Final Exam Format
• Multiple choice questions (about 40):
o Focus on counting crime, representation, theories
o Earlier information!!! –more focus.
• Written answer questions (5):
o Big themes, connect theory to issues/crime we’ve covered think/apply & use specific
o BIG THEME: DUE PROCESS VS. CRIME CONTROL
Non Sociological (Individual) Sociological
• Classical Criminology • Social Structure
• New Right • Social Process
• Biological • Social Conflict
Social Structure Social Process
• Durkheim • Social Learning theories
• Social ecology o Differential association theory
• Social disorganization • Labelling theory
• Strain theory • Social control theory
o Anomie o Social bonds and selfcontrol
o Institutional strain
o General strain
Consensus Conflict • Classical • Labelling
• Positivist • Critical
• Stain theories • Feminist
• Left realist theories
• What is crime & how to count it?
• Crime and representation
o Differences between the official reporting tools and how it fit with the
media rep of crime.
• Criminological theories
o Some focus on individual, others on social conflict, etc. they cannot be
separated from their true background. How the theories influence the
• Regulation of particular crimes & criminal justice system
• Crime control/law & order vs. individuals rights/due process models
o The priority of street crime over white collar crime.
o Terrorism over the safety of the public
o Race and the impact the criminal justice system has had on the under
policing and over policing. And racial profiling has shown up in policy and
• Differences b/w reporting tools numbers and how they’re inconsistent with media rep. of crime; reflect on
how rep. impacts populations differently; look at race, class, age, etc.
• Different sources to explain crime; theories influence making of new policies;
• Gendered organizations of crime; importance of intersectionality; gender stereotypes around women as
offenders impacts public’s view/response; impact on youth; how crime justice system responds to youth;
• Priority of street crime over white collar crime; national security over individual security
• Use of specialty courts to differentiate b/w populations; move away from classical theories (everyone treated
the same) • Race; impact of racism in crim. Justice system; over/under policing; ex. Aboriginals; impact on
• Focus on individual rights over public rights; ‘upholding’
• Sociological Imagination & critical reflection
• How much crime, how to measure it?
• Crime, media and representation
• Theories of crime
o Emphasis on individual (non sociological)
o Emphasis on social structure (sociological)
o Emphasis on social process (sociological)
o Emphasis on social conflict (sociological)
• Violent crime (violence against women)
• Youth crime
• Corporate/white collar crime
• CJS’ response to crime – Youth crime (police/courts/corrections
Written answer EXAMPLES
1. The Canadian criminal justice system attempts to balance two main aims/objectives. Identify these aims
and describe these (sometimes competing) aims/objectives within the criminal justice system. Provide some
specific examples to demonstrate how these two aims get played out in either legislation, policy,
approaches, programs etc.
o More specific!!!!
2. Choose 1 specific theory from 1 of the following theoretical categories ONLY (social structure, social
process, social conflict) and apply it to a kind of crime.
o how does the theory you chose explain the crime?
o Apply the theory with specific examples (e.g. of any legislation and/or policy, programs, approach)
that is a logical outcome of the theory as a way to solve or address the crime. SOC 1500 Final Exam Review
Introduction to Term
Divisions of Law
Substantive: rights and obligations. Ex Criminal law states what types of conduct are prohibited
Procedural: sets out the methods to enforce these rights and duties. Ex contains rules for enforcing criminal
What is Crime?
• Legally a crime is defined as: “an intentional act or omission in violation of the criminal law, committed
without defense or justification and sanctioned by the state”
Basic Elements of a Crime
1. Actus Reus “guilty act” or physical element (or omission)
2. Mens Rea “guilty mind” or intention Textbook Notes
Objectivist – Legalistic approach
• Stand point crime is factual and precise.
• Defines crime as “something that is against the law”
• Goal of criminologists – analysis the ‘rule breakers ‘and understand why people break the law
• Does not account for offences that are not criminal
o Ex. If a lawyer does not represent their clients best interest.
• Several influential and recent sociological theories employ legalistic framework.
o Ex. Gottfredson & hirschi – crime is based on a social consensus and people who break the
laws because they lack selfcontrol. – Crime and crime control are considered to be objective
The concept of ‘law’ within Canadian context
3 types of law
• Administrative law governs the relationships b/w individuals and state.
