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[CRIM 1650] - Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam (21 pages long!)

21 pages103 viewsFall 2016

Department
Criminology
Course Code
CRIM 1650
Professor
James Williams
Study Guide
Midterm

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York
CRIM 1650
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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Lecture 7: Sociological Theories II: Structural and Conflict
Theories
Strain Theory (Merton, 1949)
Crime Is not deviant, it is a normal rational response to pathological social conditions
1. The Structure of society affects the way that people behave
2. The structure of US society impacts behavior in two distinct ways: culturally defined
goals and distribution of opportunities and distribution of opportunities to achieve
those goals
Goals that emerge within our culture which are reinforced by media such as the
newspapers
3. Merton argues that cultural goals are universal. We all inspire to the same goal. The
uiesal goal is to pusue fiaial/ateial suess ased o the Aeia dea
4. Legitimate means of obtaining these goals are unequally distributed through society and
thus are not available to everyone
Can be obtained through job, inheritance, education
5. Disjuncture between cultural goals and legitimate means of obtaining those goals
creates strain
6. Criminal behavior is an adaptation (response) to strain
Policy Implications
1. Modify Cultural goals
Put less emphasis on cultural goals
Encourage anti consumerism and support
Emphasize the importance of religious and spiritual development
Encouraging societal goals that are not tied to financial wealth and encouraging
pursuit of other goals in their place
2. Increase Legitimate Opportunities
Lack of education for example is a contributing factor to crime
Improve access to education
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Create conditions that allow students to succeed especially students that struggle to
sueed eause they do’t hae suppot o fae fiaial diffiulties
Head start is geared for kids to birth through age 5. Consists of health screening,
emphasis on nutrition, emphasis on school readiness, interactions with others (social
skills training)
Pathways to education: mandatory tutoring for 4 nights a week, mentors, free bus and
subway tickets, $1000 a year for 4 years in support of university education.
Criticism and Limitations
1. Over emphasis on links between class and crime
2. Structural determinism and inability to account for differential responses to strain
The theoy does’t do a good jo differentiating the different responses to strain
Implies that if you are in a specific class you have a higher chance of committing a crime
3. Consensus model of society
does’t ask the uestio hee does iial la oe fo
Conflict-Marxist Theory
1. Society is characterized by conflict rather than consensus
2. In a capitalist society, conflict is rooted in the economic inequalities generated by the
capitalist mode of production
system of economic organization that includes 3 elements
a) private ownership (businesses)
b) emphasis on production of goods and services based on markets and forces of supply
and demand
c) pursuit of profit: through technological advances, reduces the cost of production and
increases speed and efficiency
o inexpensive input and limited regulation
3. Conflict occurs between two primary groups
a) apitalists ho os the eas of podutio the capital, manufacturing facilities,
equipment machinery.
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