February 27 Notes

February 27 Notes - February 27, 2008 *No mini assignments...

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February 27, 2008 ***No mini assignments until April 7 Strain (continued) Strain Theory General Strain Theory (Agnew) o Strain is more than just blocked opportunity; also the cumulative effect of the removal of good things, addition of bad things in your life Ex. Breaking Bad TV Show – finds out he has cancer and decides to cook meth to set his family up before he dies Commitment to doing the right thing and following the law decreases when s many bad things have happened to you or not having good things happen to you (weakens social norms and can turn to crime) Ex. Someone who gets divorced and their spouse gets full custody and they decide to move across the country, their commitment is much diminished and they decide to kidnap the kids or not pay child support o Reaction to strain depends on other factors (ex: good coping skills, afraid of being punished to decrease the chances of crime in response to strain; ex: prior criminal experience, low self-control, tendency to blame others for problems increase the chances of responding to strain by committing crimes) Institutional Anomie (Messner and Rosenfield) o Why does the Us have so much more crime than other countries? o Our social institutions are out of balance (weakens social norms); systemic strain o Economy has too much influence compared to education, family, etc. (materialism, individualism, wealth, competition—values transferred into other social institutions and don’t serve them like they do the economy and leads to the weakening of social values that do reduce crime—social networks, etc.) o Currie: it’s our form of market economy, specifically, that’s the problem (by creating an inequality) A Couple Other Related Ideas o Relative deprivation: the economic and social gap between rich and poor who live in close proximity to each other; argues that we have more crime than other countries due to the inequalities in our culture (poor people in America know what they’re missing due to the media, etc.); other countries don’t “feel” as poor because they can see how rich people live their lives (observed differences of what we don’t have—weakens social norms more that countries where poor are more isolated) o Distributive Justice: an individual’s perception of his or her rightful place
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This note was uploaded on 04/28/2008 for the course SOC 441 taught by Professor Professor during the Spring '06 term at Wisconsin.

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February 27 Notes - February 27, 2008 *No mini assignments...

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