48-260 Chapter Notes - Chapter All: Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Criminal Law Of Canada, Edwin Sutherland

Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology
Course Code
SACR 2600

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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

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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
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
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

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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
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
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
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