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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 1500
Professor
Anneke Olthof
Semester
Winter

Description
Chapter 1 – concepts of crime, law, and criminology Consensus view – crime is illegal behavior that is defined by already existing criminal laws; which reflects the values and morals of majority of citizens Conflict view – criminal acts of behavior are created so that economically powerful individuals can retain their control over society Interactionist view – portrays criminal behavior as a constantly changing concept that reflects society’s current morals and values, criminal behavior is labeled by those in power Chapter 2 – criminal law and its process Substantive criminal law – set of rules that specifies behavior society has outlawed Criminal law – involves power given to the state to enforce social control, deters criminal behavior/wrongdoing, can also be used to resist social change Civil law – controls interactions between private citizens Indictable offenses – crimes that are serious and are punished with a prison term Summary offenses – less serious crimes that are punished with a fine or light jail sentence Actus reus – guilty act VS. mens rea – guilty mind Chapter 3 – nature and extent of crime 3 primary sources of crime statistics 1) UCR (uniform crime rates) based on police data accumulated by CCJS 2) self-reports on criminal behavior 3) victim surveys Some areas of the country are more crime-prone: there are certain seasons for crime; there is a gender and age gape for crime also Discovery of chronic offender led to the study of developmental criminology (chronic offender – small percent of people who are arrested 5 or more times before 18, stand good chance of becoming adult criminals, responsible for more than half of all serious crimes) Chapter 4 – victims and victimization Victimization has stable pattern and trends – victims of violent crimes tend to be young, poor, single males living in large cities, crimes take place at night Victim precipitation – victims provoke criminals, sometimes just by their identity lifestyle theories – victims put themselves in danger by engaging in high-risk activities routine activities theory – pool of motivated offenders exist and will take advantage of unguarded, suitable targets (summary 4.1) Liberal feminist theory – focuses attention on social and economic role of women in society and its relationship to female crime rates Theories summarized in concept 5.2 – page 173) Chapter 5 – choice theory Choice theory – assumes criminals carefully choose whether to commit criminal acts, people are influenced by their fear of punishment associated with being caught, therefore, more severe
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