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Midterm

Crim Midterm.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course Code
Sociology 2266A/B
Professor
Paul- Philippe Pare

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Crim Midterm Notes
Before the Middle Ages
Basic idea of what is “right” and “wrong” (ie. basic morality)
Traditions, mores and folkways taught acceptable and unacceptable behaviour
Evidence of laws in some societies, but overlapped with religion
o 10 Commandments (Judaism & Christianity)
o The Code of Hammurabi
Laws and punishments were displayed on a rock in the middle of Babylon
Believed “good” and “evil” were supernatural forces and that they played a role in the lives of
humans
o Alexander the Great “The Third Beast” & “The Two Horned One” who will revenge the
Earth with Satan
o Attila the Hun “Scourge of God”
Revenge is okay in an “eye for an eye” matter
The Middle Ages
Crime was considered a sin you made the conscious decision to sin against God and you will
live an immoral life
Laws protect the bureaucracy/aristocracy and not the peasants
Punishment was sever and brutal
Appearance of common law
o Tradition of unwritten legal precedents used as guidelines in the administrative of justice
Habeas Corpus
o Get to go in front of a judge
The Enlightenment
Age of reason
Promoted ideas such as empiricism, rationality, free will, humanism & natural laws
Crime is not a result of supernatural forces, but just ordinary behaviour that is harmful to
individuals and society
Social Contract
o There must be a government to enforce laws
o Everyone must give up a little freedom in order to live together in a society, but people
have certain rights that the government must respect
o Without laws, life it “solitary, nasty, brutish and short”
Unrestrained torture and the execution of criminals is questioned
The Classical View
Often considered the first formal theory in criminology
Humans are rational and behaviour is due to free will and rational choice
o Increasing pleasure and decreasing pain
Basic inherent rights, some of which are “wrong”
Punishment is important as it serves as a example to others who are considering committing
crime
Crime reduces social bonds between members of a society
Innocent until proven guilty
The Neoclassical View
Same as classical, but more emphasize on the sentencing issues
Criminals should be punished because:
o The cost of crime overwrites the rewards for criminals
o Send a message to the general population and they are “scared-away” of crime
Crime Statistics
Comparative Statistics: crime is not just because of free will and rational choice, it is caused by
many social and economic factors as well
Crim Midterm Notes
o By comparing the statistics on crime the factors can be identified:
Possible causes
Technique
Early Positivism
Scientific techniques to study crimes and criminals
Crime has biologically/evolutionary roots and criminals are physically different from non-
criminals
“Born a criminal” was popular at this time because of the biological emphasis
Theory of Atavism (Lombroso): criminals are psychological throwbacks from earlier stages of
human development
o Since many criminals didn’t fit the theory, he proposed there’s different types of
criminals
ie. insane criminals, criminals of “passion”, occasional criminals
o Atavism was a revolutionary theory at the time, but did not last the test of time as there
was many flaws in the methods and theory
Cherry picking the evidence, pre-selected samples
Crime
Definition
Strengths
Limitations
Legal
-Behaviour forbidden
by the law and
subjected to a
sanction
-Definition is simple and
technically accurate
-Not informative about the
historical/philosophical/sociological
justifications of why things are
crimes
Also consider:
No crime when an illegal behaviour is justified by law
o You have the right to defend yourself from mortal dangers
o Vigilantism is not justified
No crime without criminal intent
o Accident wrongdoing
o Negligence can be criminal
No crime without capacity
o Being forced to commit a crime
o Ignorance of the law is not acceptable as a defence
Consensus
-Behaviour that
violates the basic
values, beliefs and
social needs of a
society
- Adequate for many
crimes, especially serious
ones
-Very different societies
can agree that these
behaviours are harmful
and unacceptable-
-Significant disagreement between
individuals and society regarding
values, beliefs and social needs
-Some behaviours are seen as
crimes by some people and not
others
Libertarian
-An act of force or
fraud against the will
of someone else
-Includes most
behaviours that are
unacceptable and harmful
-Does not include why some
behaviours not related to the
definition are crimes
-Some forms of “fraud or force” are
not considered criminal
Conflict
-The label given to
some behaviour by
people in power to
enforce their interests
over the less powerfull
-Useful to understand the
arbitrary nature of some
laws, and the absence of
others
-Many crimes have nothing to do
with the interests of the powerful
-Many people from both spectrums
agree with labeling certain
behaviours as crimes

