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Chapter 6

CRIM 210 Chapter 6: Chapter 6- Different DIrections in THeorizing about Youth Crime and Delinquency

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Simon Fraser University
CRIM 210
Ray Corrado

Chapter 6: Different Directions in Theorizing About Youth Crime and Delinquency Introduction  Critical Perspective on Crime: Refers to the groups of theories that begins with the sassupmtion that structure of power and oppression are the source of crime o Race, class, gender, and to some extent, age structures in society Labelling theory  Work of Edwin lemert and howard becker Play and deliqneuncy  Tannenbaum says best adult response to delinquent behavior is do nothing  Its part of play  Adults turn children’s play into crime  Adults in the community become annoyed or angered by what children are doing and respond by trying to conol or stop the activity  Children begin to resent adult interference and act in a defiant manner Secondary deviance  Lemert argued that there are two types of deviance  Primary deviance: initial act where anyone is potentially a primary deviant  Secondary deviant: all of the behaviors that a person develops as a result of societal responses to her or his primary deviance  Person develops a self concept as a deviant and acts accordingly  Lemert maintained that official responses to juvenile delinquency are more likely to increase delqineuent behavior than to prevent it from occurring again Societal responses  Once attached, label is generalized to attach to everything that the person does  Deviance is a master status meaning that no matter what her or his other qualities are, a person who ahs been labelled with be seen and responses to as a deviant  Reintegrative shaming: public shaming of a persons behavior, followed by community forgiveness and attempts at bringing the person back into the community, will decrease the likelihood of future criminality 1. Critical criminology and conflict theory  Focuses on inequality and oppression as the soruces of criminal activity and issues in the criminal justice system  Ask questions about social justice and injustices rather than criminal justice and views strcutures of class, racism, sexism and other isms as criminogenic  Decarceration: the practice of moving individuals from institutional settings into community facilities and programs  Social order: refers to assumptions about society as beieng free of disorder  Power: The ability of a person or group to force others to do what they wish  This perspective tends to focus on laws, law making, administration of law, and the impact of law on various groups of people, most often the marginalized Liberal conflict theory  Criminalization: The process whereby a person or group comes to be officially and/or publicly known as criminal  Value conflicts pereceived as threatening to those in authority will lead to less powerful groups beign identified as criminal or dlienquent  Normative behavior of one grop violates the normative behavior of a group that has the power and resources to codify its conduct norms into laws, the result is criminalization of weaker groups Radical conflict theory  Marx and engels formed the basis of radical conflict theory  Capitalism is the root cause of crime according to radical conflict theory  Compromised of bourgeoisie who control the means of production, and the proletariat who sell their labour to the bourgeoisie  Criminal justice system is a system that is used by bourgeoisie to control the proletariat  Critical criminology does not assume eiher free will or determination but a combination of both 2. Opportunity theory  Criminal Event: An event invovlin the convergence of a motivated offender, a suitable tareget or targets, and the absence of controls  Nto one explanation for crime but may different explanations required for different types of crimes  Decisiosns or situation leading to property crime is differnet for murder  This approach leads to the recognition that it is equally important to understand why a person stops his involvement in criminal activity  Assumption that people act on free will and make rational coices about engaging in criminal activity Routine activity theory  Convergence of three components required for a criminal event o Motivated offenders o Suitable targets o Absence of a capable guardian  If all three of these components remained the same but there was a change in routine everyday activities then crime could increase Rational choice theory  Offenders are rational and assess pros and cons  Criminal event decisions are tied more specifically to particular situations and circumstances 3. Integrative theory  Theories are integrated to absorb similar concepts by integrating common concepts, or by integrating propositions in different theories Social Learning Theory Differential Association Reinforcement Theory  Social-Learning Theory: attempts to explain crime and delinquency through notions of imitation and modelling  Differential association refers to one’s exposure to behavior and norms for learning  Persons voluntary actions are conditioned or shaped by rewards and punishments 4. Social control and social learning Self derogation theory  Focuses on self esteem and combiens elements of social learning theory control theory strain theory and labelling theory  We are all motived to maximie our self esteem  Our motivation to conform will be minimized by fmialy, school, and peer interaction  Interactiosn are self defacing Integrated theory  Integrates strain theory, social bonding, and social learning theory  Anomie combines with social disorganization and inadequate socialization  Weak bonds with