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CRIM 1650 FULL EXAM REVIEW 2012-2013

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CRIM 1650
James Williams

Race and Crime Concepts: 1. Racialization of Crime: one of the ways symbolic racism comes into play. It is the process through which crime is constructed and defined in explicitly racial terms. Symbolci racism is known as the negative representations of social groups that are expressed through coded language and symbols. Also known as how groups are described and how activities like crime are described. Language is informed by popular understandings of race and they reproduce race-based accounts of common social problems. Significant because it provides the public with a misconception of the correlation between race and crime. Example: during the Hurricane Katrina incident, when people were in the superdome reports came out that white people were stealing supplies from a store, with captions that they needed help and food. Meanwhile, when black people did the same thing, captions portrayed them as criminals and thugs. 2. Criminalization of Race: has to do with the treatment of particular racialized groups, treating them as though they are criminal or potentially criminal. This is significant because there is a perception that certain racialized groups are predisposed towards crime and crime prone, so they are treated as such. Example: racial profiling, which is an outcome of racialization of crime in our society. It breeds suspicion of particular groups that they are more crime prone and will ultimately be subject to stereotypes and scrutiny. 3. Symbolic Racism: negative representations of social groups that are expressed through coded language and symbols. Significant because the language that is used is informed by popular understandings of race and they reproduce race-based accounts of common social problems. Example: The Bill O’Reilly interview where he explains that a restaurant in Harlem said that it was calm and without any craziness even though it’s run by black people. In a subtle way he is reproducing race-based stereotypes. 4. Systemic Racism: refers to practices and patterns in society and its institutions which, although they may not be intended to disadvantage any group, can have the effect of permitting discrimination against non-white groups, reproducing inequality. The problem is that because forms of racism are deeply embedded within institutional practices, it often becomes invisible or deniable. Example: 1950s government initiative to encourage home ownership. One of the important factors in determining who would get a loan was geography – if you lived in a red district, which was primarily African American and Hispanic, there would be low chances of getting a loan (red-lining). While system isn’t clearly racist, it has ability to discriminate against blacks and Hispanics. 5. Racial Profiling: refers to any action undertaken for reasons of security or public protection that relies on stereotypes about race to single out an individual for scrutiny or different treatment. Significant because there is a great deal of evidence that racial profiling occurs, and that it plays a role in the justice system. It’s also problematic because it is difficult to prove that race was a factor in the triggered response. Example: Disproportionate amount of black people were charged with driving without insurance or a non-updated license. These things would only be known after stopping the individual, meaning they were stopped for a reason based on suspicion (racial bias). 6. Disproportionate Offending: Data reflects more or less accurately their actual involvement in crime. This is significant because certain groups offend at a higher rate than other groups, typically in the context of African Americans and Latinos. This results in a connection between race and crime, where people begin to believe that certain races are more prone to commit crime, as well as certain races become seen as targets due to their stereotypes rather than their actual involvement in crime. When the percentage in arrest data is higher than percentage of population, it is an example of disproportionate offending. Example: first Nations people own a small percentage of the general population, but a high percentage in provincial jail. Morality and Crime Concepts: 1. “Crime on the Margins”: An ambiguous boundary between what’s deemed criminal and what’s deemed deviant. This takes a move towards behaviours and activities that are more deviant rather than necessarily criminal in nature. This results in these crimes being considered conflict crimes because of the lack of agreement of their harmful nature. Two processes must be considered: the amplification of deviance (the process through which deviant aspects of a behaviour are exaggerated, resulting in the behaviour or activity being redefined as a crime) and normalization of deviance (the process through which deviant aspects of a behaviour or activity are downplayed and minimized, with the result that this activity is not defined as a crime). Also important to look at the objectivist versus constructionist approach. Objectivist deals with measurable forms of harm, so based on documented harms an activity will be deemed a social problem. Meanwhile, with a constructionist perspective, an activity is deemed harmful based on its perceived harm. This is significant