SOCI 2450 Chapter Notes -Restorative Justice, Impulsivity, Conflict Resolution
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1. Sociological Perspectives of Crime
1.1.1 Social Structure Perspective
2.1.2 Social Process Perspective
3.1.3 Social Conflict Perspective
Social Structure Perspective
Social Structure Perspective: where crime is a result of an individual’s location within the structure of
society (a focus on group). This approach focuses on the social and economic conditions of life. This
includes relative deprivation; differential opportunity; discrimination; social disorganization; personal
frustration; alternative means to success and sub-cultural values that conflict with conventional values.
There are 3 social structure theories (ESC):
1.Ecological Perspective (Chicago School): this theory encompasses the geographic, demographic
locations, delinquency areas, and concentric circles
1.Criminal Zones: there is more crime in the core of the city
•Zone 1: businesses
•Zone 2: residential and businesses
•Zone 3: working-class homes
•Zone 4: middle-class citizens (suburbs)
•Zone 5: mostly suburbs
2.Criminology of Place: emphasizes the importance of geographic location and architectural features as
they are associated with crime.
3.Broken Windows Theory: people will be more likely to commit crimes in neighbourhoods where laws
are not heavily enforced.
4.Defenceable Space: where you take proactive actions in your neighbourhood to defend your
neighbourhood – symbolic barriers to protect your property (e.g., fences, guard dogs) – i.e. making your
2.Strain Theory: where society encourages everyone to achieve the same goals without giving them
equal opportunities to achieve them. The discrepancy between what society asks for and what the
structure of our society permits is what causes crime. There are 5 ways of adapting to strain (CIRRR)
Merton’s Differential Opportunity: where people are more likely to engage in criminal behaviour only
if they have access to illegitimate opportunities, versus legitimate opportunities
3. Culture-Conflict Theory (Sellin): there are two types of conflicts
•Primary Conflict: a clash of cultures occurs in society.
•Secondary Conflict: when those clashes occur, the middle class defines what is and is not criminal.
1.2. Social Process Perspective
Social Processes Perspective: an ‘interactionist perspective’ (i.e., interactions with others) that places
primary emphasis on the role of communication and socialization.
There are 4 theories. Social learning, labelling, social control, and social development theory.
1.Social Learning Theory: