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Department
Sociology
Course
Sociology 2266A/B
Professor
Paul- Philippe Pare
Semester
Fall

Description
Cromwell,Chapter18 Gangs have been around for decades Presently, it is estimated that there are over 700,000 gang members in 27,000 active gangs in the US Gangs are involved in a lot of criminal activity, including drug trafficking Impression management is the ways gangs serve to project and protect a tough gang reputation The study in chapter 18 considers how gangs promote violence and gun use Guns often help project their violent identities Gangs and violence Research suggests that gang members are more likely to engage in crime than non gang members There is a debate between whether gangs recruit violent members or if you become violent once you have entered the group There are three perspectives from this debate: 1. Selection perspective: argues that gang members are individuals who are delinquent and violent before joining the gang 2. Social facilitation perspective: argues that gang members are no different from non gang members until they enter the gang, therefore the gang acts as a normative function (socialized to violence) 3. Enhancement perspective: proposes that new gang members are recruited from a pool of individuals who show propensity to engage in crime and violence, but there level of violence intensifies once in the gang * Enhancement perspective is the most likely explanation Gang Socialization Gang socialization: the process of learning the appropriate values and norms of the gang culture to which one belongs Gang socialization suggests that group processes are highly important One way to attain a status is to develop a reputation for being violent One of the main reasons for joining a gang is for protection For many gang members, the gang is their primary group Gang violence is often a method of expressing masculinity Gang violence can often be attributed to a threat against one's status within a gang Altercasting is an aggressive act that gangs often use to justify their perception of other gangs as potentially threatening rivals and used to rationalize physical violence towards them It is the use of tactics to create identities and roles for others Socialization into the gang is bound up in issues of identity and self Identity is the perceived social location of the person Once a gang member joins a gang they largely see the gang as an important primary group hat is central to their lives and heavily influences their identity and personality The approval of gang peers is highly important When a gang members identity is challenged, violence is often the result A violent reputation commands respect and deters future assaults Initiation rights are an important aspect of identity formation These initiation rights demonstrate commitment to the gang and attest to an individuals desire to gain membership These types of acts help create a situated self: one persons self can be defined and shaped by particular situations The greater the commitment to a gang identity, the more frequently that person will perform in ways that enact that identity Gangs carry guns to protect themselves and their neighbourhoods Guns help protect a tough image Drive-by's occur in gangs because it helps gang member build an identity as having heart Symbols are important indicators of identity in gangs Examples: gang clothes, flashing gang signs etc. Findings Gang socialization, self and identity The self-perceptions and identity of subjects in the study appeared to change after they had gotten into the gang, which is consistent with social facilitation and enhancement perspectives Gang members before entering the gang had wanted to be in a gang so badly, they visualized how they wanted to be and made it real when they entered the gang This develops new values and different criteria of judgement Inmates that were interviewed in the study said that committing violent acts got easier and easier each time they had to do something in the gang Someone else who they interviewed could not believe they had killed someone and felt horrible remorse. He said he retired at a young age because he didn't fit the standard of the typical gang member who did not have a conscience Commitment to the gang Loyalty to the gang is extreme Subjects in the study were willing to risk their lives and to keep killing people for their gang Masculinity, reputation and respect Masculinity All members who were interviewed in the study spoke about masculinity Masculinity is used to communicate to others what the gang represents Everyone in the group is considered a man until they do something that hinders their masculinity Being a stand-up guy is important to be considered masculine An inmate in the study said he had a chance to snitch to get a shorter sentence but he didn't because he was a stand-up guy Toughness is related to masculinity Some study participants said that drive-bys were not tough because you hid behind something, but just going up to someone and shooting them demonstrated the value of toughness Some members use their fists but this can be bad in life threatening situations Reputation Guns are involved in the development of a reputation Gang affiliation enhances the reputation of the member Respect When rivals challenged their self-identity there was violence to regain respect An example from an inmate was when someone shot at them when they were with their kids, which is disrespect The gangs believe any disrespect was a threat to their masculinity Gangs and Guns Gun-using encounters are used for either protection or power Guns are necessary for protecting oneself because gang rival retaliation can occur spontaneously and for no reason at all Some inmates said that it didn't have to planned at all, it could happen at any moment and they could possibly need their guns Some people would need guns to protect themselves if they were selling drugs, had nice jewelry on etc. because they could be robbed at any time Conclusion Guns are used to protect oneself from harm Guns are also used to project a type of image and to gain respect Three reasons the findings are important: 1. It may be possible to target people at the beginning of the stages of entering into gangs due to the knowledge from the study that says over time people in gangs tend to become more violent 2. If gang members were were resocialized, then there may be a decrease in gang related violence When gang culture is changed, gun violence decreases (Boston Gun Project) 3. The elimination of guns may not be the best thing because gangs would probably just use a different type of weapon to gain reputation and respect Cromwell,Chapter19 Girls, Gangs and Crime Women occupy 10-38% of the gang members Methodology Interviewed and surveyed a mix of white/african american females between the ages of 12-17 Setting Either came from the Folks, Crips or Bloods Most girls said they were in gang with very few girls and majority of men Gender, gangs and violence Gangs as protection and risk Girls said a main feature of the gang is protection Even though they are girls, they are still expected to be criminal and fight if need be with their gang There is a risk of victimization even within the gang, especially during initiation Initiation is when the gang decides whether you have what it takes to be in the gang They run the risk of being