• Civil law – arguments b/w individuals (property disputes, wills, contracts)
• Criminal law punish certain acts that have been declared to be threats to the social
Violations fall into 3 different categories
1. Crimes against the person (homicide, sexual assault)
2. Property crime (theft over $5000 , breaking and entering)
3. Offences that are just plain wrong (living off prostitutions, drugs)
• Objectivistlegalistic; crime is what is defined by legal statues and the purpose of criminology is to find
out what causes crime so that policy makers can implement the initiatives required to combat social
Public confidence in criminal justice in Canada
• 3 reasons why public confidence is important:
1. Discourage reporting
2. Won’t participate (juries, witnesses) 3. Promotes a consensus of cohesion
• What should be done about a justice system that falls to inspire confidence?
o The answer to low levels of public confidence lies in EDUCATION
Factors which may influence changes in the crime rate:
1. Crime rates are reportsensitive
2. Crime rates are policingsensitive
3. Crimes rates are definitionsensitive
4. Crime rates are mediasensitive
5. The crime rate may really be changing
Where do official crime stats come from?
• Canadian centre for justice statistics
UCR & UCRII
Methods of counting crime
• Official records
• Selfreporting crime surveys
• Selfreport victimization surveys
• Observational accounts
• police discretion
• less serious offences tend to be missed
• Self report surveys; could be lying • Memory: couldn’t remember what happened
• Observation accounts; can’t do generalization
• Gender gap in offending – women commit fewer & less serious crimes than men
• Gender convergence – gender gap narrows
• Gender divergence – gender gap widens
• Gender stability – gender gap remains unchanged
• to understand ‘real level of crime = uniform crime reporting system
• official crime reporting systems rely on crime reports from police
• crime is measured in an objectivelegalistic definition
• UCR data are crime known by police to have happened
o The UCR represents ‘crime known by police’; this is not what is being counted. Some law breaking
behaviour is not included because the UCR survey classifies incidents according to more serious
offences occurring during the incident (during a breaking and entry that lead to an assault, the
assault would be counted not the B&E). Therefore, less serious crimes are underrepresented
• UCR 2 survey was created to get more information on victims and accused persons
• *how annual homicide rates are calculated
o #of police recorded crimes x 100,000 / population = Crime Rate
o Canada’s population = 33 311 389
o Canada’s homicide rate for 2008 = 1.8 per 100 000 population
• Even though defining crime varies between countries, it is possible to compare forms of crime
• Many crimes go unreported
• Police have to have evidence before they can act on a suspicion
• The way crime is defined has an effect on its rate, and it is changing over time
• these are questionnaires that seek anonymous reports from respondents about offences that they have
committed over a certain period of time
• Information gathers is meant not only to describe the nature and extent of crime, but also to explain it.
• before these, only police reports that were analyzed, which said it was mainly lower class males that were
committing the majority of crimes
• criticized because of validity and reliability problems • also, hard to know of respondents are telling the truth
• Collects information on the victimization experiences of a population
• One survey found that fewer than 42% of personal and household criminal victimizations had been reported
• Only 34% of criminal incidences get reported
• Hard to do these surveys because they are often done by phone, but then those who do not have a phone
are not being included
• Also, requires respondents to remember exactly when the incidents happened
• Limitations because obviously homicide cannot be included, and for ethical reasons neither can kids
• Researcher talks to individual facetoface in a natural setting to gather accounts of crime within the context
where crime or victimization occurs. Normally takes place on a relatively small scale so that a deeper
understanding and appreciation of crime can be achieved.
• Criticized because of validity
• Not useful for generalization or inferences
• no one ideal method to measure crime
Is Crime in Canada on the Rise?
• not feasible to definitively answer due to previous information
• two ways in which changes over time in levels of certain types of crime in Canada can be analyzed
o victimization data from surveys (short term)
o UCR data, specifically homicide (long term)
• Victimization says violent crimes have decreased slightly but mostly remained stable
• Household property theft and vandalism have increased (however, these surveys have only been around a
• Homicide represents only .4% of Crime in Canada.
o Has been around a lot longer and is almost always reported
o Also can be compared around the world because the definition of homicide is similar
Trends and Correlates of Canadian Homicide
• Rates have been decreasing since the peak in mid1970.
• Quebec and Ontario are below national average
• Highest is in Saskatchewan and Manitoba
• Lowest is in P.E.I. and NFL
• Territories are highest • Rates move from lowest to highest from east to west respectively
• Could be because the higher rated areas have a higher population of aboriginals which have a likelihood of
• Males are more likely to be victim from age 1824
• Gun use has risen
• Levels of homicide in Canada are quite high compared to the rest of the world, but much lower than the US.
Media’s representation of crime
News media coverage of crime & its consequences
• Overdramatize crime
o Crime waves/moral panic
School shootings, terrorism, the year of the gun, war on drugs, gang violence, hate
o Overreporting violent crime
Not report on white collar crimes because we tend to over report on violence crime.
ATTENTION ON STREET CRIME
o Neglecting white collar crime
• Crime myths
o Racial and ethnic minorities
o Youth – how dangerous youth are
o Virtuous crimes
• Other problems
o Value laden language
o Failing to provide social/historical or statistical context. Not seeing it from a different perspective.
o Misleading information e.g. not reporting declining crime rates.
