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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Crime and society .docx

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Temitope Oriola

Sociology 225: chapter 1 Crimes, criminals and Criminology. What is criminology? Criminology is the body of knowledge regarding crime as a social phenomenon. It includes the processes of: Making laws, Breaking laws and the society reacting to the breaking of laws. The main objective of criminology is the development of a body of general and verified principles regarding these processes (like theories). Thus this definition implies that criminologist take a scientific approach to the study of crime. Why should we study crime? It is intrinsically worthwhile to understand criminality to learn about all aspect of our social lives including the criminal behavior and society’s response to this behavior.Also learning about crime tells us great deal about our society. We need to understand it to prevent it and it Crime affects us all Crime and media: Most people learn about crime through the media and the media portrayal of crime is not accurate. Crime in the media is much more violent (even though only 7% of crimes are actually violent), it distort the realities of the justice system (like in south park where you have a lot of crimes within minutes) and also through modeling the media may contribute to crime. This distorted images lead to few problem: First: we overestimate the amount of violent crime and have a fear of crime that is higher then the actual victimization. Crimes are often committed by our acquaintance rather then strangers that many of us fear. Our fear has an impact on the policies of our government. If the public thinks it is not safe actual crime is irrelevant and we need to make policy changes then.Also, it can lead to crimes as well as children exposed to violence are more likely to commit crimes. The discipline of criminology: 1. The definition of crime and criminals ( what kind of things are crimes? Who should be considered criminal for criminology research like those that are not convicted yet? 2. The origins and role of law ( why are some things considered criminal by the society while others are ok) 3. The social distribution of crime (characteristics, trends, and the differences btw different regions can help us find the causes of crime) 4. The causation of crime ( why people do it) 5. Patterns of criminal behavior (who are the victims and the offenders, what social conditions lead to offender committing this crime, consequences for victim, and how to prevent them) 6. Societal reactions to crime ( the provincial and territories cannot pass or amend a law but is responsible for administration. There is a division of power. Supreme court is at the top of hierarchy. Sentence less then two dealt by the provincial, but more then 2 years is dealt by the federal government) Rules and law: the regulation of behaviors Norm: established rules of behavior or standard of conduct. We tend to follow societal rules without even realizing them such as how to walk, how to be polite and so on. We follow these rules because they are part of belonging to the group ( don’t follow you family may disapprove of you or your friends etc.). It enhances our sense of belonging. What is a crime? Sociology 225: chapter 1 Crimes, criminals and Criminology. Acrime is an act that violates the criminal law and is punishable with jail terms, fines, and other sanctions. But there are issues with this definition in that it focuses only on violations of criminal law presented a misleading picture of crime. Limiting criminological research to offence such as burglary, assaults and theft that were dealt with in the criminal courts and lead to conclusion that crime was primarily a lower classes phenomenon. In term of if white color crimes are actually crime. However, many white color crimes are done by middle and upper class in the course of their business activities but these are not dealt with by the criminal court. Thus lower class get most of the punishment while the upper class does not or if they does it is by board or commission who give them only warning and such.. Thus it is important that we encompass the violation of other types of laws. Human right violation as crime If an action violated the basic rights of a human ( life, liberty, security, free of torture, equality before law, respect, dignity, and given basic necessities of life) criminologist should consider it a crime ( sexism, racism, imperialism or any other government policies included). They advocate of this approach thing the men in power have created that criminal law so that acts committed by the powerful are not criminalized. The green criminologist also takes this view. Criminologist should also study people who destroy the environment and do harm to individuals as a result like factories in china where environmental policies are very lax, practices such as these. Acontinuum of crime and deviance Hagan proposed that we need law that considers both
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