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Soc212h1 Summer May 15.pdf

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University of Toronto St. George
Jenna Valleriani

May 15 2013 Lecture 2 Measuring Crime and Deviance - Methodological Strategies Last Week - prescientific aprroaches - classical approaches Deterrence Theory - Becarria and Bentham = ground work for deterrence theory - punishments impoased will “deter” people from committing crimes - fear of punishment will prevent others from committing similar crimes (P.136) 1. Absolute deterrence - 2. Relative - based on the idea penalties are frequent and serious enough to encourage other - increase surveillance 3. General - general by examples of specific deviant - particular actor is punished public to deter other people from doing the same thing 4. Specific - focus on individul in question - discourage the person by making them understand the consequences 5. Restrictive - individual avoids punishment selectively - ex. drug dealers who wont sell the shady individuals - direct activities but not to stop a) perceives or failes to perceive, the penalties b) calculates, or does not calculate, the risk and benefits that are involved and; c) acts or does not acts Classical thought: Rational Choice Theories Economic theory - cost/benefit ratios - criminal use cost beneft ratios of vairous ctrimes - potential costs (risks) and consider benefits (emotional, material) and also take into consideration the punishment Rational Choice Theory - way offender makes decision to offend - May us different calculation of costs and benefits than a “typical” conforming individual - idea that maybe we should focus on the way offenders make the decision to offend - same philosophy as Deterrence - made by Economics - individuals evaluate choices according to each actions benefit - rewarding, satisfying, easy, fun - offenders will weigh costs and benefits and make rational choices BiologicalApproaches Positivism 1. Also called scientism 2. The Methods of natural science should be adapted to the study of human beings - only authentic knowledge is scientific knowledge - proving theories through strict scientific method - able to be proven How is this different that Classical Thoughts on crime? Classical = deviance is a violation of social contract, crime Remedy: swift, certain, and graduated punishment Positivist = deviance is about pathology and sickness Remedy: Treatment, separation, elimination BiologicalApproaches 1. Physiognomy - assessment of a persons character from their appearance (especially their face) - judgment 2. Phrenology - study of external characteristics of a persons skull - use bumps on skull, indicate lower brain functions (aggression) and higher brain functions (high morality) - deviance occurs when lower brain functions > high brain function - criminal could be reformed with brain exercise 3. Craniometry - study of shape and form of human head or skull - precise measurements - classified on skull measurements - larger brain, more brain activity - after moved to brain size too large or too small is a sign of deviance 4. Somatotyping - method of making objective bodily measurements Sheldon and Somatotyping somatotyping = objective bodily measurements Body Type - physical characteristic // personality trait 1. Endomorph - soft, round, easy going, sociable // love food, tolerant, love of comfort, relaxed, need for affection 2. mesomorph - hard, rectangular, restless, energetic //adventurous, power dominance courageous, bold, physical activity, competitive, love risk and chance 3. ectomorph - lean, fragile, introspective, sensitive// self conscious, private, socially anxious, artistic, intense Atavism and ForensicAnthropology Lobroso - Criminals are evolutionary throwbacks, “born criminal” - atavistic - primitive stage of evolution - not fully developed - inherited, identified by physical defects - Stigmata: physical characteristics as evidence of deviant propensity (facial asymmetry, unusual head shape, extended jaw, full lips, etc.) - less sensibility, acute sight, lack of moral sense and remorse, more vanity and impulsiveness - beginning of criminal profiling Freud - Psychoanalytical Theories Id - completely selfish, biologically rooted drive for gratification of instinctual needs like food and sex - most basic part of personality - wants instant gratification - if needs aren’t met, become anxious Superego - developed through the process of socialization, expectations of society, “conscience” Ego - stands between two above, balances conflicting demands - deals with reality - tries to meet desire so they are socially acceptable - recognizes that other people have needs and wants - being selfish isnt good in the long run - what others will think and consequences - 3 parts of the self - deviance forms from excessive forms of guilt, wish to be punish to relieve guilt - committing crimes is punishing and being guilt - guilt comes before the crime - crime is part of a poorly integrated psyche - humans have unconscious desires - meet needs illegally - learn whats right and wrong early, this nature can be controlled by what is learned is early years - principles from parents, no parents = less control of urges Medicalization - application of disease explanation or medical model of certain types of deviance - Conrad and Schneider - How are some types of deviance dealt as problems? 1. Definition of deviant behaviour - must be defined as undesirable 2. Prospecting - proposed to a medical audience - tentative stage - usually few will get picked up 3. Claims making - key stage - people who articulate claims - gain in some way if targeted audience accept their claims as true - government officials, marketers, scientist, special interest group - actions taken to draw attentions to such claims 4. Legitimacy - exerts pressure on medical associations - official recognition - success ex. Judge refuses to send convict in prison because there is nothing in place to deal with their disorder 5. Institutionalization - acceptance of diagnosis by medical authorities - treatment programs The Epistemology of Crime and Deviance What do we know about crime and deviance? How do we know what we know about it? How is this knowledge acquired? Do we really know that much about crime and deviance after all? - deductive logic: works from the more general to more specific - researcher to test hypothesis to confirm the original theory - inductive logic: works from specific to broad general - begin with specific observations, then detect patterns and then form hypothesis - developing theories include every day concepts Where do we get our information about crime and deviance? 