Attention on “the other, the stranger”; we should be scared of them.
Making it seem like crime is on the rise can lead to tough on crime,
News Structure and Values
• Issue has to have a level of importance in order for it to make the news
• What's rare!
• In order to explain why a crime has happened. (Explanations/parts) 4. Individualism
• To look for the explanation at the level of the individual
• Misleading risk in order to play into our fear
• Over reporting of crime that is sexual
• Even if it isn’t a serious crime it gets reported
• The more you see this hitting close to home the more you tend to be concerned.
• Over dramatized
10. Graphic imagery
• The pictures
• Used as a way to increase empathy
12. Conservative ideology
• Tending to support of reinforce that we need increase in law and order
Consequences of crime
• Influence attitudes/behavior
o Not just about crime our own level of fear, tolerance, confidence
• Influence policy decisions
o You're more likely to support decisions that are tougher on crime
• Impact the operation of key institutions (schools, criminal justice system)
Consequences for you
• In what ways does the media’s representation of crime impact your attitudes/behavior?
Does it impact your:
• Personal decisions/activities • Attitudes about how the cjs should responds?
Representation of criminalized women
o There is something wrong with them. They are sick, some psychological problem.
o Can be described in 2 ways:
o Biology they are just overtaken by the innate behaviors
o Psychological reasons
Ex. Pregnancy, post pardon depression, battered women syndrome
o There treated as though they are children
o They are considered to be passive, weak, side chick
o Side chick follow a man into crime they didn’t have a choice
o Just purely evil.
o Women are stepping outside of the gender norm, and also stepping out of the legal box.
o Explanation for women’s offending: they are over sexed.
o Going over their sexual boundaries
o This idea that women are breaking away from passive role
o Strong, dominate – they’re the villains
5 key concepts of media literacy
1. All media messages are "constructed. “
• Very little that shows up in the media that isn’t there for a purpose.
2. Each medium has different characteristics, strengths, and a unique "language" of construction.
3. Different people interpret the same media message in different ways.
• Different target audiences 4. Media messages are produced for particular purposes, including profit, persuasion, education, and
• Who is doing the production and what is the purpose?
5. Media have embedded values and points of view.
• What are the messages and values that are being told?
Media portrayals of crime
• Since the 1960's, television and press have shown the important role of how the general public
perceives the social reality of crime
• Crime defined in the media is close to the objectivist legalistic viewpoint
• In most media account of crime (news and entertainment) crime is associated with fear and victims are
• Two well accepted findings from research
1. Public knowledge of crime comes from the media
2. Crime in the media is different than how crime is measured and defined in statistics
• Society is more threatened by interpersonal violence and mayhem
• If there is a drug bust, it distorts the public vision to make them think everything is okay
Crime and Moral Panics
• Moral panic is a condition, episode, person or group is defined as a threat to the societal values and
interests; presented in a stylized and stereotypical fashion Stanley Cohen
• The fear can be associated with control groups, politicians, associations, etc...
• Doyle and Lacombe argue that the news media and other new technologies provide more sources in
technology to alert the public about crime, danger and risk
• More minor assaults than serious crime
• "Violent girl" is linked with a societal backlash of feminism
Criticisms of moral panic
• All societal reaction is not the same, audiences are less likely to be manipulated
• The only remedy would be informing the public
• Meanings and definitions about crime are subject to debate
• The objectivistlegalistic framework normally relies on legal definitions of crime and considers the
criminologists task to be an explanation of how
• Too simplistic to assume media has an effect on public fear • Moral panic perspective is an example of an alternative to mainstream or common sense understanding of
Ways to categorize theories
• Consensus & Conflict based:
o Consensus – assumes high degree of consensus about social norms and values, and
departures mark deviance. E.g. Classical, Positivist and Strain theories.
o Conflict society is composed of diverse social groups with different definitions of right and
wrong. E.g. Labelling, Critical, Feminist, LeftRealist theories.
• Emphasis on individual (non sociological)
• Emphasis on social structure (sociological)
• Emphasis on social process (sociological)
• Emphasis on social conflict (sociological)
• Enlightenment 1600’s1700’s Western Europe
• Transition from feudalism to capitalism
• Development & role of the state
• Development of common law & civil law
• Cesare Beccaria 17381794
• Jeremy Bentham 17481832
1. Rights (Individual)
3. Rule of law
Classical criminology • Utilitarian principle “Greatest happiness for the greatest number”
• Classical Criminology theory
Free will and rational actors
• People CHOOSE to commit crime based on a calculation of perceived costs and benefits.
