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2012-03-20 16:41:19
criminal theory

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  1. Labeling theory: society is labeling you.

    Becker- social production of deviation
    • A. becker
    • 1. make rules (laws)- ex. mothers against drunk driving, we have been told by the government that certain things are illegal

    2. apply rules- when particular people do not follow the rules they will be labeld outsiders

    3. labeled "outsiders" - outcast, these people will change overtime, they will be perceived as a threats but does not mean that they are. the underlying motive is who we are targeting

    B. moral entrepreneuers- lead campaigns to outlaw certain behaviors by making behavior criminal

    C. focus- ppl will be focused on these criminals and not the main stream. ex drugs , marijuana
  2. symbolic interactionism
    1. not reacting- when we are reacting with other people we dont react to what they do

    2. interpret- interpret their actions- what exactly does that mean? someone does somthing and you interpret it your own way

    3. meaning- now we are going to attach some meaning to it.

    4. self- how the self is created is through these interactions from other people. and the public might scare or shame some offenders into conformity
  3. Lemert- labeling theory
    - primary and secondary deviance
    • primary- violation of a norm (rule breaking) and caused by original causes. ex. i did the crime for whatever reason but it is breaking the rule
    • 1. original causes- biological, social, etc
    • 2. non-deviant- the person may not see themselves as a deviant but "if you get caught" society reacts to it. and if you stop then you stop but if you continue your deviant ways , you are labeled. they try to rationalize the behavior and sees it as a socially accepted role

    • secondary deviance (the continue of acts)- as a result to primary deviance, if you got arrested then you got a label attached to you
    • 1. defense
    • 2. attack mode, lashing out
    • 3. adaptation-adapt to the problems caused by the label. ex. when you get out of prison is it going to be easy to find a job?
  4. Becker- labeling theory
    occasional deviance and steps
    occasional deviance - there are people who occasionally break the law who do not get caught. not on a regular basis

    • steps-
    • 1. caught/ labeled a deviant
    • 2.--> "master status" - the main aspects of the persons criminality is labeled. master of deviance
    • 3. cut off- cut off from participation in conventional groups and activities. ex. when felons get out of jail they are labeled master status so its harder for them to look for jobs. it is not what you are doing but what society is reacting to
    • 4. reinforcement- if you are getting cut off you are going to start to increase invovlement with others with the same status. this is confirm your indenity as a master status. sometimes it is not automatic because sometimes you can have a good support system from family and friends.
  5. research implications on labeling theory


    • A. reaction--> more criminality? very little support
    • B. offenders background? being a lower class you do see them as getting labeled but it is not the main thing. main thing is how serious the crime is
    • C. imprisonment? job stability does decrease if you have been in jail, and it increases the probability of you committing crimes. employment issues.

    Decriminalization-if you decriminalize certain laws, the labeling of criminalization will decrease. ex. speeding not a big of a deal as killing

    diversion- get more people out of the jail system particularly juveniles. ex if you successfully pass a rehab class you get the conviction off
  6. conflict theory- assumptions
    • 1. laws are not based on consensus
    • 2. laws come about by conflict by common groups within one another
    • 3. the laws represent power, someone is always going to be powerful and that is going to represent them

    * because some people do not agree with the laws they commit crimes.
  7. Conflict theory- William bonger's economic conflict
    • A. william bonger
    • 1.capitalism- live in a capitalist society, making money for yourself, individualism

    B. egoism- selfish thendency that we get. private ownership encourages greed and selfishness. you will do what you need to get what you want and if that means comitting crimes then you will commit them

    C. threat to power- any threat to power will define morality. money=power. threat= morality . if someone is threating your power then you will make laws to punish them

    • D. rulling class- are those with power but why do people with power commit crimes?
    • 1. opportunity- they have the time and power to do it

    • E. Working class- commit crimes as well
    • 1. survival- out of necessity, need a loaf of bread
    • 2. exploittation- being exploited by the ruling class. exploited meaning people in power are using us. we support the labor to maintain their power and it is demoralizing
  8. Conflict theory- Horsten Sellin's cultural conflict
    • A. Sellin
    • 1. diversity- as diversity increases in society= more conflict
    • B. conduct vs. crime norms - crime norms are going to be the laws that are inappropriate . (bad) what is considered to be bad? different beliefs and ideas, based on whatever culture you find yourself in.
    • C. Primary conflict- two cultures clashing,they may come in to the fact that they are iqnorant with the laws or may be that they are going to bring their culture standards with them to america
    • D. secondary conflict- occurs within one culture.culture is evolving and changing. ex. clothes
    • E. Dominant group norms- comming out on top.there are norms are always set up. ex germanys norms are different here in america.
  9. Feminis theory- main issues
    • A. main issues
    • 1. generalizability-do they apply to females and does it generalize to both geneders?
    • 2. gender ratio- who is more likely to comit crime overall? men, men commit more crime than female but why do women commit less crimes?
  10. B. historically-
    • 1. cesare lombroso- said that females had the same criminal characteristics but they have two main characteristics that men didnt have
    • a. deceitful
    • b. spiteful
    • 2. otto pollak- females participate in crime more than we know but it just does not get reported. men wont report it because they will be too embarrased.
  11. Feminist theory- Liberal feminism

    economic marginalization
    1. Masculinity thesis- arguing that as women get more equality overall in life. equality will also spill out in criminality and will increase in crime as men. women will be treated more like men in the system

