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Lecture 7

Sociology 2266A/B Lecture 7: Final exam lecture 2
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Department
Sociology
Course
Sociology 2266A/B
Professor
Jennifer Reynolds
Semester
Winter

Description
Tuesday, March 14, 2017 Social Structure & Crime What is Social Structure? ‣ Who has more access to education ‣ Who has more resources? ‣ The impact it has on crime Interested on how or why is it that social structure leads to social inequality/ ‣ stratification ‣ A lot of the social structure is based on the functionalist model ‣ Look at group crime rates What function would crime play that has kept it around for so long? ‣ • Laws come out of crime • Generates jobs • Plays distinct role - what is and what is not allowed 3 Key Sociological Explanations for Crime ‣ Crime is the result of an individual’s location within the structure of society ‣ Crime is the end product of various social processes, especially inappropriate socialization and social learning • Discussed last week Crime is the product of class struggle - the perspective emphasizes the nature of ‣ existing power relationships between social groups • Some groups of power and generate elite status and unlimited resources vs other people Social Structure Theories Defined ‣ Social Structure Theories — They explain crime by reference to the economic and social arrangements (or structure) of society 1 Tuesday, March 14, 2017 • Evolved into capitalist • The fundamental reasons that people commit crime is because of social problems ‣ Social structure theorists view members of socially and economically disadvantaged groups as being more likely to commit crime and they see economic and social disenfranchisement as fundamental causes of crime Social Disorganization and the Chicago School Is an ecological approach -> look at environment to explain social behaviour ‣ ‣ Developed 1920s-1930s ‣ First major school that looked at studying crime Social Disorganization Theory* A perspective on crime and deviance that sees society as a kind of organism and ‣ crime and deviance as a kind of disease or social pathology • Have to cure the disease before it goes away ‣ Social disorganization*: A condition said to exist when a group is faced with social change, uneven development of culture, maladaptiveness, disharmony, conflict and lack of consensus ‣ Social Ecology*: the attempt to link the structure and organization of any human community to interactions with its localized environment Blames our overall environment - not an individual propensity or how we learn it, • the environment you grow up in is going to create the crime or lack or resources in the environment Blaming social problems (poverty, discrimination, racism etc) • Chicago School of Ecology ‣ The first criminological theory to be developed in the United States was the Chicago school of human ecology 2 Tuesday, March 14, 2017 ‣ Chicago School of Criminology — an ecological approach to explaining crime that examined how social disorganization contributes to social pathology ‣ Clifford Shaw and Henry McKay Social ecology — describes the interrelations of human beings and the • communities in which they live • Also came up with the techniques of Neutralization • Natural areas of crime Graph ‣ • Middle is downtown Chicago • As you move away from downtown Chicago, the crime rates gets lower Majority of the criminals came from the same neighbourhoods - nothing here • matters on how close and far you are The Criminology of Place ‣ Builds upon the contributions of routine activities theory and situational crime prevention, as well as the ecological approaches ‣ It emphasizes the importance of geographic location and architectural features as they’re associated with the prevalences of victimization 3 Tuesday, March 14, 2017 • Broken Windows Theory*: based on architectural features, says that if you see a neighbourhood and has dilapidated buildings, broken windows every where, vandalized buildings — what message does this send to the person? No police around, don’t care about the community So we know that things like vandalism, abandoned buildings and such lead to increased rates of crime because people see it and say if you don't care about your community then why should I? Best way to address this is to clean up all the problems (fix the vandalized and broken buildings) ‣ Crime Prevention? Some of the things that work is putting more lights outside - no lights = higher rates • of robbery Routine Activities Theory Opportunistic theory - crime will only occur if opportunity exists ‣ ‣ Every time crime occurred these three things were present (have to be together): • 3. Suitable target is available 2. There is a lack of a capable guardian to prevent the crime from happening • • 1. A motivated offender is present • Called the Problem Analysis Triangle - crime occurs if these three are present 4 Tuesday, March 14, 2017 1. Motivated Offenders ‣ Why people Commit Crime • Gain/Need Poverty or a drug habit • Society/Experience/Environment Peer pressure, coercion, lack of education Beliefs • Belief that some crimes aren’t wrong, protest Think they are