Solution to crime
• Deterrence (if costs > benefits) = Punishment
• Punishment can deter crime if it is:
o Swift (quickly don’t wait too long)
o Certain (determinant sentences)
o And proportional to the crime. (humane punishments)
• “Tough on crime” “You do the crime … you do the time!” – certainty
• Zero tolerance policies
o Ex. No alch in your system under the age of 25 when driving.
• Just deserts – desertbased punishment (getting what was coming to you)
• Safe Streets and Community Act – Bill C10
o Determinant sentences >6 plants = 6 months – minimum mandatory
Examples of classical perspective
• Surveillance camera – tools that help work to deterrence
• Deterrence features – less than 100 bucks
• Mini mandatory sentences
• Procedural/ rule of laws (crime control and individual rights)
• Parole – procedural aspects.
• Arrests – specific deterrence
• The rule of law – people are treated equally under the law.
• Charter of rights and freedoms – equality section
• Construction of juries
• Punishment for the purpose of deterrence Critiques
1. General principles did not always serve justice = rational actors?
• Is everyone a rational actor? – do we hold people with mental health issues accountable?
2. Equality BEFORE the law masks a world of deep social inequalities.
• Punishment has differential impacts
New Right Criminology
• Refers to a particular political orientation rather than to systematic coherent theory.
• It’s a conservative perspective in criminology
• Economic efficiency priority.
• Rise in “law and order” politics
• Return to Classical theory and Biological Positivism
• War on crime and attack on the disorder of society
• Two themes:
1. Responsibility for crime squarely on the INDIVIDUAL
2. Reasserting the importance of PUNISHMENT in responding to crime
• Reminder of the political nature of crime & crime policy.
• Greater attention to the rights of victims
• Individual focus – ignores inequalities
• Assumes consensus & state power remains solution
• Punishment focus
• Fear of crime atmosphere
• Narrow definition of crime Textbook Notes
The Demonic Era
• Abnormal behavior/ “criminal” behavior were understood to be caused by demons & evil spirits
• Many ideas connected to religious doctrine
o Ex. Antisocial behavior was seen as being possessed
• Believed that possession could be solved by surgery (holes drilled into head)
• Foundation of constitutional law – drawn up by his nobles and signed by English King John
• Guaranteed traditional land rights to the barons, certain guarantees under the law to free and the protection
of religious rights and local customs
• *person could not be imprisoned or extradited unless she/he was lawfully judged to be guilty
• Nasty, brutish and short
• Fear of death forces people to be in social contract (creating state)
• Human behavior is egoism; root of all social conflict.
• Why they need to give up power.
• w/o social contract; chaos would begin
• people would choose state over no state
• unnatural to put self under control BUT rational to do so
• people were born with personality (opposed it)
• People from personality through social interaction. NURTURE!
• Agreed with Hobbes on freedom and protection
• No gendered analysis
o Ex. Catholic church and exorcism
• Rationalism free will and rational thoughts The classical school of criminology
• Jeremy Bentham and Cesare Beccaria formed the classical school of criminology
o Punishment should be formulated as a deterrence (so people won’t repeat acts) known as
individual and general deterrence
o Punishments should be swift and certain
o The punishment should fit the crime
o Criminals are rational and choose to commit crime
o Utilitarianism – reason requires decisions to be made. According to what will produce the greatest
good for the greatest amount of people.
o Same ideas as Hobbes
o Punishment needs to be:
Certain (MOST IMPORTATN)
o Judges should not have the power to exercise discretion when passing a sentence (equal to each
crime) – determinant sentencing
o Society – humane treatment of prisoners
o Influenced asylums
o Only work when property is equally distributed
Ex. Poor stealing from right – can make it worse
o Mitigating circumstances
Not pary attention to biological, physical factors
From Lombrosian Atavism to modern bio criminology
o Human behavior determined by forces beyond the control of the individual Positivist school of thought
o Classical = unscientific
o No data in classical to prove the relationship between crime and hedonism
o Methods scientists use in physical world can help explain social world
o Positivism the application of the scientific method to study the human condition
o Tooted from human biology – work of Charles Darwin.
Biological/Psychological & Sociological Theories of Crime
• Criminal was born bad!
Biological & Psychological theories
• Human behavior is determined not by free choice but factors beyond the individual’s control.
• People who are deviant/criminal are sick!!!
• Proposed that crime is not from rational reason behavior but criminals are born.
• The real criminal is born with criminal traits. (BIOLOGICAL THEORY)
• Those individuals are sick, because they’re psychologically disturbed
Classical to positivist period
• Crime a legal entity • Crime a biological or psychological entity
• Free will • Behavior is determined
• Punishment as deterrent • Treatment of criminal to protect society
• Deviance lies within the abnormal individual.
