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Criminology Labeling Nov 14.docx

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Sociology 2266A/B

November 14, 2013 Introduction to Criminology Thursday November 14 , 2013 Topic: Social Process Theories Prof. Jennifer Reynolds • Agenda • Labeling Theory • Differential Association • Neutralization Theory • Social Control Theories Early Theories Containment Theories Social Bond Theories General Theory of Crime • Social Structure – macro approach: looking at groups and entire crimes vs. • Social Process - micro: how individuals interact with families, law Social Process Theories • Micro-Level analysis – looking at the individual • Operate from “symbolic interactionism” perspective – How ppl interpret and define their social reality and the meanings they attach interactions. Eg. The cross symbol=some ppl see it as a meaning of religion others it is different view • Criminal and delinquent socialization Symbolic Interactionism 3 basic premises: 1. People act toward objects in their lives according to the meanings of those objects to them. 2. The meanings of objects to individuals emerge from interactions with other people. 3. These meanings are applied and modified as individuals interpret particular situations. – going to act differently depending on the ppl you are interacting with - summary of all is how we go about living in a social world Labeling Theory • Labeling Theory – how we act to the ppl that have carried out a certain act • Not the act, but the label that others attach to the act: Who applies the label? Who is labeled? • Stigma (Goffman) – Self-fulfilling prophecy (Tannenbaum) – character of an individual that gives them a negative evaluation. Eg. Pedophile is labeled a pedophile in community and the criminal themselves feel they are truly wrong, and all they’re ever going to be, causing them to continue to engage in criminal acts Becker (1967): • Crucial step in process of building a stable pattern of deviant behavior = experience of being caught and publicly labeled as a deviant. • Self fulfilling prophecy • Labeling Theory Eric Lamert (1972) • Primary deviance – smoke pot doesn’t mean you’re a potthead. The actually act. • Secondary deviance – someone says you are as a potthead at a party so rumours start to spread, and you begin being labeled as that Master status – the status that overrides all other status’ Continuance commitment • Drift – eg speeding. If others are speeding you drift towards speeding too • Moral rhetorics – excuses people make for their behaviour Egoism – trying to neutral the stigma Instrumental – eg. Engaging in violent protest. Doing something for the greater good Diagrammatic Presentation of Labeling Theory Primary deviance Apprehension and labeling as Offenders may come to Secondary deviance Flowing from a variety of causes criminal or delinquent. Person is accept labels and Delinquency and crime that are of no concern to labeling stigmatized with change their consequent to changes in self- theorists a “master status.” self-concepts to concept fit those labels Labeling Theory • Those engaging in criminal behavior are not necessarily criminal • “Why do people become criminal” becomes “How do people get reacted to as being deviant?”(Becker, 1970) • Certain individuals are labeled as deviant • The subsequent effect of labeling Extending Labeling Theory John Braithwaite (1989) Nations with low crime rates are those where shaming has great social power. Stigmatic/Disintegrative shaming (ppl are condemned – seen as outcast by law and community) – more likely to continue engaging in deviant behaviour vs. Reintegrative shaming (acknowledge the act – and don’t continue to shame as they accept them back into community – eg. Person apologizes to community for wrongdoing or doing something to prove he belongs in the community still Criticisms of labelling theory? • Neo-Marxist – ignore social inequality… • Empiricist – more concerned with official labels eg convict. – difficult to test • Ethnomethodological • Policy recommendations? – try to come up with better programs instead of you just go straight to prison. - Decriminalization Moral Entrepreneurs • “Someone who is engaged in the process of defining new rules and laws or who advocates stricter enforcement of existing laws” – think new law needs to be created or our law isn’t good enough • Crusading reformer: • Assert the existence of a particular condition or state of affairs • Define this condition as harmful or undesirable • Try to arouse support of the public • Eg. California’s 3 Strike’s Law – 3 strikes then prison = criminal. Labeled crim Differential Association • Differential Association • Edwin Sutherland – father of D.A. • Q: How are delinquent cultures “transmitted” across generations? • A: Different association. – If you have criminal parents, you are more likely to act in criminal ways • Criminal behavior = learned behavior • Involves techniques and attitudes • “excess of definitions favorable to law violation” • Principal part of learning occurs in intimate groups Differential Association • This is a GENERAL theory –can be also for white-collar crim, organized crime • 9 Propositions: 1. Criminal behavior is learned. 2. Criminal behavior is learned in interaction with other persons in a process of communication. 3. The principle part of learning criminal behavior occurs within intimate personal groups. 4. When criminal behavior is learned, the learning includes techniques of committing the crime, the specific direction of motives, drives, rationalizations, and attitudes. 5. The specific direction of motives and drives is learned from definitions of legal code as favorable and unfavorable. 6. A person becomes delinquent because of an excess of definitions favorable to violations of law over definitions unfavorable to violations of law. 7. Differential associations may vary in frequency (how often your interacting with that certain group), duration (how long have you been friends with that group), priority (friends put before parents), and intensity (how intense those relation
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