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Crim Midterm.docx

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Western University
Sociology 2266A/B
Paul- Philippe Pare

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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