Notes for Criminology

Notes for Criminology - Notes for Criminology...

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Notes for Criminology: http://courses.uark.edu/uaweb/ this is the email for this course and supplemental reading. Key terms: History? And why is it important? Biography? And why is it important? Millis believes that the social imagination combines the two above. Be able to tell what it means to apply the social imagination to the problem of crime and what are the implications of using this approach. The sociology of crime: the scientific study of…; study of society as a whole; group interaction; study of different cultures; social structures; how people interact w/ one another; objectivity (bias). Science means subject to empirical verification. The approaches to the proper object of social inquires are: social structures (class, race, gender), collective representations (shared ideas and concepts), meaningful social action (action and reaction). Crime: is one of society’s most significant social problems; everyone knows about it; lots of people are concerned about it; we spend a lot of money on it. The problem- public knowledge about crime is very distorted; most well-known, least understood social problem. Crime is a social phenomenon: individuals commit crime… but, the chances of any individual committing a crime are profoundly influenced by their social circumstance. Fundamental questions: Why do crime rates vary over time and across locations?
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Why do crime rates differ across social groups? Implications: If the social roots of crime are ignored, public policies aimed at controlling or reducing it will be misguided and, in fact, might exacerbate the problem! Criminal justice expenditures 1982-2004: in 1982 starts at $40 billion and rises to $200 billion by 2004. State prison populations 1982-2003: starts at 210 thousand in 1982 and goes to 630 thousand in 2003. The Sociological Imagination The Debunking motif: things are not always what they seem; Sociological study of crime often reveals inconvenient facts. What are your taken-for-granted assumptions about crime? How wedded to them are you? Do you have any questions about crime? Do you think you already know the answers? Feeling trapped? You should.; Mills says, “Nowadays men often feel that their private lives are a series of traps… They are often quite correct.” “What ordinary men are directly aware of and what they try to do are bounded by the private orbits in which they live .” Private Troubles vs. Public Issues The Problem: “What [people] need… is a quality of mind that will help them to use information and to develop reason in order to achieve lucid summations of what is going on in the world and of what may be happening within themselves.” The sociological imagination: enables the individual to contextualize their own
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life (“biography”), as well as that of others Grasp sense of history Understand social structure , its power, and its consequences Contemplate the interaction
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Notes for Criminology - Notes for Criminology...

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