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Unformatted text preview: Crime Theories Chapter 6 Crime and Criminal Justice Explaining Crime: Sociological Theories
s s s Structuralfunctional analysis: how society creates crime Symbolicinteraction analysis: socially constructing reality Socialconflict analysis: crime and inequality Crime Theories Structural Functional Theories Strain Theory (Merton) Opportunity Theory (Cloward & Ohlin) Control Theory (Hirchi) Symbolic Interaction Theories Differential Association theory (Sutherland) Labeling Theory (Becker) (Lemert) Social Conflict Theory Inequality Theory (Marx) StructuralFunctional Analysis: Crime is Useful
s s Emile Durkheim: the Functions of Crime Crime affirms a society's norms and values Recognizing crime helps everyone recognize the line between right and wrong Reacting to crime helps bring people together Crime encourages social change Durkheim explains that crime is normal for society StructuralFunctional Analysis: Crime is Useful
s Robert Merton: Strain theory Crime is a product of society itself He suggests that patterns of rule breaking depend on how society's goals affect different categories of people who do not all have the same opportunities to achieve those goals There are five outcomes of this situation conformity, innovation, ritualism, retreatism, and rebellion StructuralFunctional Analysis: Crime is Useful
s Cloward and Ohlin: Opportunity structure Becoming a criminal depends on the presence of illegitimate opportunity Patterns of conformity and criminality depend on people's relative opportunity structure StructuralFunctional Analysis: Crime is Useful
s s Travis Hirchi argues that social ties discourage crime He identifies four kinds of social ties that operate to control crime: attachment to other people commitment to conformity involvement in conventional activities a belief in the rightness of cultural norms and values SymbolicInteraction Analysis: Socially Constructing Reality
s s Focuses on how and why society defines some people who break the law as criminals while paying little attention to others This perspective what becomes a crime and who becomes a criminal is part of a process of social definition that changes from time to time and from place to place SymbolicInteraction Analysis: Differential Association
s s s Edward Sutherland Learning takes place in social groups Deviance depends on the extent of contact with those who discourage conventional behavior SymbolicInteraction Analysis: Labeling Crime
s Howard Becker: Labeling Theory Crime and all forms of rulebreaking result not so much from what people do, as from how others respond to those actions SymbolicInteraction Analysis: Labeling Crime
s Edwin Lemert: Primary and Secondary Deviance Explored how individuals can have their lives changed by the labels others apply to them Primary deviance (skipping school, underage drinking) may have only passing significance The reaction of others to primary deviance can provoke secondary deviance when the individual takes on a deviant identity s SymbolicInteraction Analysis: Labeling Crime
Erving Goffman: the Power of Stigma A stigma is a powerful negative social label that radically changes a person's selfconcept and social identity Once stigmatized, an individual may find that conventional friends disappear A criminal prosecution can be a powerful ritual that stigmatizes an individual SocialConflict Analysis: Crime and Inequality
s Karl Marx: Class and Crime Understood social problems in terms of class conflict Crime was seen as a product of social inequality Solution to the crime problem is to eliminate capitalism in favor of a more egalitarian system SocialConflict Analysis: Crime and Inequality
s s Feminist theory: Gender and Crime Socialist feminists believe that the solution to crime begins with eliminating capitalism All feminists agree that subordinating women to men forces them to look to crime as a means of coping with their exploitation and enabling themselves to make a living s Conservatives believe that people raised in strong, lawabiding families are unlikely to commit crime Most conservatives favor tougher laws, more aggressive policing, and harsher penalties as ways to combat the crime problem. They believe the key to controlling crime is parents teaching children to make the right choices in a world of pressures Politics and Crime: Constructing Problems and Defining Solutions Politics and Crime: Constructing Problems and Defining Solutions
s Liberals believe that many people live in situations that pressure them to break the law Crime is caused by a harmful environment, particularly living in poverty To liberals, jobs are the key to a drop in the crime rate Politics and Crime: Constructing Problems and Defining Solutions
s The radicals believes the real crime of society is tremendous economic inequality The radical solution begins with a restructuring of the economic and political system toward a more egalitarian social order that can make a real claim to justice ...
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This note was uploaded on 03/31/2008 for the course SOC 101 taught by Professor Butler during the Fall '08 term at Penn State.
- Fall '08