SOC 353_Midterm_Sternheimer

SOC 353_Midterm_Sternheimer - Servin 1 Martha Servin Dr. K....

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Servin 1 Martha Servin Dr. K. Sternheimer Sociology 353 11 March 2010 Sociologist Approach to Crime and Deviance In Sociology, crime is acknowledged as deviance – or rather deviant behavior. In other words, a behavior that disobeys established and accepted statutes and laws that direct a society. Not only is every deviant behavior not a crime, but individual society’s determine which deviant behavior will be considered against the law. When one understands sociology, it is easily understood how a society, as a whole, is affected by crime. Due to the extensive and technical aspects in discussing causes of crime, the subject matter can be rather complicated. In simple terms, there are various explanations of crime and the motives or pattern the drive the actions of a deviant. Structural Explanation of Crime Structural explanation of crime basically looks at power and access that takes into consideration issues – such as economics, policies, gender, and race – at a macro level to understanding crime. It is a broader way of how people are classified, which seems natural, fixed, and inevitable. The concept of opportunity is incorporated in the structural explanation of crime. In other words, laws are created by who people are at the top of the social structure. Thus, the creations and enforcement of laws becomes a tool of oppression in which the powerful define laws to rule over the powerful. For example, when referring to structural racial inequality, power and access are to be looked at. For example, the United States is made up of various racial
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Servin 2 groups that have different levels of power and access to a variety of resources. Many would agree that the most power would be White people, especially due to their accessibility to resources. This is in comparison to blacks and Asians, with the blacks having the least amount of power and access – followed by Asians. Latinos are excluded from this comparison because it is not accepted as a race. Latinos is considered an ethnic group that can be racially associated with whites, blacks, or Asians. Moreover, a structural explanation of crime – such as murder – draws attention to social structure, which usually refers to imbalance, poverty, or difference in power. For example, understanding the mistreatment and abuse of children and women in a family structure focuses on the patriarchal structure – men have the power and opportunity to commit this crime against their families. These situations are structural because this is how society was established – for instance, slavery, slaughtering Native Americans for their land, and the forceful relocations of Japanese-Americans and nationals to camps in the United State during the Second World War. This structure still holds true in today’s society where whites have been able to obtain
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This note was uploaded on 03/31/2010 for the course SOCI 353 taught by Professor Sternheimer during the Spring '09 term at USC.

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SOC 353_Midterm_Sternheimer - Servin 1 Martha Servin Dr. K....

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