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SY242OC midterm test.docx

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Michael Manley

1. Crime is a social construction? To begin, „constructionist‟ is a broadly known term by many sociologists since Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann wrote The Social Construction of Reality in 1966. It is often used in an original „interpretive‟ prominence, which emphasises on the „interpretive acts‟ through which individuals of society put together their progressions of action and establish society , as it were, „from the inside,‟ has been lost, and „constructionist‟ just becomes a „fashionable gloss for that old mainstay‟ of positivistic sociology, namely structural causality. It is fair to state that crime as a social construction concentrates on the ways in which crime is brought about by the criminalizing actions of society. Those individuals of society who identify acts as crimes and enforce laws thus socially construct crimes. In order for an act to be fundamentally criminal, it must first be recognised by the creation of law against it which in turn must be enforced by citizens and the police, and construed by the courts. In addition, crime is also socially constructed by individuals in the social structure by viewing actions as „criminal‟, and by labelling what a criminal accurately is. Moreover, the structure of social issues which define specific acts as public issues and offer the foundation for ethical panic over crime. The creation of laws which define such acts as criminal and provide the basis for the criminal justice system. The process of law creation starts off with claims-making actions to classify a specific social issue. According to Spector and Kitsuse, social issues are not impartial. It requires actions by members who declare the claims about a specific condition and those who reply to the claims. One particular reply to a course of claims-making is for government to proscribe an act which is presumed to be detrimental which can cause other social issues. For instance, prohibition instigating organized crime. In sum, along with creating claim, claims-makers also promote claims and often have a stake in their cause prosper. This includes victims, protestors, professional people, and officials. Thus the question arises, how is murder labelled as a crime by society? Moreover, it is essential to note that murder is not labelled as a crime in war, a doctor unintentionally killing a patient, and murder in self-defence. It is up to society to define criminal acts and in what situations it is lawful to perform, otherwise legal actions. The legal system works on the basis of precedent or what was done before. Essentially, the state creates laws, representatives influence laws, and moral entrepreneurs likewise have influences over laws. Additionally, it is fair to question that if an abusive husband is dead because he was a wife batterer, is that defined as legitimate murder or is it simply an act of self-defence? In today‟s society, these situations are viewed in a specific way because of the influence of those who have fought against legal system for change and to create it as something more receptive to their personal trepidations. The labelling of criminal acts also leads to more social issues. As a result, it becomes evident that crime is only legitimate when the public sees it as a criminal. For instance, taxing cigarettes leading to crimes related to cigarettes ascended. Due to the preceding reasons, it is fair to conclude that crime is socially constructed by individuals of society. Social constructionism is a perception to be differentiated from symbolic interactionism and ethnomethodology. The social constructionist method to crime and deviance is convincing and the act that is almost unanimously defined as deviant, is acceptable for elites in some societies. The process of social constructionism is also evidently demonstrated through claim- makers, constructing child abuse in the media, Canada‟s tobacco wards, and causing crime by imposing taxes. All in all, it has made a major contribution to our understanding of crime and criminology. 2. The news is a crime? First of all, mass communication can be defined as the method of communicating messages through the media involving a vast diverse and anonymous audience. The study used to analyze the substance of these messages is referred to as content analyses which typically concerns how values provide a society with consensual bias for the functioning of social intuitions and the performance of social actions. With content analysis, it is conceivable to stipulate the nature of messages being conveyed, compare them to issues such as sexism, racism, and violence, determine if there are trend to content, relate media content to any known representative of the audience, and examine the relations between societal and media changes. Between the content of the media and its social context, a struggle of specific significance is existent in the examination of the relationship. It is evident that the basic identification of the news does not essentially convey how the messages of the media are comprehended in society and effect society. As well, it is important to deliberate the real meaning to the audience and insinuations of the message for society. In terms of the multistep flow model of communication, the ways in which mass media functions can be thoroughly examined. Primarily, background context of culture, social relationships, and technology is provided by social institutions. Second is the communicator which is often an establishment with structural features and workers with occupational features that have influence on the communication procedure. Next is the message which offers cultural content such as values, social relationships, and social characteristics. Also, the audience, some of whom are directly involved with the mass media and others who experience it by communications that filter and censor the message. Last of all are the consequences such as the cultural, social, and psychological influences of the message. Mark Fishman stated that „crime wave‟ was a significant news story that was extensively conveyed in the media and reinforced by the wire service and press release as he was attentive in determining how it comes about that some events become known and some are ignored by the new media and public. Often times, crime stories a
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