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Chapter 7

Chapter 7+14+16+22 Textbook Notes -> All you need for the Final

Course Code
Malcolm Mac Kinnon

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SOCA02 Textbook NotesChapters 7,14,16,22 1
There has been much concern with crim in Canada
concerned to be top 3 social issues
people in Canada think the punishments are too soft
Definition of deviance and crime change over time and differ over place.
Nazis were law-abiding citizens
Jesus, Marin Luther King, Nelson Mandela were all considered to be criminals back then
but now are considered to be heroes
Deviance involves breaking a norm, it is not merely a departure from the statistical average,
but rather a violation of an accepted rule of behavior.
Man using women's washroom
Informal Punishment involves a mild sanction that s imposed during face-to-face
interaction, not by the judical system.
Raising eye-brow, stigmatization, gossip etc...
Stigmatization is when people are negatively evaluated because of a marker that
distinguishes them from others and that is labelled as socially unacceptable.
Formal Punishment takes place when judical system penalizes someone for breaking a law.
3 Dimensions of Deviance and Crime:
Severity of the social response (homicide vs wearing a nose ring)
Perceived harmfulness of the deviant or criminal act (sexual assualts vs coke)
Degree of public agreement (murder vs smoking weed)
4 Types of Deviance and Crime:
Social Diversions are minor acts of deviance that are generally perceived as relatively
harmless and that evoke, at most, a mild societal reaction, such as amusement or disdain.
Social Deviations are non criminal departures from norms that are nonetheless subject to
official control. Some members of the public regard them as somewhat harmful while other
members of the public do not.

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SOCA02 Textbook NotesChapters 7,14,16,22 2
Conflict Crimes are illegal acts that many people consider harmful to society. However,
other people think they are not very harmful. They are punishable by the states. (having long
beared in Russia in the late 17th century can be viewed as a crime LOL)
Consensus Crimes are illegal acts that nearly all people agree are bad in themselves and
harm society greatly. The state inflicts severe punishment for consensus crimes.
Power and the Social Construction of Crime and Deviance
Social constructionism argues that apparently natural or innate features of life are often
sustained by social processes that vary historically and culturally. It emphasizes how some
people are in a position to create norms and pass laws that define others as deviant or
Crimes against Women
The law has been biased against women because women are generally less powerful than
men in all social institutions. Thus they rarely have a say in making laws.
Up until recently, date rape was rarely considered a sexual assault, but now it's alot better
because women's position in society has improved over the past 4 decades.
White-Collar Crime
White-Collar Crime refers to illegal acts commited by a respectable, high-status person in
the course of his or her work.
Include false advertising, tax evasion, fraud, unfair labor practices, copyright
infringement etc... They hurt employers and employees or public while bringing benefit
to corporations or corporate insiders.
Street Crimes include arson, break and enter, assault, and other illegal acts
disproportionately commited by people from lower class.
White-collar crimes are underdetected, underprosecuted, and underconvicted because it is
the crime of the powerful and well-to-do. The social construction of crimes against women
has changed over the past 4 decades partly because women have become more powerful. In
contrast, the social construction of white-colloar crime has changed very little since 1970
because upper classes are no less powerful now than they were then.
Crime Rates
Information on crime collected by the police is the main source of information on crime in
Canada. (Uniform Crime Reporting <UCR> Survey developed by Stats Canada and the

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SOCA02 Textbook NotesChapters 7,14,16,22 3
Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police)
Drawbacks on Relying on Official Crime Statistics
Much crime is not reported to the police -> Victimless Crimes such as illegal gambling, the
use of illegal drugs, and communicating for the purposes of prostitution.
Many common or "level 1" assualts go unreported -> Rape victims are afraid to be
humiliated, or stigmatized.
Authorities decide which criminal acts to report and which to ignore.
Self-Report Surveys are very useful, respondents are asked to report their involvement in
criminal activities, either as perpetrators or as victims.
Generate around the same rate of serious crimes but TWO or THREE times more "level
1" or common crimes.
Shows that a majority of Canadians, young and ld, have engaged in some type of
"criminal" activity. Thus, committing an act in violation does not always result in being
labelled a criminal.
To be officially labelled as a criminal, an individual's must first be observed and felt to
justify action, then police warrants for further investigation, file a report, and make an arrest.
Then trial, and the person must plead guilty.
Only 11% incidents are charged, and 5% convicted and 2% sentenced to custody.
Victimization Surveys, people are asked whether they have been victims of crime.
55% victimzation incidents are reported to police, with property crime more likely to be
reported tan crimes against persons.
Provide less reliable data about offenders
What Official Crime Rates Show
2006 -> 43% criminal code incidents involved property time
12% violent crime
45% other criminal offences including mischief and disturbing the peace.
Only Violent crime are the most newsworthy
American Crime rates are 3 times higher than Canadian crime rates.
Robbery, sexual assualt, drug arrests, and property crime are falling in Canada.
Explanations for Declining Crime Rates
"War against crime" is increasingly being fought by large numbers of well-trained soldiers.
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