Jan 24 2014
- Fig. 3.1
- Physical attributions effect how people perceive one to be a criminal or not, who is
dangerous or not.
- The good guys in media are played by good-looking attractive individuals. Black men are
not portrayed positively in media
- History repeat: genocide, hate crime against people who are considered biologically
inferior. Blacks and slavery, 100’s of aboriginals murdered.
- Involuntary sterilization of 1000’s of people, they were considered barbaric
- Poor and non-white individuals are considered inferior, and promote white dominance.
- Most biological research is done on lower class individuals, ignoring white collar crime.
- Biological theory claims that poor, and non-white individuals commit crime since it is
biologically programmed in them, they have not evolved completely.
o It is no accident that most of these theories are constructed by white men from
upper class families
o These theories became popular because they claim they were based on
Sociological Explanations of Crime
- What social processes impact criminal and lead to criminal behaviour
o Social processes focus on interactions of individuals
o Social structure look at organization of society
o ^ social learning theories
- Social disorganization theory
o Shaw and Mackay
o Burgess’s concentric zone theory
- Sutherlands differential association
- Why do people commit crime Burgess’s concentric zone theory
- Comes out of the Chicago school
- Even today it is one of the main producers of analysis’s impacting neighbourhoods
- Wanted to explain transition to urbanization, people moving from rural areas to the city
- In Chicago went from 2000 to 2 million people
- 5 concentric zones:
1. Central business district: location of most businesses, economic. Very little
2. Transitional zone: recent immigrant groups, new immigrants settle. Development
of slums, apartments, abandoned buildings, factories. Poor slum area
3. Working class zone: family structure, better apartment buildings, single family
4. Residential zone: single family houses, yards and garages
5. Commuter zone: suburbs
- Shawn mckay used this model to explain deviant behaviour.
• How crime is spread out in society
• Transitional zone, and conditions of it that allowed crime to flourish
• As individuals moved out of this zone, they were less likely to commit crime (less
likely to commit street crime).
Edward Sutherlands dissociation theory
- One of the most prominent theories in sociology
- How learning deviant behaviour occurs
- Most people are socialized into normative behaviour; children growing up in
neighbourhoods exposed to crime are more likely to commit crime.
- Reject Biological claim of the born criminal
- His research influenced Chicago school. Became head of American sociological
- Focused on why people become criminals.
- 9 key points: 1. Criminal behaviour is learned
• You have to be trained to become a criminal
2. Criminal behaviour is learned in interaction with other persons in a process of
• It suggests movies and newspaper do not play part in learning criminal
3. The principle part of the learning of criminal behaviour occurs within intimate
4. When criminal behaviour is learned the learning includes techniques of committing
the crime and the specific direction of motives, drives, rationalizations and attitudes
5. The specific direction of motives and drives is learned from the definitions of legal
codes as favorable and unfavorable
6. A person becomes delinquent because of an excess of definitions favorable to the
violation of law
• They are socialized into behaviours that are law breaking
7. Differential associations may vary in frequency, duration, priority and intensity
• Frequency refers to how often you spend time with your friends
• Duration is how much time you spend during one visit
• Priority, how early the association occurs, early in life more impact
• Intensity: importance you place on those associations. Do your peers that
engage in crime are they an important association? Or is family important?
8. The process of learning criminal behaviour by association with c