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Unformatted text preview: Reading #1: Seven Approaches to the Definition of Crime and Deviance I. The Legal-Consensus Approach Paul Tappan: insisted that we should limit our study to criminality as its legally constructed. Basically suggesting that criminal law provides a reliable guide to what is consensually defined as criminal in any given society. Downside: Ignores much of what many criminologists today wish to study; neglects the basic issue of why some acts are legislated as criminal, while others remain only informally the subject of disrepute. II. Socio-Legal Approach Edwin Sutherland: suggested a relaxation of legal criteria so as to allow an expansion of attention to various anti-social behaviors Downside: reluctance to widen scope of attention beyond statutory matters leaves definition open to two earlier criticisms of the legalistic approach. III. Cross Cultural Approach Thorsten Sellin: definition extends beyond realm of law Every group of people have standard norms of behavior conduct norms and these standards arent necessarily embodied in law Downside: Didnt specify what universal conduct norms might be IV. A Statistical Approach Wilkins: defines all forms of behavior that we now call criminal as desirable for functioning of that form of society Weakness lies in simplicity V. Labeling Approach Howard Becker: behaviors arent recognized as deviant or criminal, unless others, as members of cultural groups react to them as such. VI. Human Rights Approach Herman & Julia Schwendinger: begin with assumption that all persons must be guaranteed the fundamental prerequisites for well being and regard these as rights (not privileges) that the criminal law should guarantee and protect. Downside: confuses presumed causes of criminal behavior with the behaviors were trying to study. VII. Utopian-Anarchists Approach Ian Taylor, Paul Walton, & Jock Young: deviance represents a normal and purposeful attempt to correct or protest social injustice. Approach both useful and utopian. VIII. Defining Crime & Deviance As A Continuous Variable Basic definition: crime is kind of deviance, which in turn consists of variation form of social norm, that is proscribed by criminal law. Normal People Words: Many varieties of crime and deviance which can be divided and subdivided into several categories, and these categories in turn can be conceived theoretically as ranging from those considered least to most serious in any given society. Reading #2: Crime as Social Control To the degree that it defines or responds to the conduct of someone elsethe victimas deviant, crime is social control....
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This note was uploaded on 03/30/2008 for the course SOCI 304 taught by Professor Foster during the Spring '08 term at Texas A&M.
- Spring '08
- The Land