doing it for the greater good ‣ Routine Activities Theory looks at the individual committing the crime 2. Absence of a Capable Guardian ‣ A capable guarding is anything, either a person or thing that discourages crimes from taking place — These can be formal or informal (Informal like neighbours, formal like security) • Police Patrols Security Guards • • Locks • Fences • Lighting 3. A suitable Target ‣ A Person, Objective, Place VIVA (Makes target suitable to offender) ‣ • Value— The offender must either value the target for what they gain or value the effect they have on it The satisfaction - doesn’t have to be money 5 Tuesday, March 14, 2017 • Inertia — The size or weight of an item can effect how suitable it is Visibility — How visible a target is can affect its suitability • • Access — If a target is easy to get to, this increase its suitability CRAVED ‣ Not all products are equally at risk for theft ‣ Helps remember which goods are often easy to steal ‣ They must be: Concealable • • Removable Like laptop computers • Available Are easy to find and higher risk to be stolen (jewellery, money) Valuable • • Enjoyable Drugs, tobacco, liqor • Disposable Things you can resell (like battries) CRAVED items can change over time (CDs then vs IPODs now) ‣ Strain Theory ‣ Anomie, Norms, Means Robert Merton: Strain theory views crime as a normal response to the condition ‣ that limit the opportunities for some individuals to obtain the economic success for which we are all supposed to strive • Legitimate way to get there is hard work 6 Tuesday, March 14, 2017 • Got it from Durkheim ‣ Strain Theory — a sociological approach that posits a disjuncture between socially and subcultural sanctioned means and goals as the cause of criminal behaviour Anomie/Strain Theory Cultural and Structural Context ‣ Middle-class success goals shared by all members of society -> • Limited access to legitimate means (education, jobs for some ) -> Disjunction b/w goals and means (the ideal and reality) -> ๏ Anomie ‣ Ritualism — reject cultural goals but don’t adapt in a criminal behaviour • Don’t care about things everyone else cares about Retreatism -> reject cultural goals and means of attaining them (drug addicts etc) ‣ ‣ Innovation (typical criminals) ‣ Rebellion -> More people that want to change the capitalist mode of production (want us to become socialists or be hippies) Social-Psychological Response* 7 Tuesday, March 14, 2017 General Strain Theory (GST) ‣ Robert Agnew ‣ GST - a perspective that suggests that lawbreaking behaviour is a coping mechanism that enables those who engage in it to deal with the socioemotional problems generated by negative social relations • It is not the strain itself, but how it is dealt with (he cares most about what they do after the strain) • Most likely to do crime as coping mechanism if: Child abuse and neglect Negative secondary school experience Hating school Abusive peer relations Chronic unemployment Parental rejection Harsh supervision and harsh discipline Criminal victimization (if you’re victimized once, likely to be again) Homelessness Discrimination ‣ Sources of stress produced by strain: • 1. Strain caused by the failure to achieve positively valued goals Like not getting into university This is what Merton was saying about anomie - wanna do something but don’t get in so what you do after • 2. Strain caused by the disjunction of expectations and achievements • 3. Strain as the removal of positively valued stimuli from the individuals Like GF breaking up with the person 4. Strain as the presentation of negative stimuli • 8 Tuesday, March 14, 2017 -> Result in Antisocial behaviour Differential Opportunity Theory ‣ Cloward and Ohlin: Combine strain and social disorganization ‣ Illegitimate opportunity structure • Not everyone has the same opportunities - so people do subcultural pathways to success that not everyone in society agrees with Reaction Formation - the process by which a person openly rejects that which he or ‣ she wants or aspires to but cannot obtain or achieve Giving up idea • Applying Differential Opportunity: Gangs ‣ Why do people join gangs? • Toobtain and take advantage of the most rewarding illegitimate opportunities, aspiring delinquents often need an ‘in’ ‣ Gang types that develop from the frustration generated by blocked opportunities:* • Criminal Gangs Typically exist in stable but poor areas where there are a lot of close connections with youth, adolescents, young adults which creates an environment for a successful enterprise Have to prove that you are reliable and dependable These gangs last • Conflict Gangs Communities unable to provide illegitimate opportunities or legitimate ones Not same group of people, coming and leaving Very individualistic - think about yourself 9 Tuesday, March 14, 2017 Unorganized, unprotected, what conflict kids care most about is acquiring good rep (which they do through violence) - don't stick around long cuz they get arrested • Retreatist Gangs* Double failures Cannot gain success through legitimate means and don't want to bother doing it through illegitimate means Care about peer
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