All Textbook Notes for 48-260

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University of Windsor
Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology

Textbook Notes Chapter 1  Different crimes have different ways of committing and different punishment and has different ways of criminal behaviour  Definition of Criminology (by Edwin Sutherland and Donald Cressey): o The body of knowledge regarding crime as a social phenomenon o Includes processes of making laws, breaking laws, and reacting to the breaking of laws o Objective is the development of a body of general and verified principles and of other types of knowledge regarding this process of law, crime, and treatment Why we study crime?  To learn more about our social lives, including criminal behaviour and society's response to the behaviour  Before understanding how to "cure" and reduce crime, we need to understand crime  We are related to crime directly or indirectly 6 Areas in the Discipline of Criminology  Definition of crime and criminals  what kinds of acts are defined as crimes and who are considered as criminals?  Origins and role of the law  Social distribution of crime  characteristics of people who commit, trends in occurrence of crime over time, different rates and types of crime between places  Causation of crime  why people commit crimes while others are law-abiding  Patterns of criminal behaviour  who are the offenders and who are the victims Societal reactions to crime  Canadian Criminal Justice System  The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) enforces some federal laws for all provinces and territories  Also acts as a provincial police force except Ontario, Quebec, and parts of Newfoundland and Labrador (which have their own provincial police forces)  RCMP also acts as a municipal police force in some small communities  The courts come under both federal and provincial jurisdiction Provinces are responsible for appointing judges and administering the "lower" courts  dealing with most criminal cases  Higher-level courts that try serious criminal cases are responsible by the federal government and the provincial appeal courts  Appeal courts don’t try cases but hear appeals of cases decided by other courts  Top of the hierarchy of courts is the Supreme Court of Canada  Offenders with sentences less than two years  provincial government  Offenders with sentences of two years or more  federal institution Regulation of Behaviour (Rules and Laws)  We follow most rules without thinking because norms (established rules of behaviour or standards of conduct) are internalized  Different culture has different informal rules  Following the rules enhances our sense of belonging  Law exists when order can no longer be maintained through informal rules What is Crime?  Legal definition of crime  an act that violates the criminal law and is punishable with jail terms, fines, and other sanctions  Although some argues a sociological definition of crime provides a broader range of harmful behaviour  Sutherland argued that focusing only on violations of the criminal law gave a misleading picture of crime (that crime is a lower-class phenomenon)  White-collar crime  crimes committed by middle- and upper-class people in their business activities Sutherland suggested that the legal definition of crime should be expanded to encompass  the violation of other types of laws Human Rights  By Herman and Julia Schwendinger  human rights are minimum conditions required for a person to live a dignified life  Rights: o The right to life, liberty, and security of the person o The right to be free of torture and other forms of cruel and degrading punishment o The right to equality before the law o The right to basic necessities of life  If an action violates the basic rights of humans to obtain the necessities of life and to be treated with respect and dignity, it should be considered as a crime Crime and Deviance  John Hagan suggests that crime is  not only violations of the criminal law, but also "a range of behaviours that are treated as crimes" o Those behaviours vary across time and place in their location in and outside of the boundaries of criminal law  He proposed a continuum ranging from least serious to most serious acts: o The degree of consensus that an act is wrong (ex. mass murder) o The severity of the society's response to the act (ex. life imprisonment or death penalty upon murder) o The assessment of the degree of harm of the act (ex. drug use and illegal gambling as "victimless" crimes that harm only the offender)  4 types of crime and deviance (Hagan's approach) o Consensus crimes, conflict crimes, social deviations, and social diversions Crime as Socially Defined  Must understand the social context of the act before determining whether it is deviant and how it should be classified  Murder is socially defined  soldiers are heroes if killing enemies, police officers may kill under some circumstances  Deviance can be defined as behaviour that violates the rules, whatever those rules may be  Problem: who sets the rules, rules can change Who make the rules?  