because the legal boundaries between crime and deviance reflect prevailing forms of power, conflict, and social inequality, ultimately providing insights into how power influences development formation of criminal law. Example: NEED AN EXAMPLE 2. Amplification of Deviance: this is known as the process through which deviant aspects of a behaviour or activity are exaggerated or amplified with the result that this behaviour or activity is redefined as a crime. This is significant because the way people react to certain situations will define whether it will be defined as a crime or not, resulting in enacted legislations, and fears due to the perceived harms they believe the act has. Example: NEED AN EXAMPLE 3. Objective Harm: objective harms speak from an objectivist perspective, where empirical evidence, scientific studies – based on documented harms will decide whether an activity should be deemed a social problem. This is significant because the distinction between what is truly harmful and what is rarely explained, not showing how a line is drawn on what makes something legal or illegal. Thus, it must be understood that if objective harm is inadequate in accounting for differences, then what other factors have come into play. Example: the objective measures of harm fail to differentiate between legal and illegal use of drugs. Many of the harms associated with drugs stem from the fact that they are illegal and prohibited. Meanwhile, far greater harms are associated with legal drugs, such as alcohol and tobacco. 4. Objectivist versus Constructionist Approach: This deals with the process of defining social problems. From an objectivist perspective, status of a behaviour or practice as a social problem is based on objective and measurable forms of harm, such as empirical evidence and scientific studies that prove whether an activity is a social problem or not. Meanwhile, constructionist’s believe that a behaviour or activity is considered a social problem not due to their objective harm but due to their perceived harm. This could be related to the normalization of deviance, which explains how activities can be construed as being deviant and harmful is treated as normal, non-criminal. This is significant because it is seen greatly in areas of corporate crime, where many situations make use of techniques of neutralization, strategies to justify or rationalize the harm in question. Example: when the B.P. oil spill occurred, it was described as an accident or a disaster, a technique used to minimize responsibility. 5. Claims-Makers: There are three sets of people that can be seen as claims makers under the issue of criminalizing drug use: moral entrepreneurs, politicians, physicians and the medical establishment. The moral entrepreneurs generally make claims about the significant dangers of a situation, explaining the moral depravity of the activity at hand. Politicians invest in the issue and explain their strong belief in it to respond to anxieties in hopes of attaining trust from the voters. Finally the physicians were concerned with cocaine being criminalized, they were less concerned with the effects drugs were having and more interested in the division between legal and illegal drugs that would give them control over prescribing legal drugs. This is significant because efforts to legislate morality are inevitably influenced by political interests and provides a way of reaffirming and reproducing differences between social groups. 6. “War on Drugs”: the idea was to use the emerging use of drugs as a scapegoat for a variety of social problems, mostly dealing with crime, which existed around the time. The idea was to establish stricter, tough penalties, domestic drug enforcement, reduce supply and eliminate demand. However, the supply went up, the prices went down, the purity went up, and the rates of drug use decreased, but that was occurring before the war on drugs was established. This is significant for a variety of reasons, such as the idea of de-normalization: stigmatization, demonization of casual drug users were important acts of the policy. Demonization is a form of dehumanization because it affects how drug users are talked about, framed, spoken about in media and political circle. This allowed for systemic discrimination to occur, as it underlined many police strategies. 7. De-Criminalization versus Legalization: De-criminalization is the abolition of criminal penalties in relation to certain acts, although regulation may still occur. Legalization is removing a legal prohibition against something which is currently not legal. This is a significant term because many aspects have a direct influence on changing the course of the war on drugs. The political aspect rely on funds for their campaigns and have direct political stakes associated with war on drugs. One of the police’s significant source of revenue comes from the war on drugs, and they also use this “war” to demonstrate their effectiveness. Finally, there is a symbolic effect that the demonization of the drug user creates a powerful image in the mind of the general public, associated with judgments that users are immoral, creating a barrier to loosen controls and regulations on drug use. Corporate and White-Collar Crime 1. Normalization of Deviance: is the process through which the deviant aspects of a behaviour or activity are minimiz
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