[SOCI 304] - Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam (13 pages long!)

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TAMU
SOCI 304
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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SOCI 304
1/23/17
Lecture 2
Part 1: Definitions and Perspectives
A. Crime and the Media
a. What are some of the typical images routinely conveyed about crime in the mass
media?
i. Amount of Crime
1. Gives a sense of overwhelming amount of crime
ii. Types of Crime
1. Sense that violent crime such as murder is most common
2. But ost oo is popety ie- burglary
iii. Up to 25% of news on TV and in newspapers focuses on crime and legal matters
b. In whose interests?
i. Purpose of Crime coverage is to capture audiences
1. Use of most violent
2. Addition of views on politics
ii. Police stations might accumulate funds for reinforcements/investigators
c. Perceptions of crime shaped by media
i. Misrepresents on terms of user patterns based on what is shown- makes it
seem like blacks are more involved with drug use than whites
d. Crime myths: false beliefs about crime contributed by media
i. Select people to be interviewed
1. Not representative of everyone- creates biases
ii. Use value-laden language
1. EX: Talk aout iials peyig o itis
2. Creates fear
3. Fail to use neutral terms
iii. Presenting data that are misleading (numbers vs. rates)
1. Numbers might not be meaningful
iv. Emphasizing violent crimes
v. Failing to provide the social and historical context
1. Leads to misperceptions about certain ethnic/social groups
e. Fear of Crime
i. Structural correlates
1. concern the social and physical characteristics of locations in which
people live- neighborhoods, countries
2. can also refer to socio-demographic patterns
a. ethnicity/race, age, gender, population in size
b. ae’t alays lea, depeds o types of ie
i. men are more susceptible to street crime
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ii. African Americans are more fearful of crimes
f. Sociological Criminology
i. Emphasizes the social roots of crime
ii. Does not always occur between or within individuals
iii. If we change equality, we might be able to change crime- need to be exposed to
multiple views
iv. Structural criminology= emphasizes role of communities and influence of social
location (race/ethnicity, gender, social class, age- elements of social structure)
v. Major distinction:
1. Consensus Approaches vs. Conflict Approaches
2. Consensus
a. Durkheim
i. Agreement in opinion on social norms of behavior
ii. When crime occurs, this constitutes a norm violation,
and punishment of the behavior is necessary to ensure
social stability (maintains social order)
iii. As societies became more complex Mechanical
solidarity (-glue that holds society together) would
change needed the separation
3. Conflict
a. Marx and Engels
i. Disagreement on norms of society reflecting position in
social structure based on inequality in wealth and
power
1. Who has control over resources
a. Factory Workers-low power
b. Factory Owners-high power
2. If there are disagreements, who gets to institute
the views
ii. Crime definitions are more problematic, why do some
acts become defined as illegal, while others not?
1. Varies historically and physically by location
g. History of Crime as a Concept
i. Debate among criminologists about the proper definitions of crime can be
traced to a 1933 report by Michael and Adler
ii. ehaio hih is pohiited y the iial ode… a iial is a peso ho
has ehaed i soe ay pohiited y the iial la
iii. Tappan followed Michael ad Adle’s aguet ad laied that crime is an
intentional violation of the criminal law, committed without defense or
excuse, and penalized by the state as a felony or misdemeanor
1. Crime is very much a legalistic category of behavior
B. Crime as a Legal Category
a. Legalistic definition of crime holds that a crime must be forbidden by criminal law
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