Consensus theory  law represents the consensus of the people (the codification of the values shared by most members in the society)  Class conflict theory  laws are passed by members of the ruling class to maintain their privileged position by keeping the common people under control Green Criminology  Green criminologists believe criminology is not just study actions that violate criminal law, but also actions that are socially harmful  They focus more on environmental issues than on animal rights  Environmental focus of green criminology is the study of environmental damage (ex. air and water pollution, harm to natural ecosystems such as oceans and forests) Terrorism and Criminology  Terrorism  constitutes the illegitimate use of force to achieve a political objective by targeting innocent people:  Terrorism is a socially constructed term (difficult to define)  Terrorism is often referred to as acts committed against a government; while it can be as actions committed by a government against its own people  Many governments have violated the rights of their citizens in the name of war on terror Chapter 2  The general role of dispute settlement processes is to restore order and harmony between parties  A crime is a violation of a law, but not all societies have formulated laws  The formulation of law requires the existence of a central body o Ex. a state (defined by Max Weber) that develops and enforces law  Civil law tries to repair the damage between the offender and the victim  Criminal comes into play when that state declares itself to be the injured party (thus, the damage is between the offender and the state) Patterns of Human Social Organization  Lenski emphasized the mode of production used by societies mode of production  the dominant form of social and technical organization of economic  production o Some include: hunting and gathering societies and industrial societies  Small-scale society (hunting and gathering groups) o Ideal types  theoretical construct abstracted from experience and brings observed characteristics of real social relationships o Collective solidarity  a state of social bonding or interdependency that rests on similarity of beliefs and values to achieve cooperation o Diffuseness of roles  the absence of division of labour forced individuals to fulfill multiple roles o The need for self-restraint because of mutual interdependence  Lack of surplus made necessary to share foods and resources  Without authorities, community pressure forces the parties to settle dispute on their own asap Transformation from Small-Scale Society to the State  The concept of private property slowly created social power and fortunate members were able to generate a surplus (enabled them to rely less on community for survival) New modes of production made possible for powerful people to extract surplus value from  those who turned to them to make a living  Using others to generate their personal wealth accelerated social inequality Transformation in the Forms of Dispute Settlement  Elders' Councils, chieftainships, and paramount chieftainships Restorative Justice to Original Forms of Dispute Settlement  There are arguments that the current justice system is returning to a system that is intended to restore social relationships rather than to punish  In small-scale societies, victim usually has an established bond with the offender, whereas in modern communities, no such bond exists between them o They are often strangers to each other until the offense creates a connection between them  The goal of restorative approach, therefore, is not re-establish a nonexistent earlier bond, but to transform the negative ties into positive Chapter 8  Important link between evil spirits and wrongdoing in religions: temptation and possession o Temptation  people exercise free will and choose to enact wrongdoing o Possession  refers to wrongdoers whom are possessed by the Devil  Blaming social problems on evil spirits  By linking morality to rebellion, authorities keep themselves in power and preventing anyone from challenging the status quo  Ex. the history of witch-hunt  Classical School  Statistical School o Andre-Michel Guerry, Adolphe Quetelet, and Henry Mayhew o Believe that crime like other human behaviour was the result of natural causes o These causes can be altered through the application of scientifically derived knowledge o Relied on objective empirical data; saw behaviour as a product of factors  Positive School (Lombroso) o Crime is a defect; thus criminals have a genetic defect o Lombroso did autopsy on criminals o Concluded that criminals are atavistic  an early form of men o Relied on Darwin's theory of evolution o Problems with this theory 1. It assumes that everyone is symmetrical 2. Only performed autopsy on known criminals (where is control group? Non- criminals?)  only people who are caught are criminals Biological Theories in the Early 20th Century  Goring compared 37 physical and 6 mental traits in 3000 English convicts with "normal" people  Found no evidence of a distinct physical type of criminal  Most important finding: high correlation between criminality and low intelligence  Goring's work was a major advance over Lombroso  Criticism: still was comparing officially labelled criminals  Hooton compared 13000 criminals with many non-criminals, found that crime can be effected only by those who are physically, mentally, and morally unfit" His control groups drawn from Boston and Nashville were greater than between prisoners  and controls  thus his work was discredited  Goddard used Binet-Simon intelligence test and concluded that IQ was an important
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