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Lecture 7

SOCA02H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Cesare Lombroso, American Civil War, Urban Legend

Course Code
Malcolm Mac Kinnon

of 7
March 8, 2012
Crime and Deviance
General or generic term is deviance- any behaviour that violates social norms, and produces
some reaction; betrayal of trust is a violation of a friendship norm; deviance is also violating a
norm that gets you thrown in jail, which is referred to as criminal deviance (one that violates a
law); two types of deviance- criminal and noncriminal
Canadians attitudes towards crime
Television programs that feature crime are often the most popular;
Juvenile delinquency- juveniles are treated differently than adults; the age which you can be
charged as an adult generally varies with type of crime committed; it is seen as being very
serious because it can lead to a life of crime; someone can become a persistent offender, thus
every effort is made to rehab these offenders, and not throw them into jail with adult offenders;
besides male rape, juveniles can be taught how to be successful criminals by the elder, violent
criminals; labeling is a sociological concept that means when society labels you, very often
people will live up to the label; they will acquire an identity from social labeling and live up to
this identity that they have been given; you want to prevent this from happening because young
people are impressionable; rehabilitation is important; most offenders are male and from lower
SES groups because most crime are called common crimes (stealing cars, B&E, assault, and
occasionally homicide)
Drugs a victimless crime? Sometimes called consensual crimes meaning both parties agree;
many sociologists argue that drugs are a victimless crime; 112 years ago, one can do whatever
one wanted (use of cocaine) Laudanum- combination of alcohol and opium which was widely
used in the 19th century, including the American civil war when amputating a leg; prior to the
20th century, drugs were used quite regularly; virtually nobody went on to hard drug use after
using marijuana (only a tiny portion of people); when both parties agree that there is no victim
in the traditional sense (someone wants to buy drugs, and someone wants to sell), both parties
agree to the transaction; as opposed to someone robbing someone else for drugs; same thing
can be said of gambling (people will take/give money, take/give bets); vagrancy- someone can
be picked up and spend the night in jail for being homeless; prostitution- someone wants to buy
their body, someone wants to sell it; entrapment is a technique reserved specifically for
victimless crime because no one is going to report a victimless crime; police undercover work,
young female police officers often pose as prostitutes; many people are opposed to entrapment
(the police encourage you to break the law)
If university student are to commit a type of crime, it would be white collar crime; committed by
middleclass and upper-class people as opposed to street crime which is committed by lower
classes; white collar crimes require education, special information, and access to certain kinds of
resources; Edwin Sutherland is the sociologist who popularized white collar crime; it was known
prior to this, but it wasn’t investigated; people assumed most crime was committed by the
underclass; related to work, costs society billions; Bernie Madoff cheated people out of 50
billion dollars (he was paying incredibly high interest rates which should have drawn a red flag);
costs society 40 times as much as street crime; difference between white collar crime and street
crime is the lack of physical violence (mugging, car theft, B&E); Sutherland found that 70 large
corporation, over a period of 5 years, had been convicted of 890 crimes; copyright infringement
means stealing intellectual property (stealing songs, violating patents); price fixing is when
companies get together and fix the price of a product; industrial spying- if someone works for
Xerox who develops a new copying machine, and that someone takes pictures of the design and
sells them to a competitor; forgery means faking documents, very often it is related to
accounting practices, where you say that a company is making all kinds of money when it’s really
not; fraud is selling something and claiming that it represents which it is not; embezzlement is
very common, stealing money from your company (ex. Bank worker in America funnelled a very
miniscule amount into a separate account, then wired the money to Rio where he now lives);
tax evasion- not paying one’s taxes; unsafe workplace- very long workplace code (rules,
regulations, statutes); selling unsafe products or misrepresenting product- if manufacturer
knows a product is unsafe then it is a white collar crime; pollution is also a white collar crime;
white collar crime is treated more leniently than street crime; system is harder on underclass
individuals; these people cannot afford to hire a top-class lawyer; in recent years, the courts
have started to take white collar crime more seriously; Ken Lay (Enron)- accounting fraud, he
was going to go to jail for a long spell but died of a heart attack; Jeffrey Skilling (Enron)-
accounting fraud; Bernie Ebers (WorldCom)- doing several life terms; Bernie Madoff- ran an
investment scheme racquet, Ponzi (American in the early part of the 20th century) scheme
(invest and I will pay you 15% interest)- people will invest then get others to invest, thus Madoff
used money from new investors to pay dividends to other clients; sometimes called pyramid
schemes; Martha Stewart- insider trading, she was charged with insider trading where someone
working for a company, aware of future plans and hence have an advantage; done all the time,
but difficult to catch; prosecution laid a perjury trap on Martha Stewart (use the phrase, to the
best of my recollection); Conrad Black used honest services to convict him, which he challenged
because it was unconstitutional; charged Conrad with about 50 crimes, and 4 of them stuck;
Stereotype out there that organized crime is Italian; Hollywood pushes this idea forward; Donnie
Brosco, Goodfellas; organized crime is an equal opportunity activity, meaning every ethnic group
has been a part of it at some point; Irish organized crime was widespread, mostly waterfront,
docking activities, associated with unions and things; the Scots invented bootlegging- selling
alcohol illegally, the English tried to tax scotch and the Scots honed their skills in making illegal
scotch during the prohibition era (1919-1932); Italian organized crime called the Mafia; Sicilian
organized crime called the Cosa Nostra; many Jews were involved in organized crime during the
early part of the 20th century; Casino is the life story of Bugsy Segal who set up the Flamingo;
another notorious crime figure in the 1920s and 1930s was Mayer Lanksy who was an expert in
money laundering, and worked for Al Capone (Italian); Italian organized crime would set up an
olive oil importing companies in order to launder money; Russian organized crime is
widespread, highly sophisticated and very violent; Japanese organized criminals drive black
American Cadillac; Chinese-Triads; Vietnamese organized crime is mostly in drugs; Jamaican
organized crime; Latin organized crime is usually drug cartels- Pablo Escobar, a multi billionaire,
trafficked cocaine from Columbia; organized crime in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan deal with
opium; ethnic association gives group solidarity and cohesiveness, which make them hard to
infiltrate; top of the food chain in organized crime is Hells Angels (biggest organized crime group
in the world);
Outlaw bikers have started to initiate new members to the inner circle by forcing them to kill
someone, thus keeping police from entering; outlaw bikers are into
Organized crime connects to the through graft it is when you pay off police, politicians and
judges; a squealer in organized crime used to be called a canary (because a canary sings); loan
sharking accounts for 0.2% of total income; prostitution-2.4%; porno-4.4%; (perhaps an urban
legend) snuff movies- films that involve somebody actually being killed; organized crime makes
money from gambling-5.2% (was higher until another organized crime outfit (government)
realized how much they wanted to get a piece of the action, which then started up lotteries and
casinos everywhere; drugs-87.7% of organized crime revenue comes from it; some say drugs
should be decriminalized; organized crime exploded during the time of prohibition; if drugs are
decriminalized, then organized crime may lose an overwhelming amount of its influence;
Homicide rates have been falling since the 1980s; 1962: 221 violent crimes per 100, 000