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Description
Crim Midterm Notes Before the Middle Ages → Basic idea of what is “right” and “wrong” (ie. basic morality) → Traditions, mores and folkways taught acceptable and unacceptable behaviour → Evidence of laws in some societies, but overlapped with religion o 10 Commandments (Judaism & Christianity) o The Code of Hammurabi  Laws and punishments were displayed on a rock in the middle of Babylon → Believed “good” and “evil” were supernatural forces and that they played a role in the lives of humans o Alexander the Great – “The Third Beast” & “The Two Horned One” who will revenge the Earth with Satan o Attila the Hun – “Scourge of God” → Revenge is okay in an “eye for an eye” matter The Middle Ages → Crime was considered a sin – you made the conscious decision to sin against God and you will live an immoral life → Laws protect the bureaucracy/aristocracy and not the peasants → Punishment was sever and brutal → Appearance of common law o Tradition of unwritten legal precedents used as guidelines in the administrative of justice → Habeas Corpus o Get to go in front of a judge The Enlightenment → Age of reason → Promoted ideas such as empiricism, rationality, free will, humanism & natural laws → Crime is not a result of supernatural forces, but just ordinary behaviour that is harmful to individuals and society → Social Contract o There must be a government to enforce laws o Everyone must give up a little freedom in order to live together in a society, but people have certain rights that the government must respect o Without laws, life it “solitary, nasty, brutish and short” → Unrestrained torture and the execution of criminals is questioned The Classical View → Often considered the first formal theory in criminology → Humans are rational and behaviour is due to free will and rational choice o Increasing pleasure and decreasing pain → Basic inherent rights, some of which are “wrong” → Punishment is important as it serves as a example to others who are considering committing crime → Crime reduces social bonds between members of a society → Innocent until proven guilty The Neoclassical View → Same as classical, but more emphasize on the sentencing issues → Criminals should be punished because: o The cost of crime overwrites the rewards for criminals o Send a message to the general population and they are “scared-away” of crime Crime Statistics → Comparative Statistics: crime is not just because of free will and rational choice, it is caused by many social and economic factors as well Crim Midterm Notes o By comparing the statistics on crime the factors can be identified:  Possible causes  Technique Early Positivism → Scientific techniques to study crimes and criminals → Crime has biologically/evolutionary roots and criminals are physically different from non- criminals → “Born a criminal” was popular at this time because of the biological emphasis → Theory of Atavism (Lombroso): criminals are psychological throwbacks from earlier stages of human development o Since many criminals didn’t fit the theory, he proposed there’s different types of criminals  ie. insane criminals, criminals of “passion”, occasional criminals o Atavism was a revolutionary theory at the time, but did not last the test of time as there was many flaws in the methods and theory  Cherry picking the evidence, pre-selected samples Crime Definition Strengths Limitations Legal -Behaviour forbidden -Definition is simple and -Not informative about the by the law and technically accurate historical/philosophical/sociological subjected to a justifications of why things are sanction crimes Also consider: → No crime when an illegal behaviour is justified by law o You have the right to defend yourself from mortal dangers o Vigilantism is not justified → No crime without criminal intent o Accident wrongdoing o Negligence can be criminal → No crime without capacity o Being forced to commit a crime o Ignorance of the law is not acceptable as a defence Consensus -Behaviour that - Adequate for many -Significant disagreement between violates the basic crimes, especially serious individuals and society regarding values, beliefs and ones values, beliefs and social needs social needs of a -Very different societies -Some behaviours are seen as society can agree that these crimes by some people and not behaviours are harmful others and unacceptable- Libertarian -An act of force or -Includes most -Does not include why some fraud against the will behaviours that are behaviours not related to the of someone else unacceptable and harmful definition are crimes -Some forms of “fraud or force” are not considered criminal Conflict -The label given to -Useful to understand the -Many crimes have nothing to do some behaviour by arbitrary nature of some with the interests of the powerful people in power to laws, and the absence of -Many people from both spectrums enforce their interests others agree with labeling certain over the less powerfull behaviours as crimes Crim Midterm Notes → No definition is the more correct than another → Different definitions from each perspective Victimless Crimes and Vices → Drug use and trafficking → Sex trade → Gambling Legalization Criminalization → Right to freedom → Participants may hurt themselves, their → Resources could be better used dependants and their community → Opportunity for business and taxation → Moral education → Better protection for costumers and → Vulnerable people are more at risk of services negative consequences Freedom vs. Social Order → Modern democratic societies want to live a free life in a safe and secure environment → More of one means less of another → By labeling some behaviours as crimes, we promote social order at the expense of less freedom → Hard to find the right equilibrium, a minor disequilibrium is our best bet → We need both to keep the order o ie. Lord of the Flies Methods Methods Strengths Limitations Quantitative -Measuring -Useful for hypothesis testing -We lose information when we information about the -Help makes sense about take something complex and social world with large quantities of data put it into numbers numbers -New techniques and -Not very useful to understand -Statistics are the software help improve the more profound experiences main tool use of quantitative methods and perceptions of individuals in social sci -Some don’t understand the tools they’re using, violate statistical assumptions and report biased results ie. babies with bazookas 1.Experiment → Treatment effect is controlled by researcher → Inclusion in experimental vs control groups is random → Casual effects can be inferred 2. Quasi-experiment → Treatment effected is controlled by researcher → Control groups similar to experimental groups are determined o not a random selection → Casual effects could be inferred, with reservations 3. Statistical Modeling of non-experimental data → Multivariate statistical analyses are used to isolate the relationships between the explanatory variables of interest and the outcome variables → Dependant on our ability to control adequately for alternative explanations and not to violate the assumptions of our statistical analyse → Typically, casual effects can’t be inferred, only relationships Crim Midterm Notes Qualitative -Rely on -Useful to understand in -Difficult to analyse large
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