social environment’s effect on maturity and socialization process Differential Association Theory (Sutherland, 1927)  Theory developed at a time when it’s all about social structure/environment Criminal behaviour is  We don’t program ourselves but we acquire from another source learned  Criminal behaviour is learned just like regular behaviour through interaction with others Through interaction with  Why is crime a lower-class phenomenon? (not true but is the basis for many other people theories)  Learning criminal behaviour from personal, intimate groups Main part via intimate  Not everyone has the same influence over you (i.e. classmates vs. parents) personal groups Includes techniques,  Everything associated with the crime is learned (including attitude, etc. o
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