    2. opportunity- if women go more into the workforce, women will have more opportunities to commit crime

    3. economic marginalization- if women get more equality, men wont be there to help women and as a result women will end up committing crimes. the expectation of a man taking care of a women will be taken away and end up being in poverty so they will commit crimes.

    support? no
  12. Feminist theory-
    radical feminism- 1. patricarchy, explaining criminality
    patriarchy- male domimance in over social system, legal, economic, political systems

    • explaining criminality:
    • 1. formal control- the legal in criminal justice responses to those responses becuse they are controlled by males and it will only benefit males and allow males to dominate
    • 2. females- why females commit crime, because of their oppression, and acting out of their powerlessness
    • 3. males- why do males commit crime? to keep control and taking advantage of women. ex domestic violence and sexual assult crimes

    support?- patriarchy? cant measure it

    sentencing- males get treated harsher
  13. Biological and biosocial theory:
    evolutionary theories
    • Evolutionary theories
    • 1. reproduction theories- crime is a result of ensuring reproduction
    • a. cheater- use of alternative strategies to make sure you mate
    • 1a. female v. male- females have lower reproductive rates and will be out of commission to have babies. and when women have lower reproductive rates they become choosey

    2a. dad v. cad- dads are the males that will comply with females. the cad will pretend to be a dad and pretend to be stable or trick or force the female to have sex with them, then move on to someone else

    3a. genetic v. environment- genetic predetermined in our genes. something that is learned. men can learn to be cads from cads around them

    4a. criminality- being decptive and manipulative will be traits. helps you to be criminals as well, the traits as a cad will be great for criminality
  14. Biological theories- continual adaptation theory
    • alternative adaptation- idea that we inherit greater tendencies for antisocial behavior. we are genetically inclined to antisocial behavior
    • 1. mating v. parenting- males tend to emphasis on mating or parenting. if they focus only on mating then they will have multiple partners and lie and cheat. but if they emphasize on parenting it will be only on being a parent.
    • 2. criminality- being deceitful in relations to males focusing only on mating and having different partners. ex. thrill seekers, deceitful, hedonism
  15. Biosocial theories- nervious system

    nervious system- something biological about you that is predisposed. individual has a nervous system that is less sensitive to the environmental stimuli and it may make them slow or impossible to learn prosocial behavior. slowing down the growth may not be learning to control the antisocial behavior. ex parents teach their child prosocial behavior but their child is slow to learn it

    1. fear theory- less responsive to feelings of fear. if system is less responsive to the nervous system, they dont develop appropriate levels of fear than you will engage in antisocial behavior. because of the fear of what will happen if you commit a crime and you may not be afriad of what can happen to you

    2. stimulation theory- looking for trouble to get some stimulation. you look for trouble to get that stimulation because the nervious system is not letting them have it

    • research: evolutionary theories? no
    • biosocial theory- yes/no genes may not be a nec. factor but environmental is

    biochemical theories- hormones? hostile and higher aggression will most likely to be invovled with crime. pregnant women are more likely to have male babies with antisocial behavior disorder

    *ultimately: really hard to separate the effects of biologically and social factors, associations that we make are not causations, prevention and treatent;things like diet we can controll these things.
  16. routine activity theory-marcus felson and lawrence cohen
    • A. marcus felson and lawrence cohen
    • B. opportunity theory- having the opportunity to commit crime
    • 1. just because you have the desire does not mean you will do it
    • 2. opportunity- if we had the desire but not the oppor. we are not going to do it
  17. routine activities
    • A. ordinary behaviors- allows for the opportunity to commit crime, we create these opportunities
    • B. since WW2, massive changes that created more opportunities for ppl to commit crime
    • 1. women- women entering workplace
    • 2. mobility- we travel alot more and carrie expensive things with us. ex freeways
    • 3. affluence- greateer, we have greater stuff, more possessions
  18. routine activities- converging in time and space and crime triangle
    • 1. motivated offenders- somone that wants to commit crime
    • 2. suitable target- someone has to have that item that you want to steal
    • 3. lack of capable guardian- they may want your car but are there people around to see you take the car? if you have bars on the side of your house can act as a guardian
    • *the thing is that the person is motivated to do it.

