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SOC 2700 Study Guide - Final Guide: Victim Impact Statement, Mens Rea, Weregild

Course Code
SOC 2700
Reza Barmaki
Study Guide

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Thursday, December 15, 2016
Sociology 2700 Exam Notes
Differential Association Theory (DA)
according to Sutherland, the principle that criminal acts are related to a person’s
exposure to an excess amount of antisocial attitudes and values
principles of differential association:
crime is learned in same manner as any other behaviour
crime is learned in interaction with other persons, not environment or personal
learning crime occurs within intimate personal groups
learning crime includes techniques, and learning supporting motives,
rationalizations, and attitudes
reaction to social rules is not uniform across society, and people may come into
contact with others who maintain different views
criminal perceives more benefits than unfavourable consequences to violating the
law when they are surrounded by people who think this way and are isolated from
counteracting forces
differential associations vary in frequency, duration, priority, and intensity
learning definitions favourable to criminality produces illegal behaviour as legitimate
motives are unattainable
analysis of differential association theory
if people become criminals from associating with other criminals, then police, judges,
and correctional authorities would become criminal as well
states delinquency is acquired only from learning the values of a deviant subculture
but, some people become criminals because they have been either socialized into a
deviant culture or improperly socialized into the normative culture
the influence of differential association is not affected by social class
Sutherland’s work is criticized for not explaining why one youth exposed to
delinquent subcultures succumbs to them, while another does not
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Thursday, December 15, 2016
theory assumes delinquent/criminal acts are rational and systematic, ignoring
spontaneous acts of violence
Differential Reinforcement Theory (DR)
a social learning theory that crime as a type of learned behaviour, combining
differential association with elements of psychological learning
various learning processes shape behaviour:
direct conditioning - occurs when behaviour is either rewarded or punished during
interaction with others
differential association - learning from direct or indirect interaction with others
imitation - occurs from observational learning experiences
cognitive definitions - attitudes that are favourable or unfavourable toward a
behaviour and can either stimulate or extinguish that behaviour
behaviour is reinforced when positive rewards are gained and punishment avoided,
and weakened when punished and loss of reward
the more individuals learn to justify their behaviour, the more likely they are to engage
in it
differential reinforcement shows how socialization conditions crime, and how negative
reinforcement can produce criminal results
Neutralization Theory
a view that offenders adhere to conventional values while drifting into periods of crime
by neutralizing those values
subterranean values - immorality that is entrenched in the culture but is otherwise
publicly condemned
drift - the movement of youth in and out of delinquency because their lifestyles can
embrace both conventional and deviant values
techniques of neutralization - used by deviants to counteract moral constraints so they
may drift into criminal acts
types of techniques of neutralization:
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Thursday, December 15, 2016
deny responsibility - not their fault but due to forces beyond their control
deny injury - no one was hurt so it is not a crime
deny the victim - victim had it coming so doesn't deserve sympathy
condemn the condemners - the world is corrupt so unfair to condemn crime
appeal to higher loyalties - justifies crime as loyalty to own peers
the defence of necessity - the crime was necessary so it makes it okay
the metaphor of the ledger - balance of good qualities make up for the bad
the denial of the law’s necessity - law itself is not fair or just
the claim that everybody else is doing it - criticism of being singled out
the claim of entitlement - feels entitled to the gains of the crime
The Devil Made Me Do It: Use Of Neutralization By Shoplifter
10-15 persons who shop has shoplifted at one time or another
shoplifters tend to be demographically similar to the average person
neutralization theory argues that ordinary individuals who engage in deviant or
criminal behaviour may use techniques that permit them to recognize extenuating
circumstances that enable them to explain away delinquent behaviour
the mean age of the sample was 26
the age range was 18 to 66 years of ageInformants appeared to readily use
neutralization techniques
only 5 of the 137 informants failed to express a rationalization or neutralization when
asked how they felt about their illegal behaviour
motivation was linked to excuse in such a way as to make the excuse a part of the
Convicted Rapists Vocabulary Of Motive: Excuses And Justifications
rape was introduced as a symptom of a disordered personality
this results in lots of psychological perspectives and research
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