• Criminals are BORN bad!
o Anatomical, physiological or genetic abnormalities
• Atavism = evolutionary throwback
o They haven’t developed evolutionary like normal people. They were born and can be identified. • Stigmata = physical characteristics
o The asymmetry of the face, a twisted nose, long arms, excessive skin wrinkles. IF THEY HAD
MORE THAN 5, they would be marked as a criminal. If women had less than 3 they were born
a criminal. Females are born to be passive, not a criminal she must be more wicked then
males, fewer characteristics needed.
• Criminal was born not made.
• Looking at the physical characteristics of the prisoners. Compared the study between the prisoners and
o Physical differences that showed that criminals are born.
• Solution to crime TREAT using medical, chemical or surgical procedures
o Physically try to treat the characteristic that was problematic.
• Permanent incarceration
• Capital punishment
• DETTERNING DOES NOT WORK. – You cannot deter someone who is born with it.
• Criticisms :
o Can be cause of the incarceration!
o Because they looked like that they were criminals.
• Criminal was MADE not born!
• EXTERNALLY caused biological (e.g. head injury) problems or INTERNAL psychological
factors that were treatable!
• Song; Rihanna disturbia
• Personality Disorders
o Antisocial Personality Disorder
• Frustration Aggression • Social Learning Theory
o Sounds like sociological theory
• Antisocial Personality Disorder
o Inability to learn from experience, lack of warmth, disregard for and violation of, the rights
of others, and absence of guilt.
o Psychopathy, sociopathy
• Sigmund Freud (18561939)
SUPEREGO (ethical principle)
o Human personality contains a three
o The biologist of the mind
o ID – instinctual desire
o EGO direct those impulses
o SUPEREGO the
ID (pleasure principle) conscience is developed
Women had penis envy, women would act like a man
He argued that women would be passive and weak
Social Learning Theory
• Albert Bandura (1973) Social Learning Theory
o Modelling – Bobo doll experiment
o Aggressive behavior is learned from 3 sources:
subcultural influences (ex. Peers)
symbolic modeling (ex. Watching TV, playing video games) Solution to crime
• Treatment &/or incapacitate
• People can act for reasons outside their control, and these factors may reduce level of
• Assess mental capacity to stand trial.
• Drug treatment courts
• Anger management programs
• Partner Assault Response programs
• Examine social pathology rather than individual pathology.
• Social disorganization was responsible for crime NOT biological or psychological pathology!
3 main theoretical approaches
1. Social structure (Structural Functional)
2. Social process (Symbolic Interaction)
3. Social conflict
• Examine social pathology rather than individual pathology.
o Focus on social rather than individual
• Social disorganization was responsible for crime NOT biological or psychological pathology!
o What’s abnormal is not with the individual but with the social
o Normal people with abnormal structures
Consensus vs. Conflict theories
• Consensus model: A general consensus or agreement within society of shared norms and values and
agreement on the definition of criminal behaviour. Assumption is that some individuals and groups fail to
adjust to this definition/set of norms.
o Agreement about what is right and what is wrong. There is a set of shared values.
o People are acting out of the consensus.
Some theories say, they are choosing to act out, others say they cannot help it. • Conflict model: Society is composed of diverse social groups with different definitions of right and
wrong. Focus attention on how some groups are able to influence the definition of what is criminal.
o VERY DIFFERENT PEOPLE AND GROUPS.
o Not one set of common beliefs which = conflict
• Consensus based
o Crime occurs when something happens that doesn’t allow society to live
up to the social norm. – STRAINS
• Social structure and social learning influence the attitudes and behavior of the individual.
• Examine social pathology rather than individual pathology.
• SOCIAL STRAIN – goals vs. means
• Assumes everyone aspires to goals of wealth and power
• SOME people have structural obstacles & not same means to achieve goals.
• Try to explain the strain and the reaction of the strain
• Social Disorganization theories link crime to neighborhood ecological characteristics.
• There is a disorganized environment
• Park & Burgess – Social Ecology (Chicago School)
o Crime geographically patterned in the Zone of Transition
• Shaw & McKay Social Disorganization (Chicago School)
• They focused on Chicago.
• Interested in looking at the level of disorganization that is going to be used to define crime.
• They were concerned about a rapid amount of social change. Which resulted in a high population growth.
• Trying to look at these characteristics of different neighborhoods.
• Focus was on particular kinds of neighborhoods such as inner city ghettos
• Saw a lot of immigration from Europe coming to Chicago
• A concentration of new immigrants – mainly poor
• Social disorganization was responsible for crime NOT biological or psychological pathology! • Crime showed up unevenly across the city.
o These inner city ghettos – it affected the collective norms.
o Those institutions (schools, etc.) – it affected the ability of them to have control.
• Anomie – Greek “anomia”= “without norms”
• Normlessness and lost
• Robert K. Merton (1950’s and 60’s)
• How do you explain poor people who remain honest and law abiding?