physically punished if they break gang rules Gender and Status, Crime and Victimization All the girls except for one said that their leader in the gang was male because males are tougher and willing to be more violent Young women in gangs have fewer expectations on them than the men in the gang Most girls get respect and recognition if there is a powerful male in the group that is related to them in some way (either a friend, boyfriend, brother etc.) The girls said that most of the time men from rival groups would not be violent against them but instead send the girls from their own gang to retaliate Female to female confrontations were much less violent than mens Most girls tended not to be involved in serious gang crime Girls could get out of serious gang crime because violent crime is seen as masculine within gangs, so they let the men do it As a result, it is evident that women are less likely than men in gangs to be victimized Girls Devaluation and Victimization Drug sales and drive by shootings were off limits for girls Most of the time that the men won't let the women join in certain activities is due to their protection, but sometimes it can be devaluation (not as tough, or down with the gang) Girls said that they had to do something to show they were tough to be respected and not devalued Girls in gangs that aren't protected by a male (i.e., boyfriend or brother) had a risk of victimization if they did something wrong or could possibly be raped since they were considered sexually available A girl said that another girl in her gang was seen as weak because she was submissive to the men in her gang. The girls seen as weak could get slapped around by the men A girl could be admitted into the gang if she had sexual relations with a number of men in the gang-- called "sexed in" This increased the risk of mistreatment once in the gang These girls who were sexed in were seen as weak and not true members Cromwell,Chapter9 Study focuses on mens how violence towards women helps men to accomplish gender Findings Batterers' excuse, rationalize, justify and minimize their violence against female partners The men in the study said the were provoked or lost their control Gendered practice Men perpetuate the vast majority of violence against women and other men within society Latina and African American women receive more violence than European American women Women suffer more injuries than men do from domestic violence Women have also reportedly been violent towards men but they rarely have injuries Gendered depictions and Interpretations The men in the study said that their violence towards their partners was rational, but their partners violence (the women) was hysterical The men minimized their partners violence by laughing at it, finding it amusing more than painful Even when their partners were threatening with a weapon, they were still not afraid of what would happen The men describe their partners acts as irrational Gendering blame Men in the study blamed their partners for their violence They blamed their behaviours and personalities, such as; parenting styles, interaction styles and choices The most critical criticism was that their partners were controlling, which made them feel emasculated Sexual violence is often blamed on women who are perceived as tempting men who are powerless These findings suggest that violence is a performance of masculinity and a means by which respondents encouraged the performance of femininity by female partners Claiming gender bias Men in the study believed that due to politics and the media (especially surrounding the O.J Simpson case) that women are always the victim, so they pay the price even if the woman played a part in the altercation as well They feel the system "overreacts" to situations of women being battered However, there was 12% of respondents who said that the police wanted to arrest their partner along with or instead of them upon arrival, and most of these men took the fall for their partner Some men movements are now saying they feel like victims of feminization because there are so many laws against men Example: men rarely get to see their children in a separation or divorce situation This study suggests that violence is an effective means by which batterers reconstruct men as masculine and women as feminine Cromwell,Chapter10 Target selection Street robbery is characterized by spontaneous acts Offenders typically do not spend much time planning, or if they do it will only be a few minutes Target selection occurs when there is an opportunity Opportunities are influenced by need Alert opportunism: describes offenders who ace needs that are present but not necessarily pressing Motivated opportunism: characterized by needs that are, or soon will be, acute They tolerate more risk Serendipity Serendipity: finding something valuable while looking for something unrelated Serendipity promises success from setbacks but only for those wise enough to recognize that in setbacks are opportunities It is possible to develop serendipity if you have the right mind-set -- to be able to turn a failure into something positive Luck and serendipity are not the same thing, however they are related Luck implies fatalism, and sometimes people are more lucky than others. This could simply be because these lucky people notice when a good opportunity arises and take it Lucky people tend to be optimists, so even when they fail at something they can turn a positive spin on it When an offender experiences serendipity they can turn a negative situation into something positive and make things happen When it comes down to it, if an opportunity arises they need to make a decision quickly Pure serendipity Serendipity plays a role in this case when an opportunity to rob someone happens to fall right in front of you while doing normal daily activities Example: man driving to his girlfriends was stopped by a drug dealer trying to sell drugs, so instead of paying he drew his gun and stole them because the opportunity arose. He was not planning on buying drugs at all that day, but it just happened because the drug dealer came to him Larceny sense: the idea that discoveries are constantly around us but they only take root in the minds of those who are prepared to receive them Car-jacking is serendipity because a car is there one minute but gone the next, so when the opportunity arises they take it. The car also doubles as an escape mechanism Manufacturing serendipity This is a process of manipulating factors to produce a favourable outcome They draw from experiential knowledge (Example: what areas and at what times are most favourable to produce the desired outcome) This is different from pure serendipity because pure serendipity means that something good happens when not expecting it, however manufactured serendipity is when an offender uses preparation in discovering an opportunity Discussion Manufactured serendipity supports the idea that some offenders do plan to commit a crime, and it is not as spontaneous as one would think Decision frames: approach that explores how offenders discern among various conduct options based on the discrete outcome probabilities of each Editing/evaluation: offenders code, combine, segregate, cancel, simplify and detect dominance in relation to some anticipated action Noncompensatory strategizing: most cl
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