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Lecture 7

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


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCA02H3
Professor
Malcolm Mac Kinnon
Lecture
7

Page:
of 7
March 8, 2012
Crime and Deviance
1. TYPES OF CRIME
(a) DISTINGUISHING CRIME FROM 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;
(b) JUVENILE DELINQUENCY
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)
(c) VICTIMLESS CRIMES
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)
(d) WHITE COLLAR CRIME
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;
(e) ORGANIZED CRIME
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);
(i) THE ETHNIC CONNECTION
(ii) ORGANIZATION IN ORGANIZED CRIME
(iii) CLIENTS OF ORGANIZED CRIME
(iv) THE INCOME OF ORGANIZED CRIME
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;
(f) CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY AND PERSONS
Homicide rates have been falling since the 1980s; 1962: 221 violent crimes per 100, 000