• Integrated society maintains balance between:
1. Culturally defined & approved societal goals
2. Institutionalized approved social means (social structure) of attaining these
• Crime is a symptom of a gap between GOALS and MEANS
• The problem is that everyone wants the same goals, but not everyone is in
the same position to reach those goals.
• We have to look beyond geographical areas.
Merton’s paradigm of deviant Behaviour
Conformity + +
• We are constantly told what we need, what we need to inspire to. We have to try to figure out that
pressure to get these things even if we can’t obtain them.
• Conformity – they keep working like dogs to access those common values
• Innovation – they take advantage and take illegitimate means • Ritualism – they know they cannot get the goals and they give up the struggles. They keep working
• Retreatism – there are the drug abusers, social drop out.
• Rebellion – create their own goals and means. May overthrow the system, or is the hippie
• Example of structural aspects that these theorist have come up with
o High unemployment rate
o High dropout rate
o Deteriorating household
o Large number of single parent households
o Ethnic and racial diversity.
• There was a lot more conflict among residence –more antisocial behavior.
• Came to the conclusion, crime is created by having these destructive ecological behaviors in urban
• Crime is a constant fixture of areas of poverty regardless of who lives there. IT IS THE
Status Frustration (Subcultural theory)
• Albert Cohen (1955)
Lack of access/legitimate means for lower class youth to gain social status and
acceptance in conventional society – produces strain delinquency.
The impact on lower class youth, wanted to explain the higher delinquency.
• They see middle class expectations. (the middle class measuring rod) – they cannot
measure up to the middle class youth
New versions of strain theory
• Steven Messner & Richard Rosenfeld Institutional Strain Theory (1994)
o $ Concerns dominate & this weakens the informal social control of institutions.
• Robert Agnew – General Strain Theory (1985)
o Crime and delinquency is a coping mechanism of stress.
o He was interested with youths. o Not being able to avoid stressful situations can form a strain.
Elements of General strain theory
• Transient population
• Lack of education
• Lack of legitimate activities (e.g. recreation)
• Heterogeneous community (different cultures/different values)
Social structure policy
• Education/training programs
• Community development
• Community recreation programs
• Bully intervention programs
• Gang prevention programs
• Make sure youth have legitimate opportunities
Social Process Theories
• Social process interaction between individuals & society.
• All people have the potential to become delinquents or criminals. IT IS NOT AN INNATE HUMAN
CHARACTERISTIC. – All what we learn from the interaction with others. • Agree that members of lower class may have the added burden of poverty. can be counteracted by social
Social process Theories (Interactionist)
• Social Learning Theories
o Differential Association Theory
• Labelling Theory
• Two effects of labelling:
o Creation of stigma – “You’re a delinquent!”
o Effect on selfimage – “I AM a delinquent!”
Social Learning Theories
• Edwin Sutherland (1939) Differential Association Theory
o Crime is a function of a learning process
o People learn criminal attitudes and techniques from close and trusted relatives and companions.
o Definitions FOR crime outweigh definitions AGAINST crime.
Labelling Theory (Interactionist perspective)
• Challenge notion of social consensus
• Reality is produced through social construction also challenges a positivist paradigm.
• Importance of power relations in a given society – who does the labelling?
• It is subjective, depends on whose interpretation is taken into consideration.
• Everyone doesn’t have the same amount of power. Some people have the power to say what is right or
• Going from – crime out there in the world, you can find it. To what we define crime as changes from who
you’re where you’re from, etc.
• People that are identified, (TAGGED) positively, that will snowball. That will have an impact on your future.
• FIRST THEORY THAT IS CONFLICT THEORY.
Lemert – Primary/ Secondary deviance
• Primary Deviance: initial act of deviance
• Secondary Deviance: internalizes negative label and assumes the role of the deviant.
Social Bond Theory – Hirschi • Travis Hirschi (1969)
o Through successful socialization, a bond forms between individuals and social groups
o People obey if you have socially developed bonds.
o Four components of social bond:
• Didn’t matter who it is; people have some attachment and people care what you
think and you care what they think.
• Engaged in society in a conventional way. Being committed to values! NOT
• Being busy. As long as they’re legitimate conventional activities
• In a conventional
Social process Policy
• Nonintervention or diversion – YCJA
o Community service
o Not just about the punishment
Youth Criminal Justice Act
• Diversion or extrajudicial measures
• Identity of young person protected
• Disposal of records
The psychology of crime
• Focus on individual, explains about crime contend that criminals are made, and interaction of these
individual within their social environment is the key to understand aggression and violence. Psychological theory
• late 19 20 century in Europe by Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalytic theory: person’s
psychological wellbeing was dependent on a functional relationship of id, ego, and super ego, id is primal
urges that produces unconscious; food, sex, ego is the reality principle to keep the urges of the id in check,
and superego is person’s social conscience; moral code: these 3 controls ones’ behaviour and therefore,
criminal behaviour come about as the result of unresolved psychological conflicts. This theory is good to
understand social deviant/ sexual deviant, but hard to proof his theory scientifically.
