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Chapter 21

Sociology 2266A/B Chapter Notes - Chapter 21: Social Skills, Larceny

Course Code
SOC 2266A/B
Paul- Philippe Pare

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The Drugs-Crime Connection among Stable Addicts
- Introduction:
- Examines the lifestyle/career patterns of heroin addicts and the issue of the
relationship between drugs and crime
- He also examines whether these drug addicted criminals are rational
- Participants said that there level of heroin consumption depended on their
ability to afford it usually funded through criminal activities
- Relationship between drugs/crime is much more broad than just causality->
Increased criminal income gives money for drugs and different routines
- Crime provides a structure to ones drug abilities in that dealing drugs
becomes like real employment
- Prostitutes run the risk of have sex with a freak or getting a disease, they
reported that heroin allowed them to do there job (didn’t feel anything)
- Drug use/criminal behavior are to interrelated elements of a broader street
subculture that cant be explained through causality
- Drugs and crime mutually reinforce eachother, while defining an important
role of ones position in society (crime gives them a sense of excitement)
- Criminal Specialization Among Stable Addicts:
- Technical Skills:
- Technical skills-> Requires knowledge of how to perform the task as well as
physical adeptness to pull it off
- E.G. Shoplifters sress the importanece of being able to roll clothing itmes
tightly with one hang with clothes still on the hanger (otherwise could get
- E.G. Prostitutes must understand when to take the guys wallet and return it
without being seen
- Social Skills:
- Social skills is an important asset to have for offenders, in order to
manipulate the offense smoothly without being caught
- A mastermind shoplifter has the ability to assume the role so that she is
taking the complete perspective of a customer, specifically an assertive
customer who commands the situation
- Check forgers-> Must convince a bank employee that signature on the check
is the name on it, and that the forget is the individual who deserves the
- Inuitive Skills:
- This is a ‘larceny sense’-> Ability to smell out good opportunities, the exact
moment to strike or when it is wiser to back off from a certain situation
- These skills provide the addict with the ability to a sense a profitable and
reasonably safe opportunity
- Addicts interviewed continually stressed the need to be able to sense
undercover police officers
- These skills distinguish stable addicts from beginner users, it takes time
within the street drug addict culture to gain such knowledge
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