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Crime and Deviance.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC101Y1
Professor
Christian O.Caron
Semester
Fall

Description
2013/12/04 SOC101 1 LECTURE 11 – DEVIANCE AND CRIME FINAL LECTURE OF THE TERM! - Congrats for those who finished the assignment for today - Usually people are only here when they finish their assignments CRIME AND DEVIANCE - This is 20% of test two - You want to make sure you cover this topic adequately so you have what you need to do well on December 19 AFTER CLASS - I can’t stay after class today to answer questions - If you have questions you can use twitter or you can drop me an email - I will make sure all the emails that come in today will be answered today SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS - Two copies must be submitted o Digital copy on blackboard o Due by 4 pm todaaaayyyyy!!!! o Uploading can take a while and not look instantaneous o If you experience technical difficulties but have turned the hard copy in on time, don’t worry o Contact support services, portal help, whoever - The original submission folder will close at 4 pm this afternoon o I will open a new one that will be called something like Post 4 pm submissions o If you are not clear on any of this, get in touch with Jaimie - If you are in this rom but haven’t submitted the hard copy yet, go to rom 225 @ 725 Spadina, second floor - Remember the title page - I have received emails about late submission penalties - There are no penalties because there are no late submissions accepted - If you need an extension for documented reasons, there are forms on blackboard, email Jaimie, and she’ll work something out with you - Movie assignment results will not be in within a few weeks - It will be after test 2 - It takes a long time to mark this many assignments - The marks will be released just before we meet again next year - Remember, always check the Announcement Tab! TEST 2 2013/12/04 SOC101 2 - I will create a mini lecture in the next couple of days, Saturday at the latest - It will give you the format of the exam, the distribution of questions by topic - Some advice on how to do well - A few bits of info on the slides here o 75 minutes ONLY, it is listed as 2 hours online but that is just a default time listing o 65 multiple choice questions - Check the slides for all the stuff that will be on the test o Readings and lectures  Look at slides o Online lectures  Look at slides o Movies  Look at slides - Take test 2 questions to Discussion Board for Test 2 - You can ask me questions now on Twitter, if it’s personal you can email me - Note – for test 2 you SHOULD bring a non-programmable calculator o Questions on taxes, inflation correlation will need a calculator o CRIME AND DEVIANCE - There’s a reason why we end this semester on crime and deviance - It’s a nice book-end to lots of topics and ongoing issues that we’ve looked at throughout the semester - Namely the notion of norms, expectations, how important of a role that plays in everyday life - Notions of power that have been there throughout the semester - Even more vividly looking at stratification, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation - Crime and deviance is the study of the boundaries of acceptability - Where does each society set the limits on the diversity of behaviors that they will embrace - It sets a line where disapproval moves into criminal, something you can be punished for in a formal way - This is studying what is acceptable, desirable, and normal, but studying what is not - How the laws reflect this change over time o This is common sense o The laws of 2013 aren’t the same as even 5 years ago, let along 50 - Studying what is criminalized and what is seen as deviant, outside the normal, tells us a lot about a given society - It tells us a lot about how it tries to police its citizens and keep them and hold them within an acceptable range of behaviors and attitudes - Crime and Deviance is one of my main research areas CRIME 2013/12/04 SOC101 3 - The interest in policing people’s behavior arose with the rise of the nation state o Having information about the population o What are the rules by which all of us will agree to live - The more formal study of crime is younger than that - But it has concentrated around three questions - Two questions have dominated the field of criminology o 1) Why do people commit crimes?  What are the reasons?  Lots of ink has been spilled, lots of popular culture depictions are about that o 2) what to do about crime  How should one handle this  What sorts of punishments do we have  What do we try to handle  What is the response to individuals or groups who engage in behaviors or display attitudes that are criminalized? o For a long time those were the two main questions that preoccupied the study of crime - More recently, in the last 4-5 decades, a third question has emerged that is central to the study of crime - Before we talk about why people commit crimes and what the response should be o 3) What is crime?  