Social learning theory
• addresses that aggressive behaviour is learned through a series of psychological thought processes and
perceptions, Sears, Maccoby, and Levin in 1957 did some experiment; observing parenting style; parental
physical punishment is positively associative with children’s aggression, to proof this, Albert Bandura’s in
1973 did the bobo doll experiment and found the same thing. These experiments are biases cz society
affects person same as their parents, media can be a big one to be point in learning violent and aggression
behaviour, also video games, music, etc.
• describe a compulsive person who lacks guilt, remorse and I unable to hold lasting bonds with others, eg,
ww2 Cleckley in the book mentioned 16 traits of these kind of people, now is down to seven:
1. fail to social norms
2. repeated lying, conning others for personal profit or pleasure
3. failure to plan ahead
4. fights/ assaults involvement
5. disregard safety of self and others
6. lack of remorse, mistreated
• Criticisms about this; many people poses 34 trait of this, no research on what causes psychopathy.
Key terms of the chapter
Classical school of criminology: by Jeremy and Cesarehuman capacity on rational thinking.
Deterrence: by Bentham, if people were sure of swift and punishment they would be deterred from committing a
John Howard Society; was formed to the humane treatment of prisoners, we are practicing it in Canada.
Magna Carta: the document considered to provide the foundation of constitutional law.
Positivist criminology; applies the principles of the scientific method to understudying the cause of crime,
reside in physical, genetic, psychological, moral makeup of offendersrejects classical criminology.
Social contract; by Thomas Hobbes’s, fear of violent death forces human beings into a social contract that leads
to formation of state.
Social Darwinism; by Charles Darwin, survival of the fittest.
Sociobiology; behaviour results from genetic encoding that has been subjected to the Darwinian process of
Utilitarianism; by Jeremy Bentham, refers to the belied that reason requires decisions to be made according to
what will procure the greatest good for the greatest number.
Chapter 4: Emile Durkheim • Lived btwn 18581917, individuals who got stronger social ties may not commit crime than the ones with
weaker ties, eg suicide among people who lost their jobs.
The Chicago school
• Examined crime based on spatial distribution, zone of transitions; low cost places where low income families
could afford, less power and money; more crime in result.
Crime and social disorganization
• By McKay; social disorganization was responsible for crime, eg immigration, over populated area, work, lack
of parenting and child control.
• anomie meaning normlessness, by Durkheim, anomic suicide, feel lost, being in a situation to bring pressure
or stain leads to rule breaking behaviour, also innovator means one who believes in the culturally defined
goals in society but rejects the legitimate means to achieve these goals; therefore, subculture happens, the
process of rejecting the dominant value system and endorsing the values of the delinquent subculture value
system is descried by Cohen as reaction formation, it is a way of dealing with problems of adjustment. Also if
crime is caused by the strain associated with low social status then why white collar crimes are happening,
therefore this theory is criticized.
• by Hirschi 1969, agrees with strain theorists that an understanding of the causes of crime includes the
awareness that society plays a fundamental role in shaping the criminal, it view society as a set of
institutions that acts to control and regulate rule breaking behaviour with the assumption of humans are risk
takers, there are four types of social bonds;
• commitments and beliefs which are inner controls
• involvements and attachments that are outer controls
• This theory predicts that children who are properly bonded or attached to her parents would be involved in
less crime than who have weaker bond, therefore, parenting programs are offered through schools in order
to secure society.
Differential Association Theory
• By Edwin Sutherland 1939; states that human being acts in references to their environment, therefore,
criminal behaviour is learned behaviour. In fact, a person is more likely to become embedded in criminal
activity if surrounded by an excess of socializing definitions favourable towards normviolation over
definitions that are unfavourable to the violation of social norms, also the amount of time that one spend in
being in a situation matters as well.
• Traced back to symbolic interaction where looks at interaction that takes place btwn people through
symbols, people do not respond to the word directly, but by attaching symbolic meanings to themselves in
relation to the physical and social world. • Frank Tannernaum in 1938 saw in a research that the stigma/ label could cause a person to fall deeper into
nonconformity by thinking himself as a bad person which can lead to the formation of a deviant persona.
• Edwon Lemert 1969, state two concepts; primary deviant which we all do it, secondary deviant which is from
a result of unfair treat of a primary deviant act. Therefore, here in Canada all young offenders are charged
through youth criminal justice act which means not stating their names in media (not letting them to
internalize deviant identity. Some criticism about this would be punishment also corrects a deviant behaviour
through reinforce the moral bond.
