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SOC 2700
Scott Brandon

CHAPTER 1 THE CONTEXT AND CONSEQUENCES OF THEORYWe have become so desensitized to the violence in our communitiesAnnually the federal bureau of investigation publishes the uniform crime reports that list the number of various crimes that have become known to the policeo Since 2000 an average of over 16 300 US residents were murder annuallyo 14 million rapped robbed or assaulted o 10 million houses robbedevery 23 who are victimized dont report national crime victimization surveys ask citizens if they have been victimized o residents above 12 years old experience 213 million crimes in 2008o 15were violent crimesFBI statistics dont include drug offences o Mainly measure street crimeSelfreport surveys indicated that most people have engaged in some degree of illegality Non street violence is often not report o Domestic violence White collar crimes crimes committed by professional people in the course of their occupations US has most crimeso 10 cities accounted forof all the national homicides theory in social contextmany people say crime is caused by factors such as unemployment hard family life and lenient courtso this comes form implicit understanding o social experiences shape the way in which people com to think about crimes 3 key pointso members of the general public are not the ones whose crime theories are influenced by their life experiences crime theorists are also shaped by society and personal experienceshow they explain crime remains conditioned by their experiences o as a society changes views about crime change ex in past it was thought that crime was caused by demonsex in 1960 people though that systemic barriers prevented minorities form sharing in the American dream it made sense that people become criminal because they were poor and denied equal opportunitiesthus social content plays a key role in how society theorists about crimeo your thinking about crime has been conditioned by your social experiencestheory and policy ideas have consequences Thomas szasz saidideas have consequencesUnderstanding why crime occurs is a prelude to develop strategies to control the behaviors Relationship between theory and policy Different theories suggest different ways of reducing crime Theory and policy legitimating one another Policies will collapse if they theory they are built on is flawedo Ex theorys that people were mentally illhospitalized o Extheories that criminal had to do with genessterilizationContext theory and policy plan of the book theme of book the interconnection among social contexts criminological theory and criminal justice policy makingcriminological theory in contextSocial context theory chapter Classical school enlightenmentmid 1700 late 1700 rise of social Darwinism early positivist science and medicine biological positivismmid 1800 1900 mass immigration andChicago school anomie strain and controldepression mainstream criminologypost ww2 1900 early 1960 social turmoil labeling conflict Marxist feminist white collar1965 late 1970critical criminology conservativedeterrence rational choice broken window moral poverty routine activity environment1980early 1990 and beyond rejecting mainstream and critical criminology peace making left realism new Europe cultural convictrejecting conservative theoryBiosocial life course 14 andthe new century15Becoming a criminal 2000 today Inventing criminology mainstream theories2 theoretical perspectives are considered to be the foundation of modern criminologyo classical school o positivist school classical school o enlightenment era o rejected spiritual and religious explanations of crime o thought that offender assessed the costs and benefits in crime o law needed to be fair and harsho start of rational choice and deterrencepositivist school o scientific study of criminals o cease Lombroso o something different about criminals o probe body and braino influenced by Darwinismo criminally possessed biological traits which determine behavioro no rational choice o being criminal was predeterminednow thought to be due to social circumstancesChicago school of criminologyo studied urban crime o great depression o saw breakdown of social controls and rise of crime o barriers to the American dreamo 3 ways to explain crime control theorycrime occurs when controls are weak differential associationlearn devianceanomie strainstrain to achieve successo control and differential accusation originated with Chicago school o strain originated with Robert Mertono these 3 theories are mainstream criminology post WW2Lasted 8 yearsConcerns grew with youth crimeToday these theories are the core of the discipline These perspectives reaming in the political mainstream they did not fundamentally challenged the origination of the social ordero Did not criticize US as being rotten The 3 theories were mainstream because they tended to favor reform of the stats quo in AmericaThe social turmoil and the rise of critical control theoriesmid 1960 scholars focused on how power causes crime and how inequality is in the justice system influenced by changing social contexts o more civil rights o womens rights o riots o political corruption abuse of state powercritical criminology
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