We don’t mean philosophically,  We need to differentiate between all the kinds of behaviors that are criminalized  There are big differences between small offenses and crimes that are punished with lifetime sentences THE SOCIAL - Criminology combines elements form Psychology, sometimes biology being inserted in there, law, and sociology - Crim (*short form of Criminology) is multidisciplinary - Sociology comes in and is primarily interested in the social - How do particular behaviors get set and defined as crime? o Class and stratification o Rage and ethnicity o Gender o Culture o Socialize ion o Social interaction - Along with media, families, politics, work, religion, education, health and many more WHAT IS CRIME? 2013/12/04 SOC101 4 - What comes to mind when you see this question? o Murder o Theft o Rape o Assault o Embezzlement o Copyright infringement o Slavery o Selling drugs o Price fixing o Treason o Arson o Child pornography o Identity theft o Espionage o Prostitution and solicitation - We’ve touched on many - (huge list on the board) CRIME AND CRIMINAL CODE - Crime as defined by the criminal code of Canada is “The intentional violation of criminal law without defense and without excuse” - The point of the previous slide is, before we can get started on why people commit crimes, might engage in theft or espionage or murder, we need to be clear on what crime we’re speaking of - The categories criminal and non-criminal are highly problematic - That binary just doesn’t work - If we’re talking about two master identities of criminal and non-criminal, it doesn’t’ represent the distinctions, the range of behaviors we have here where some people will engage in illegal downloading and don’t see themselves as criminal o While most of us will recognize someone who has been convicted of murder as a criminal - Those categories hide a lot of diversity within them - There are 4 components to the criminal code o Politically  Laws are enacted by a legislature  People who were duly elected  They enact the laws  The laws don’t’ come out of thin air, we can trace their origins to debates in parliament, in the media o Specificity 2013/12/04 SOC101 5  Unlike what preceded formal criminal codes, where punishments were meted out on a whim  It has to set out what is and isn’t legal, and what punishment ranges there are o Uniformity  Everyone, no matter their class, ethnicity etc., are supposed to be treated the same  They can’t say “This law only applies to this ethnic group”  Or “this law only applies to those making less than $75,000 a year”  Ideally o Penal sanctions  Punishments are set out in advance  Punishment ranges  You can’t put someone in jail for 20 years for jaywalking  You get something within a range that is defined in the law To be found guilty - Actus reus and mens rea - Both need to be there - The criminal justice system in Canada is an adversarial system o One party is there to prove guilt o The other party is there to defend themselves - Actus reus o An act has been committed o You are not prosecuting people for their thoughts, dreams, or fantasies o An act can be hate speech, that’s an act, not a thought - Mens rea o The intent o The person knew what they were doing o They were responsible for their actions - The operationalization of the mens rea is the actus reus TWO TYPES OF CRIME - There are ways to sort behavior, explanations for crime and deviance, but a broad typology is this - Mala in se o It’s bad in itself o There are behaviors for which there is near unanimous consensus that this should be illegal o E.g. murder, child pornography o You get a really high agreement that those things should be illegal 2013/12/04 SOC101 6 o This isn’t something that varies as much culturally and socially, often illegal everywhere over all times o With limited variation - Crimes are on a continuum, they aren’t one or the other, but the other broad category is - Mala prohibita o There isn’t a high level of consensus in society here o A big chunk of the population might think that it shouldn’t be illegal, maybe 40% o It’s seen as bad because it’s prohibited o These are the types of crimes where the rules change overtime o Crimes that are on the books now that were not on the books a few years ago o Not necessarily crimes in every given society o There are often intense debates around these things  Assisted suicide for instance  Legalizing marijuana ASSUMPTIONS: HUMAN NATURE - This studies the boundaries of acceptability in human society - embedded in responses to crime and the laws are assumptions about human nature - Assumptions about whether people are inherently, deep down, are bad or good o When the assumption is o Inherently evil  People will do bad things unless you prevent them from doing so  Then you need very clear cut rules and police enforcement to control the population  Without control, there will be mayhem o Inherently good  On the whole people won’t try to hurt one another  When crime takes place, then the drive is to say what went wrong?  