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Chapter 1-15

TextBook Summary Chapters 1-15

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SOC 2700
Scott Brandon

Chapter 1 - SOC*2700 Uniform Crime Reports - published by the FBI, lists the number of crimes reported since not everyone reports it, does not include all crimes do not include drug related offenses, only serious street crimes Self Report Surveys - people are asked to report how many offenses they have committed majority of people have committed crimes National Crime Victimization Survey - survey that asks if you have been victimized generally crimes such as child abuse, spousal abuse, sexual assault by acquaintance and white collar crime are less likely to be reported hard to compare crimes across cultures - different things are considered illegal & have different ways of collecting statistics about crime people generally believe crime is caused by unemployment, bad family life and lenient courts social experiences shape the way people think about crime as society changes so do the way people think about crime Classical School began in the Enlightenment era rejects spiritual or religious views of crime believe criminals are reasonable (weigh costs and benefits in deciding to be criminal) criminal law should be fair & shouldnt be profitable related to rational choice & deterrence theory Positivist School scientific study of criminals Cesare Lombroso - biological traits crime is predetermined Chicago School study urban areas in relation to crime control theory (crime occurs when controls are weakened), differential association theory (definitions support criminal behaviour), anomie-strain theory (crime occurs when people can not achieve success) mainstream criminology - consists of the 3 theories Critical Theory related to labeling theory conflict & power in relation to crime feminist theory - gender roles shape criminality intersection of race, class and gender white collar crime - related to Critical theorists, crimes of the powerful conservative explanations of crimes - crime was a fault of the individual, suggest that the answer to crime is harsher sanctions routine activity theory/environmental criminology understands crime as an event (motivated offender & opportunity) situational crime prevention - reduce opportunities for crime within a situation - thinking and decision making of offenders - rational choice theory - relates to opportunity theory, and perceptual deterrence theory biosocial perspective - research on brain, genetics & other biological factors criminal man- a search for biological traits that differentiate offenders from non offenders life course/developmental criminology - roots of crime related back to childhood Chapter 2 Explanations The search of explanations of criminal behaviour is not easy because we constantly must guard against our biases, mistaken perceptions, and prejudices Social Context Influences the explanations of crimes Consists of perceptions and interpretations of the past as well as the present Bennett Crimewarps Book she wrote in 1987 Wrote book after completing doctorate in sociology, accomplished scholar, research, teacher, journalist with more than 20 years of work on the topic of crime Therefore was experienced and prepared to study major trends Refers to the bends in todays trends that will affect the way we live tomorrow Thesis was that much of what we have come to regard as basic demographic features of our societys population and crime trends are changing dramatically. These crime warps represent a set of major social transformations Identified 6 crimewarps One was labelled The New Criminal Refers to the fact that the traditional criminal is poor, undereducated, young male Traditional criminals will be displaced by older, more upscale offenders including more women involved in white collar crime and domestic violence. Teenagers will commit fewer crimes and senior citizens will enter the crime scene as geriatric delinquents !!!Point of story is!!! She was wrong even though she was so educated and prepared to make a thesis. There are not more women committing crime, we still have young offenders, and there are no elderly delinquents. Therefore, no single lens (such as Bennetts use of demographics) is adequate for explaining crime trends. Historical Eras The context of previous historical eras made different kinds of theories about crime possible just like social context Spiritualism As an explanation of criminal behaviour Stressed the conflict between absolute good and absolute evil People who committed crimes were thought to be possessed by evil spirits/ sinful demons Primitive People Natural disasters were punishments by spirits for wrong doings This view was also used by ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans Middle Ages Spiritualistic explanations because well organized and connected to the political and social structure of feudalism Developed into this way because originally disputes was kept in the family which meant huge blood feuds and those with strong families would just not get punished Was avoiding problems by using methods such as Trial by battle Individual from each family fought, believed victory would go to the innocent if he believed in/trusted god Trial by ordeal Subject the accused to life-threatening/painful situations. If you lived, you were innocent because God protected you Compurgation Accused could have reputable people swear on oath that they were innocent. No one would lie under oath due to fear of Gods punishment The Classical School: Criminal as Calculator Emphasis on the individual criminal as a person who is capable of calculating what he or she wants to do Supported by philosophy that humans had free will and behaviour was guided by hedonism Individuals guided by pain-pleasure principle in which they calculated the risks and rewards Hence punishment should be suited to the offense, not the social or physical characteristics of the criminal Cesare Bonesana Marchese de Beccaria (1738-1794) Pulled together many of the most powerful 18 century ideas of democratic liberalism and connected them to issues of criminal justice Grew up in Europe Didnt have equal protection, due process, and trial by peers as is standard in USA French police dealt with not only criminal matters but also the morals and political opinions of French citizens Arrest people without warrants, pass judgment and hold people in custody indefinitely on unspecified charges Arrested had few legal protections and punishment was severe Read up on enlightenment philosophers Was no eager to write because he did not enjoy writing and was worried about political reprisal Wrote On Crimes and Punishments To escape war and chaos, individuals gave up some of their liberty and
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