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SOC305 Sept 12.doc

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Nicole Myers

SOC305 Sept 12 th What is Criminology? - specific genre of discourse and inquire about crime – Garland o approaches to studying crime - study of making laws, the breaking of laws and society’s reaction to the breaking of laws - why people create, enforce, or nullify laws o why is something criminal - the way of generating knowledge – what are criminal motivations/de-motivations - innovation, trends and patterns - crime is a social phenomenon What is Theory, and Why are we Studying Theory? - a way of looking at the world and to understanding the world - the way to define/explain crime - theory is connected to questions and methodology - ex. Effects of capitalism on crime , ex. The way we regulate behaviour - theories are tested from people’s common sense of the world – as well as public opinion o a politics of crime - Policy Stems from Theory - who is the criminal - what is the particular problem - what is the nature of being human - what should the state regulate and not regulate – what is the state’s role What Should Criminology Study? - being interested in the way regulation is shifted – bylaws, criminal laws, etc - power and balance between different groups in society - what should the expert’s role be? - should it follow the research agenda of the criminal justice system - what influence should funding systems have - how do we make the system better and how do we improve efficiency Typology of Knowledge Production - innovation o paradigm shifts – accepted world views are changing  knowledge does not follow incremental steps towards progression - retrieval o using old theories and applying them into new contemporary concepts - translation o taking either new works or neglected works and starting to use them - reinterpretation o new intellectual concerns – applied in the past, apply again now - changing intellectual priorities o is the theory validated - changing social conditions o new social facts, new realities – what it means to live in 2012 than 1950 o cultural transformations, changing economy - developments in cognate fields of inquiry o biology, sociology, psychology etc Individual Explanations of Crime and Criminality 1. Classical Theory and Beccaria - enlightenment ideals - approached crime rationally – using more mathematical models and tools to map out human behaviour - all have free will – we decide what we will do - everyone seeks pleasure and avoids pain – utilitarian - we anticipate consequences and calculate outcomes - if we all have rationality, we can anticipate the outcomes of our actions o we are generally good people but we need negative motivation – pain - if pleasure outweighs pain, we can control crime - is there a different between criminals and non criminals – or do people weigh the pain and pleasure in different ways Beccaria on Crimes and Punishment - why punish? – the end of punishment is no other than to prevent others from committing the like offence - opposed to superstitious ideas – ex. witches to be burned - work was banned by the Catholic Church - proportionality: the degree of the punishment and the consequence of a crime ought to be contrived as to have the greatest possible effect on others, with the least possibly pain to the delinquent o was not about retribution, but more about prevention - what are his thoughts on the death penalty and torture? o torture is not the appropriate means – using torture to induce a confession only shows their ability to sustain torture – make them reach the breaking point is not a confession o the political intention of punishment is to terrify o prevention through certainty of punishment o nobility not important  punishment is to be estimated o punishment must be:  public – can’t be done behind closed doors – renders it useless  prompt – comes shortly thereafter the offence to show the link  necessary – not brutally punishing for the sake of it  lease possible given the circumstances, proportionate to the crime, and dictated by laws  in this sense, be believed the CJS should be able to stop people from committing crimes Where do we See Classical Theory Today? - Schissel – determinations of culpability (guilt, did you do it or not) - deterrence theory – ways to prevent people from committing crime o if you accept deterrence, you accept the love of pleasure, the hate of pain, assumes an ego-centric model o 3 crucial elements to deterrence theory:  1. severity – pain must outweigh the pleasure of the crime – need to keep increasing the severity as people increase the pleas
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