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[CRIM 2650] - Final Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes fot the exam (24 pages long!)Premium

24 pages227 viewsSummer 2016

Department
Criminology
Course Code
CRIM 2650
Professor
Ozgun Topak
Study Guide
Final

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York
CRIM 2650
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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November 17th, 2016
Social construction, symbolic interactionism and labeling theory:
Social consequences of labeling: exclusion
Primary deviance to secondary deviance (accepting the label)
Accepting the label. Transformation of identity (especially after imprisonment)
Social reaction and state intervention turns deviants into chronic offenders.
For example, the prison experience transforms the identity of prisoners; they’re socially
degraded and become different people.
When you label people and put them in prison for minor acts, they become deviant even more
and adapt even more dangerous behaviours.
Better to give people the ability to not be completely cut from the society, such as do
community service to not make the person deviant even more.
People of low class or a certain race get more labeled and imprisoned than others.
Main themes: social reaction
Discovering the causes of crime- look at biological aspects, anomie, low self control, vs. social
reaction to crime and deviancy
o Less interested in what causes crime
According to goffma, anyone who doesn’t produce one of these norms, is considered deviant
(married white, urban, northern, heterosexual etc.)
Ex. Policing strategy to over police the black people, the lower classes, who are labeled as
potential offenders.
Social construction: crime is not a given category.
Crime exists somewhere out there in the real world, it is constructed by social processes.
NB. The claim that something is socially constructed does not mean that it is not real, rather it
means that the social context (which might include historical, political, economical, ideological
etc. elements) shapes the perceptions of individuals.
We take many things for granted, we regard things as natural
o Wife beating for example, was considered normal before.
Examples:
Killing is not “naturally deviant”
o “Some killings are labeled homicide. Others are excused, justified, or viewed as
necessary”.
o Creation of the wife beating problem
Influence of social movements and the media (could be positive or negative).
o Responses to the delinquency of two groups of high-school youths.
o Moral entrepreneurs- different groups in society that promote certain ideas and try to
create awareness in society by protesting etc.
o The media usually exaggerates the issues and play an important job in shaping the
perceptions of people and labeling certain groups.
The crimes committed by the powerful can go unseen, while the crimes committed by lower
economic classes will not go unseen.
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November 17th, 2016
Problematizing state intervention:
o State intervention is counterproductive
o Symbolic interactionism arguments:
o Status degradation ceremonies and identity
Developed by Garfinkel, talks about modern societies, the courts and its officers
professionally perform the status degradation.
The person who experienced this, experience humiliation, they cannot enjoy the
same privileges they used to enjoy.
As a result they become more deviant.
Their former identities are lost after they’re degraded.
o Effects of total institutions on the identities of inmates
Mental hospitals, prisons, when you put people into these institutions they’re
feeling humiliated and cannot relate back to their identities.
More likely to reoffend when released from the prison (recidivism).
o Amplifies deviancy rather than preventing it
o In many cases, primary deviancy is temporary, not something central to one’s identity.
o Could be motivated by curiosity or carelessness.
o As the result of the reaction the person may really become a deviant and the labeling
will make it worse.
o If you’re believed and perceived as a drug dealer, you will become one.
o State intervention and labeling might turn deviants into chronic offenders
o Social consequences of labeling:
o Exclusion from previous social networks
Joining a criminal subcultural group
o Exclusion from employment opportunity
Searching for illegitimate means
o Self-fulfilling prophecy
o Labeling theorists advocate for reforms to limit state intervention: ex. Decriminalization
(legalizing victimless crimes), deinstitutionalization (diverting individuals to community centers
(not prisons).
Symbolic interactionism:
NB. Cooley and mead influence both control and labeling theory
Control theory cares about their parents and peer groups and how they establish indirect
control on the person
Whereas the labeling theory looks at inclusion of the social interaction, how people are
excluded and how they might face stigmatization.
These aspects compliment each other, on one hand we try to satisfy our parents however it
bothers us how people think of us.
o Charles H. Cooley
o Looking-glass self: refers to the process of interaction and responses of others.
See themselves as worthy or worthless
Labeling theory puts emphasis on the inclusion aspects because they take in
how people think of them and meet those labeling.
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