    • crime triangle
    • 1 2
    • 3
    • if you want to stop crime, knock out one side of the triangle. you need to have all three sides for crime to happen.
  19. rational choice theorie:
    how rational is rational

    • A. often- talking about decision making
    • 1. limited info- to make our decisions, cant usually thing out everything
    • 2. pressure- make the decision based on pressure, prevent us to see all the limited info. immediate risk rather than longterm. thinking about the now rather then later, as opposed to lets try to not get caught
    • B. needs vs. consequences- weighing what we want v. consequences of our actions.

    • research:
    • A. bounded rationality: we do weigh things but bounded (contrained)
    • choices- only process a limited number of choices, we can see all the possibilites
    • 2. actions--> goals. when we get to the choice of our actions to meet our goals, we choose what we may thing is the right choice
    • 3.we stop processing choices, we stop looking for opportunites, *tend to stop at our first choice
  20. routine activity and Rational choice theory:
    situational crime prevention
    • 1. increase the risk- of getting caught
    • example, extend guardianship like neighborhood watch, natural surveillance, make it easier for ppl to see what is going on, trees, formal surveillance, add cameras

    2. reduce rewards- conceal targets, engrave your property, deny benefits such as speed bumps, pin numbers, ink tags that explode

    3. increase effort- target harding such as locks, alarms, security hardware, control access such as buzzing people in secure buildings, deflect offenders such as diverting them away like closing certain roads and control tools such as caller id's
  21. Life- course theories: strain control paradigm
    • A. integrated theory- taking pieces of theories and putting it together
    • B. social control: strain and social learning:
    • 1.integration- extent that people are involved in and attached to social networks. and peers
    • 2.commitment- internal side, attachment to social norms, but that attachment is theties to others who buy into the rules as well as how well we internalized thenorms.

    • C. two pathways-juveniles, one or the other
    • 1.weak bonds- the integration and commitment are not happening, which allowsyou to hang out with delinquent peers.
    • 2.strain- failure to achieve a positive goal. something that you wanted and didn't getit so you started to hangout with delinquent peers

    D. social learning-exposure to delinquent peers, and with exposure you learn (sociallearning). because the two pathways, it lead you to exposure to delinquent peers.
  22. Social interactional model
    A. Early-onset delinquency - delinquency that starts in an early stage. **learning ofantisocial behaviors.

    1.action-reaction- between the child and environment. when an action is taking bythe child and receives a negative response, the child will react to the negativityand cause more negative negativity which will learn antisocial behavior. whichwill lead to criminality

    • 2.dysfunctional family-
    • a. discipline- either be too severe or not enough and inconsistent. why?
    • 1.the parents were victims of poor parenting and the parents were antisocial.
    • 2.the harsher physical discipline and the disadvantages that are associated with it.all the things that will inhibit a persons grow such as emotions3.something major happens (stressed) and who was once an effective parent are nolonger one
    • .
    • 3. coercion- outcome and what do you learn from this negative reaction. negativesequences
    • 1.not rewarded or reinforced for positive behaviors.
    • 2.and if they are engaging in coercive behavior they are not being punished for itand if hey are being punished they are being punished too harshly or not enough
    • 3.reinforcement, parents reinforce the coerciveness. ex. a kid that throws a fit tobuy them something to get what they want.
    • 4. outcomes. - when this behavior is picked up it starts moving outside of the family.negative response from their peers. when peers start to reject them, they will move onto the delinquent peers who are just like them and engage in antisocial behavior

    • .B. late-onset delinquency- occur with kids who did not grow up in a dysfunctional family
    • 1.marginality hypothesis- idea that these are children who are living marginally(kind of) disadvantage lives. somewhat effective parenting. marginal (borderline)social skills.
    • 2.supervision-the kids were already marginally and something happens that disruptsparenting to the kids. ex divorce.
    • 3.outcome- when parents aren't watching the kids the kids will engage in delinquentbehavior and be with delinquent peers. long time offending.

    research!!- the quality of parenting does predict whether or not kids engage in coercive behaviors- coercive behavior also predicts association with deviant peers, also predictsinvolvement to the criminal justice system
  23. Theory of redemption scripts

    A. maruna (2001)

    B. scripts- how the offender talks about their criminality how they explain it andunderstand it

    • C. persisters--> condemnationspersisters will proceed in criminality. and they have condemnation scripts
    • 1. being tired of doing crime and the life that they are leading. being in prison BUT theywould say they are condemned to a life in crime. (its beyond my control and i cant helpit such as lack of opportunities or not having a good education, being poor, beingaddicted to drugs or alcohol.)

    • D. desisters---> redemptions
    • 1. they were overly optimistic and distorted. when they talked about the hardships thatthey faced. (it wasn't that bad) BUT the past can be over come- criminality can beovercome.(i can over come this) they have a more positive outlook.

    research!!!redemption scripts can impact recidivism. part of the script that the person has to beforward looking into the future. they need to look ahead and see what they canaccomplish.