What made this person act this way?  Why in this context, in that moment, in this situation, they did what they did  You don’t’ need a surveillance society or quadruple toe social patrol and enforcement, because people tend to obey the rules even if they are not being watched - Ask – without rules, how would people react? o If you knew that for the next 24 hours there was no security, no police, what would happen? o That answer reflects your assumptions - Crime control depends on assumptions o If people are evil – deterrence, prison, isolation, remove the bad people o If people are good – rehabilitation SOCIAL ORDER 2013/12/04 SOC101 7 - If you believe that crime needs to be regulated from the top o Centralized state o Visible strong police force - Bottom up o Small state, only a handful of behaviors should be criminalized o Don’t police what other people are doing if it doesn’t harm anyone else - If you map out political parties, in many nations, you have political parties who advocate for a strong law and order approach o The population needs to be kept under control - On the other hand o The state doesn’t have and shouldn’t have a big role to play - Those two things don’t align well together - In order to have a lot of social control and surveillance, to mete out punishment on an array of things you don’t’ think should happen PARTICIPATION 1 - What does the saying “if it bleeds it leads” demonstrate about the media’s crime coverage? - There is a wide distribution when the class is asked which they think is correct - A) crime is important to news stories o Why did you think this? o St: crime sells, it gets people to come in and watch, and it is talked about as a really important part, a major part of what happens in news media - B) focus on other people’s tragedies o If there’s no blood it’s not newsworthy - C) profit motive has no conscience o St: profit is a strong motivator of what gets covered, tragedy sells, crime sells o Whatever sells is what you put on the cover of the newspaper or have lead off the newscast - D) it shows sensationalizing of private matters o St: encapsulates that A and B are both right, D is a combination of the two and is maybe more right - The right answer, which we’re defining in different ways, but this is a historic question - The answer is A o But you can use your iClicker and change your answer now! - The focus isn’t just on people’s tragedies o Some of the crimes depicted aren’t always about individual tragedies - Not all crimes are private matter issues o Some of these crimes are public crimes - The profit motive has no conscience o The no is the problem. We can’t say that it has “no” conscience, that editors have ‘no’ conscience 2013/12/04 SOC101 8 o There are things they won’t show o They won’t show a live murder o Sometimes cameras filming live catch a death by accident, and that’s seen as a faux pas o They are influenced by the bottom line though - We know that news outlets that lead with crime will sell more papers and get more viewers, and are more likely to get those viewers to stay watching - There is an insatiable appetite for crime stories - (100% got the right answer) CANADIANS’ ATTITUDES TOWARDS CRIME - The reason we care about the media so much - The reason it’s important that you did a content analysis of popular culture depictions - It sometimes looks at silly work, not serious work like experiments and d surveys, - And yet, the important phrase is “how do we know what we know?” o How do we know what we know about race, crime, family? o Some of it is our experiences o A lot of it is the media - if we think about the Canadian Public’s perception of how much crime there is on the one hand, and statistics of crime from the police on the other, these don’t line up - Canadians think that there is much more crime and is much worse than 20 years ago - But in reality, crime is much lower than it used to be - The public’s perception of crime maps out with depictions of crime in popular culture and mass media, but not the real stats - The stats by academics, reality itself, doesn’t determine policy as much as the public’s perceptions and attitudes, which are shaped overwhelmingly by popular cultural depiction - That is a really important reason why sociologists think it’s important to deconstruct and talk about popular culture depictions - Even if its fiction, law and order, CSI, millions of police and crime and lawyer shows, we’re surrounded by this atmosphere that there is crime, lots of crime, diverse crime, violent crime -
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