social institutions  Weak institutional bonds lead to stronger bonds and greater associations with delinquent peer groups within which the learning of delinquent behavior is enhanced Interactional theory  Interactional thory: posits tht reltionships between deiqneunt behavior and other variabels are not unidirectional, but rather are bidreictional  Differs from integrated model/control based theories in three ways 1. Does not assume thatvariation in the strength of the bond just happens o Variation is related to structural variables 2. Does not assume that causal models are stable over the life course o Casual infleunces vary at different devleopmetnal stages and at different stages of criminal careers 3. It does not assume that causal infleucnes are overwhelmingly unidirectional and that deliqneuncy is merely an outcome variable o Many effects ae bidirectional, and dleiqnuency may contribute to the weakening of social bonds as well as being a consequence of weakend social bonds 5. Social control, strain, and liberal conflict theories Theory of Differential Oppression  Oppression: The engative outcome experienced by people due to physical force by an oppressor or structural arrangements that remove or restrict their rights o Ex: laws and political parties  Four principles 1. Adults emphasize order in the homd and school and children are forced to abide by the ruels of those in authority 2. Adults perceptions establish children as inferior, subordinate and troublemakers 3. The imposition of adult’s conceptions of order on children often become extreme 4. Coercion and force become abuse or neglect, children generalize their abuse of authority to other adults like police  Adults will adapt in four ways 1. Passive acceptance: child who are obedient out of fear behave much like slaves, prison inmates, and battered women a. Hate is repressed which makes them susceptible to low self-esteem, alcoholism, drug addiction, and the like 2. Exercise of illegitimate, coercive power: child attempt to demonstrate power through using drugs, sexual misbehavior, alcohol 3. Manipulation of peers: gain control over peers 4. Retaliation: strike back at the people and the institutions that oppress them  Typical response of adults is to enhance their oppression and escalate the problem 6.. Life course theories of crime  Life course Theory: the theory that children undergo a succession of role and status changes as they grow older o Criminal behavior is characterized by transitions and pathways or trajectories o Transitions are short term changes o Pathways are trajectories  Lifecourse theory connects family, friends, and school to youth crime by integrating aspects of social capitaly theory  Social capital: investments in institutional relatiosnhips, such as family, work, and school  Social-capital theory: the theory that people possess varign degrees of useful and valuable social goods o Supportive family and neibours and an education or good grades in school  Social capital and lifecourse theoires explain how some young people get involved in crime whiel others do not and why some become uninvolved while others continue to be involved into adulthood Developmental criminology  Life course persietent: type of offender who begins with childhood biting and hittina at around age 4, and whose behavior escalates and continues to such adulthood offences as vioeltn assault; spouse battery; and abandonment, neglect, or abuse of children o Represents only about 5% of young offenders o Begins with childhood biting and hitting at around age 4 and behavior escalates and continues to such adulthood offences as violent assault, spouse battery and abandonment, neglect, or abuse of children  Adolescent-limited: type off offender who does not have a childhood history of antisocial behavior, but engages in this behavior only in doelscence, only inconsistently, and only when it is rewarding and/ or profitable to do so o Constituents the majority of young offenders o Does not have a childhood history of antisocial ebahior o Engages in this ebahvior only in adolescence and only when it is rewarding or profitable to do so Feminist Perspective and Ctique The Invisble Girl  Role Theory: Attempts to explain criminal behavior by understanding the processes whereby individuals acquire and become committed to deviant roles  Androgynous: Describes terms that are assumed to refer to both males and females o Ex: gangs o Previous theories all didn’t talk about females and girls in their theories  Everything ignores female delinquency  Girls in gangs are not called girls but called tomboys  Goals of women are different from those of men  Women are concerned with relational goals such as love, marriage, family and friends whereas men are concerned with material goals  Womens goals are more easily attainable so we will find lower rates of crime and deliqneuncy among girls and women  Women have fewer opporutnities to achieve material success due to social status  Sex delinquency is one kind of meaningful responses to the most characteristic, most central and most ego involved problems of the female role o Cohen’s notes  Blame onto mothers, especialy those in female headed hosueholds  In the absence of a male roel model, boys will have trouble developing a masculine image, creating strain for male adolescence The Less than Perfect Girl  Lombroso is the most influential as his ideas reflect in todays taken for granted views and some scholarly views of female crime Biology and physiology  Lombroso in The Female Offedner claim that emale criminals are lower on the evolutionary scale than non criminal females  Women as a whole are lower on t
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