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Criminology Midterm 2 Notes.docx

3 Pages

Course Code
SOC 1500

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Strain Theory  Crime is a response of anger and frustration  Durkheim’s concept of ‘anomie’ o Lack of norms due to rapid social change  Merton’s theory of Anomie o Universal goals but access to means to achieve goals is limited o Lower-class experiences strain between goals and means and are more likely to choose illegitimate means.  Social Adaptions to Strain o Conformity: individuals have goals and the means to attain them. Creates a stable society, without it society would cease to exist. o Innovation: illegal means of achieving goals –most criminal. o Ritualism: pleasure is gained from practicing traditional ceremonies – least criminal. o Retreatism: rejects goals and means of society. Deviant. o Rebellion: call for alternatives set of goals and means in order to create alternative opportunities and lifestyles.  Institutional Anomie Theory o Messner and Rosenfeld o “American Dream” –job is more important than home and family.  Materialism  Success at all costs  General Strain Theory (GST) o Robert Agnew (1992) o Micro-theory (Individual) o Crime is caused by emotions –failure to achieve goals, loss of positive things (relationships), and negative stimuli (abuse). o Few resources to help deal with strain o Explains peaking of crime in adolescence.  Females tend to have more emotion than males, however, due to the fact that they are socialized differently, their crime rates are lower than males.  Negatives o Some say lower-class culture is not enough to drive people to cause crime. o Lower-class crime rates are due to bias in criminal justice system o Labeling Theory  Criminal career formation in terms of destructive social interactions and encounters.  Rooted in symbolic interaction theory –how people communicate meaning and interpret reality based on interpretations of symbols.  People communicate with symbols. Interpretations of symbols are incorporated into one’s self-image.  Interpretation defines meaning.  Labels imply variety of behaviours and attitudes.  Negative labels stigmatize targets, reducing their self-image.  Being perceived as a social deviant may affect treatment at home, work,
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