1. self report data and victimization studies 2. field observations 3. secondary analysis of statistical data 4. secondary analysis of biological material 5. content analysis 6. convict criminology 7. simulations 8. journalistic accounts What shapes our methodological strategies? Topic? Population? Availability of date? Social theory? Methodological preference? What factors would shape how YOU would research crime and deviance? Methodological Strategies Quantitative - experiments - surveys - content analysis - secondary analysis Qualitative - field research - historical-comparative - interviews - discourse analysis Time Dimension - cross-sectional - longitudinal - case study #1: Quantitative Methods Assumptions: social facts have objective reality; primacy of method; variables can be identified and relationships measured; outsider POV purpose: generalizability; prediction; casual explanations approach: begins with hypothesis/theory; manipulation and control; uses formal instruments; deductive; reduced data to numerical indices abstract language in write up researcher role: detached and impartial; objective portrayal - Strength - produces reliable data that is usually generalizable - take a small sample - Weakness - de-contextualizes human behaviour - ignores the affects of variable that aren’t included - lacks depth Experiments 1. Logic based on natural sciences 2. Allows for manipulation 3. Control groups - one receives ‘treatment’ - highly focused way - patterns of cause and effect - two groups are needed - experimental and control group - establish causation - problems - controlled experiments are artificial - manufactured lab settings - eliminate real life effects - must included judgements about setting Surveys 1. Ask people questions 2. Questionnaires or coded interviews - advantages - cheap - not as much effort - standardized answers - close ended questions, specific answers - disadvantage - limiting answer choices - limit demographic - people can lie, choose not to answer - incomplete ContentAnalysis 1. Examine information or content in a written or symbolic material 2. Measure information or content as number and codes 3. I.E. songs, books, movies, newspaper - studying the communication people produce as a way people create their picture of society - measure cultural change and different aspects of culture - how social groups are perceived - ex.Africans are depicted in children shows - quantify presence of different meanings and relationships of words, concepts, etc. - Strengths - unobtrusive - no affect on people being studied - relatively easy - present objective account of events - Weakness - limited in what in can study - cant tell us what people really think about these messages or if it affects behvaiour - selective - subjective approach SecondaryAnalysis 1. Analysis of previously collected data 2. Often government 3. Reorganize and combine the info in new ways to address research questions - Primary: data collected by researcher, team conceives of research project, design questions, perform own analysis - Secondary: collected by someone else for some other purpose - saves a lot of time and money - avoid unnecessary duplication - cleaned data and stored in electronic format - more time to analyze data - variety of data available - ex. Government data is on a national scale - guided by expertise (PhDs, government staff) that may not be available to individual researchers - disadvantage - not answer the questions - more info than the researcher needs - no control how the questions are asked - limit analysis - variables may have been defined or categorized differently - ex. Race = White, Black, Hispanic, Other - do not know how the collection was done or how well it was done Time Dimension 1. Cross-sectional - snapshot in time 2. Longitudinal - focus on select group of people and observes how various factors change for them over time, multi-dimensional, long term trends, ongoing process that would be impossible to see in a one time study, more expensive, examine over time a. Panel Study - same sample of people over time b.Cohort Study - different people from the same age group - Advantages - large scale analysis - generalizations - valid and reliable through accuracy and standardization - personal bias removed - Limitations - results lack depth and context - results may be overly controlled inaccurate - structural bias in the questions - reliability of the data Connectedness - correlation vs causality Correlation or ‘r’ 1. to what extent, and in which ways, two variables are related to each other 2. positive - both change in the same direction 3. negative - change in opposite directions 4. range from +1.00 to -1.00 // closer to 0, weaker the relationship 5. e.g illiteracy and imprisonment are positively correlated Causality 1. when one variable changes, the other changes in predictable ways 2. the casual (independent) variable changes/occurs before the one that is caused 3. rule out other possible causes (spuriousness) 4. controls #2: Qualitative Methods Assumptions: reality is constructed; primacy of subject matter; variables are complex, interwoven, difficult to measure; insiders POV Purpose: contextualizaton; interpretation; understanding actor’s perspective Approach: ends with hypothesis; emergence and portrayal; researcher as instrument; naturalistic Researcher Role: personally involved Field Research 1. Participant observation 2. Start with loosely formulated idea, gain access to a group, then assume a social role 3. Ethnography - close observation, enable researcher to interpret theories, rich descriptions - not superficial - always prepared, no preparation needed - weaknesses - not appropriate for statistical description - reliability - personal - prevent opinions, biased results Historical-Comparative 1. Examines historical life in past eras or across cultures 2. Begin with loosely formulated question, which is refined during research process 3. Mixed data - stats, docs, interviews, etc. - historical and cultural as basis of research - why a particular outcome occured Interviews 1. Ask people questions face to face 2. Structured, semi-structured, unstructured DiscourseAnalysis 1. Analysis of written or spoken language 2. Ascertain underlying social structures assumed or played out in conversation or text 3. Reveal the hidden motivations and assumptions behind the text - discourses are anything written or spoken ex. discourse revolved around school shooting, way we talk about them, how we view it - any practice in which any individual is attaching meaning - dance, ritual, music, myth, custom, - verbal form - special interest - in practice, something accessed really easy - in theory, how people talk is a way people produce and transmit meaning Time Dimension 1. Case Study Qualitative Pros and Cons -Advantages - depth, detail, complexity - flexibility - adaptability - researcher has creative and dynamic role in shaping the research - build new theories - Limitations - not generalizable - researcher skills - rigor difficult to maintain, assess, demonstrate - time-consumin
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