SOCI 304 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Social Disorganization Theory, Relative Deprivation, Peer Pressure

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SOCI 304
Section 6: War Crimes
1. Post-war crime trends and Contemporary Patterns
a. Crime Boom: increase 1961-1974
b. Crime Bust: decrease 1991-1997
i. How does crime drop relate to economic stress?
c. Blumstein and Rosenfeld (2008) further trends up to 2006
d. Explanations
i. Exogenous effects: influences that are largely independent of crime policy
1. Econ. Stress
a. Undermines legitimacy of social order and weakens social bonds
b. When people feel they have lost economic efficacy is when
crime occurs
c. EX: social disorganization theory
d. Absolute deprivation
e. Relative deprivation: how you see how you are doing in
relevance to how someone else is
i. increasing during crime boom
ii. People becoming more and more unequal
f. Crime boom: Paradox during rising crime period: absolute vs.
relative economic stress
g. Crime bust: 1994 decline in income inequality alongside crime
drop, but may be too soon to tell. Recent evidence suggests it
explains up to 10% of crime drop
2. Political legitimacy
a. Society faces the problem of legitimizing laws and having people
follow them
b. Social disorganization
c. Breakdown in social organization will free actors to engage in
antisocial behaviors including crime
d. Crime boom: reasonable
e. Crime bust: not entirely clear
3. Family disorganization
a. Families control crime by regulating behavior of family
members surveillance and positive bonds decrease antisocial
b. Crime boom: rapid changes in family organization may be
associated with rise in crime
c. Crime bust: what is happening with families that may contribute
to the crime drop?
i. Family stability
ii. Family routine
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