CRIM 012 Study Guide - Quiz Guide: Trait Theory, Masculinity, Impulsivity

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Cultural Theories
Culture and Sub Cultural theories
-Explore the sources of ideas in general social conditions
-Are characterized by the argument that is the ideas themselves, rather than the social
conditions that directly cause crime.
-The complex system of meaning and behavior that defines the way of life for a society.
Subcultural Theories
Subcultural Theory
-Albert Cohen
-Argued that crime is caused by status frustration that originates when lower-class
youth fail to live up to “middle-class measuring rods.”
-Middle class values: Respect (Authority), Education, Careers, Family, Loyalty to
friends and family, Hard-work, Trust, Money spending
-Short- Run Hedonism: The seeking of immediate gratification to desires without
regard to long-term consequences. (Examples: money spending and savings,
education (waiting 4 to 7 years for a degree to get a job)
Why do we do crime?
A. Lower-class delinquents react against middle class values
B. There is lower-class culture with its own set values and attitudes to which delinquents
Miller’s Focal Concerns
Middle class values:
~ Achievement
~ Hard Work
~ Stable habits
~ Responsibility
Lower class has “focal concerns” 6 specific focal concerns outlines:
~ Excitement (Constant search for “thrills”)
~ Toughness (Masculinity, strength = highly valued)
~ Autonomy (resentment of authority and rules; being able to “do my own thing”
~ Trouble (getting into and staying out of trouble are dominant concerns of lower class)
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~ Smartness (“street sense”; outsmarting others)
~ Fate (view that most things that happen to people are beyond their control; nothing can
be done about these things)
Code of the Streets
Point to subtly communicate a predisposition to violence, a willingness and ability to
create total chaos and mayhem to deter aggression.
~ Words
~ Gestures
~ Material objects
Anderson’s Subcultural Theory
Code of the Streets (1999)
-Subcultural of inner cities
-Caused or originated because:
~ High concentration of very poor people
~ Declining number of legitimate jobs
~ Increasing number of illegitimate jobs
~ Widespread drug and gun availability
~ Declining welfare funding/ programs
~ Little hope for the future (increased sense of hopelessness/fate)
Heart of the code = Respect (“Juice”)
-Being treated “right”
-Being in control of one’s immediate environment is
-Being “dissed” is considered an indication of the other person’s intentions
~ Warning of possible attack
~ Likely to lead to a preemptive first strike in return
~ Even DECENT parents socialize their children to respond
Street Families
-Contempt and rejection from mainstream society
-Children grow up without supervision
~ Hang out on the street even until late at night
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~Socialize primarily with other children
How to fight
Significance of fighting to the street world
Techniques of Neutralization
-A technique which allows the person to justify or rationalize a criminal act
-Sykes ant Matza outline 5 techniques of neutralization
Denial of Responsibility
-Used when the deviant act was caused by an outside force
-The individual feels they were drawn into the situation, ultimately becoming helpless
-Abusive family, bad neighborhoods, and delinquent peers led or predispose them to
commit crime.
- A common statement: “It was not my fault”
Denial of Injury
-When the criminal act causes no harm to the victim
-Criminal acts viewed deviant in terms of whether or not someone was hurt
-Utilizing this technique can lead to the perspective that stealing is just borrowing; gang
fights are private arguments between willing/ consenting participants
Denial of Victim
-Belief that the harm/ injury is not wrong given the circumstances
-Crime is considered punishment or revenge
-“They deserve it”
-May be used by those who attack minority groups such as homosexuals
-Also seen in literature (Robin Hood)
Condemnation of the Condemners
-Delinquents shift the focus from their own acts to the motives and behaviors of those who
-Places a negative image on those opposed (hypocrites)
Appeal to Higher Loyalties
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