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Lecture 10

SOC212 Lecture 10 Notes.docx

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Candace Kruttschnitt

SOC212 RADICAL CRIMINOLOGY November 21, 2012 Routine Activities:  Youth offenders in Saskatoon and Manitoba found some models of Chryslers were particularly easy to break into – increase in auto-theft resulted in policies to make these cars more protected  “Hot spots” – Weisburd & Sherman – Concentrating police activities in areas of concentrated crime o Increasing guardianship o Took 110 “hot spots”, split into 2 groups (experimental and control); 1 group got an increase in police presence and resulted in a reduction of offenses o Don’t know if displacement was temporary or permanent  Increasing surveillance cameras is an example of increasing guardianship  Controlling behavior with external policies and procedures  CRITICISM: Invasion of privacy; assumes all offenders are rational actors; ignores expressive/heat-of-the-moment crimes o Takes the motivated offender for granted (Hirschi – everyone is constantly motivated)  **From external research** crime is unaffected by social causes (i.e. poverty, inequality, unemployment, etc.) CONFLICT & RADICAL THEORIES  Represent a progressive movement of thought from how individuals are motivated and pushed into crime toward the political and economic causes of crime (from individualistic to societal level analyses) Conflict Theory:  Crime and delinquency is a result of class struggle; the ruling class: o Defines what crime is o Creates conditions that are conducive for lower class people to commit crime o Devise machinery (CJS) for controlling behavior  Socialized perspective in 60s & 70s exploded particularly in England o Individuals were disenchanted by the state of the Gov’t (ex. Watergate, etc.) o Crisis of legitimacy towards the gov’t  Rather than create a new theory, borrowed from conflict/Marxist approaches Most theories thus far have been “consensus” theories versus conflict theories Consensus framework:  stresses importance of understanding a phenomenon in its entirety; assumes that while not all aspects of society are integrated, everything gravitates towards equilibrium; change is gradual  Basic assumption of general consensus of moral values among citizens; delinquents are different in some way (i.e. undersocialized – Hirschi; part of a subculture – Sutherland) Conflict framework  Focus on importance of social change and exercise of power by limited number of individuals SOC212 RADICAL CRIMINOLOGY November 21, 2012  Society is held together by constraint, not consensus; majority values are held and enforced by the ruling class  If one is a delinquent, it is because it is in the best interest of the ruling class to define one as such  Distribution of power; process of legislation; selective label of criminal (common thief vs embezzler) Consensus Conflict Stability Question of change Society = well integrated A lot of dissention and conflict in society All elements of society have a function Elements contribute to change Value consensus Consensus based on coersion  Social disorganization theory, although argues that there are a lot of different value sets, it is still consensus because it assumes that this is dysfunctional (not the way it should be)  Marx – writing at the emergence of Western Capitalism; dialectic theory – weighing various theories o History is a reflection of constant conflict of social classes o Result of constant conflict = improvements; each step in the ladder had their own seeds of potential destruction o Capitalism = peak of the ladder; contains the weakness that will lead to a new form of government (i.e. socialism)  Bourgeoisie versus proletariats; working class is not paid what they deserve; ruling class profits from the struggles of the underclass o Workers become commodities; human dignity is sacrificed for the benefit of bourgeoisie  Socialism would be the ultimate form of economics  Two branches of critical criminology: o Instrumental Marxism: aimed at controlling the poor; comparing crime rates among the different classes; seek out biases in CJS; Jacobs & Britt – greater the disparity between classes = higher number of fatal police shootings  CJS is quick to take action when white, middle class woman gets victimized, less so for non-white lower class (Scott Peterson case); CJS selectively decides who gets more time and effort  Actions are instrumental to controlling the lower class o Structural Marxism: not just for upper class, but law are passed to ensure the long- term success of capitalism; interest in charting criminal law legislation; implementation of laws can be connected to the economic situation  Platt “Child Savers” – juvenile court system; less about benevolence  CRITICISM: doesn’t address variations within the classes o Comparing more socialized nations with Capitalistic ones – Switzerland and Japan are both very capitalistic, but have very low crime rates; suggests there is no link between capitalism and crime o DRM
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