SOC102H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Social Disorganization Theory, Anomie
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SP7: Crime and Violence
Victimization and fear of crime can be traumatic and reduces trust for social institutions, reduces social
cohesion too. Crime will increase as social inequality increases.
Clear: prisons teach crime and harden criminals
‘crime control theater’; when it comes to crimes involving children.
AMBER alerts are an ‘imaginary’ solution to the crimes, cant possibly achieve success it wants.
Defining Crime, Laws and Social Order
The enforcement and harsh punishment indicate how seriously society takes certain criminal behaviour.
Social order, crime, laws.
Crime in Canada and Elsewhere
Criminal justice operates like a funnel (figure 7.1), (many incidents, some reported, fewer sentenced)
This makes it hard to understand what criminal statistic changes mean.
Self reporting may probably be the best index, victimization surveys.
Both crime severity and crime rate have dropped 20, 40% respectively.
Crimes of violence
Conventional crimes (the ones that are often reported; homicide, sex assaults, though only 12%)
Murder (w/ intent), manslaughter (w/o intent)
Non violent crimes
Includes vice crimes, provides greatest opportunity of organized crime
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White collar crime, person of high social status and occupation; less attention by government though
affect more ppl than street crime.
William Whyte’s Street Corner Society: crime in poor neighbourhood is highly organized. Original point
of view of sociologists was that crime in poor n’hood resulted from social disorganization.
Needed for organized crime: (1) scarcity/inequality, (2) poverty/prejudice-> no jobs, (3) provides
protection, (4)among ppl lacking human/cultural capital.
The demographic of Crime
Men more crime-prone than women in every aspects; except intimate partner murder (equally likely) and
prostitution. Other aspects; men more likely by 10X, 35X, 50X, etc (read page)
(1)Hormonal theory; testosterone make men more likely
(2)Differential socialization; male subculture teaches men to use violence/force to solve problems.
Men more likely victims, but in domestic abuse and sex-crimes. Canada in a dilemma: grant
religious/cultural freedom (patriarchal) to its citizens but also safeguard the wellbeing of the most
vulnerable (children, women).
Women more likely victims of sexual assault/rape; some say cuz of marketing/commercialization of
female body as object of male consumption.
Two hypothesis of what will happen:
‘ameliorative hypothesis’: in long run, gender equality will decrease sexual assaults
‘backlash hypothesis’: in short run, gender equality increases likelihood of sexual assaults
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