Chapter 5; a General Theory of Crime:
• Michael Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi 1990 published a general theory of crime book, best seller, crime
and other analogous behaviours such as smoking, drinking, gambling, irresponsible sex results from low
selfcontrol. Eg children with behaviour problems with tend to grow into juvenile delinquents and in due
course, into adult offenders. Therefore, quality of parenting they received plays an important role here, some
criticism about this; they focus too much on old style parenting where women stayed home and men worked,
and children were disciplined through families, didn’t take into consideration of the today’s reality which is
single parenting, and avoid being in an unhappy marriage life.
The life course perspective
• Problem behavioursas we; as their terminationare agerelated, caused by certain events that take place in
the developmental process. Through a longitudinal research; finding was that during childhood, criminal
behaviour is not very common, a lot in adulthood, then decreases, also more disturbed children had been in
trouble in adulthood leading a low income job in later in life, more behind in society due to criminal acts. Also
being victim in younger age was positively associated with low income.
General Strain Theory
• Members of society who find themselves in a position of financial strain, yet wish to achieve material
success, resort to crime to achieve socially desirable goals.
Agnew’s revision of general strain theory
• Negative experiences lead to stress, (a) the inability to achieve positively valued goals, (b) the removal or
the threat to remove positively valued stimuli, (c) to present a threat to one with noxious or negatively valued
stimuli. This theory was inability to deal with why there are profound differences in levels of make crime
compared to female crime; then Agnew and Broidy found that male and female respond differently to a
strain, feel different emotions, and male said to be lower in social control than females, male and female
tend to a crime for different reasons such as women for financial goals.
Routine Activity Theory
• Cohen and Felson 1979, found that changes in levels of crime in society are closely associated with
changing lifestyles, this theory simply begins with the premise that crime is likely to occur when a motivated
offender and suitable victim come together in an environment that does not provide protection to the
potential victim. Eg, freedom from parental supervision resulted in greater opportunities for youth to get into
trouble. Some disagreement; opportunities to commit crime do not necessarily lead to crime even when
controls are absent. Reducing the Risk: Crime prevention through environmental design;
• CPTED (spted) by C. Ray Jeffery 1971, crime can be prevented if the built environment is properly designed
so that opportunities for motivated offenders to commit crime are removed;
1. natural surveillance, means that correct placement of the built environment
2. natural access control is meant to deter access to a crime target
3. territorial reinforcement
4. a wellmaintained space allows for the continued use of a space for its intended purpose
• Weak point is that crime is the result of poorly designed environments, two kinds of people in society that
one is offenders and the other one is responsible citizens.
Risk and Actuarial Criminology
• reality is complex and that the social world is not easily knowable, the concept of govern mentality by
Rigakos; refers to societies where power is decentralized and the citizenry plays an active role in their own
selfgovernance, organization where the state no longer provides the dominant set of social institutions that
exercise power and control over the population, society controlled by elites through institutions like the
criminal justice system.
Social Conflict Theories
• Inequality generates conflict and change:
o social class
o sexual orientation
• Are linked to society’s unequal distribution of money, power, education, social prestige.
Critical criminology theories
• Inequality and unequal power central to understanding crime and its control.
• Focus should be directed at rulemakers not rulebreakers.
Corporate crime vs. street crime
o Society is composed of diverse social groups with different definitions of right and wrong.
• Conflict, revolution, and change
o Conflict is a fundamental aspect of social life and different groups compete for power, wealth etc.
o Laws are created by the powerful to protect their own interests.
• “RADICAL”, “CRITICAL”, “NEW”, “MARXIST CRIMINOLOGY” 1970’s – Ian Taylor, Paul Walton &
• Drew on Marxist traditions in social and political thought as a way of explaining crime in a system predicated
on class inequalities.
• If you had power you wanted to keep the status quo and not change it. • Who has power? How is power being used?
• Witnessed the birth of the industrial revolution = Emergence of new forms of exploitation and oppression
through the accumulation of capital by the few at the expense of the many.
• Where there is inequality, there will be resistance to inequality.
• Saw answers to problem of his time.
• The class you were born into will likely be the class you die in.
• It is hard for you to get out of the class because of the economic and social opportunities that are/aren’t
• State administers to capitalist interests.
• Intensive policing of the underclass.
• Targeting of working class as working class crime more visible.
• Crime is an outcome or a reflection of basic class divisions.
Commonalities of critical criminology
• Opposition to mainstream proposals for:
o more prisons,
o more police,
o more punishment
• Regards major structural & cultural changes within society as essential to reducing all types of crime
& eliminating the unequal administration of justice.