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Criminology Lecture Notes

Family and politics are second to economy

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Family and politics are second to economy . Accommodation . All other non-economic institutions should step out of the way of the economy . Ex. In the US, there is no paid parental leave . Penetration . Use of economic terms/concepts in non-economic realms . In order for capitalistic economy to work, people must be seeking a certain goal in a certain way to support the economy . Culture (internal social controls) . In order for economy to work well, people must have a cultural goal of working . Must do things in the most efficient way possible, so you get to keep the max amount of money . Economy demands a continual spirit of innovation . Finding a better/new way to do things . Drive for monetary success and success by the most technically efficient means possible gets into everything we do in society . Economy has conditioned us to want to do everything as efficiently/fast as possible . Crime is technically efficient . Drive to technical efficiency predisposes us to criminal activity (ex. It is easier and more efficient to rob people or commit crime than to go through school and struggle to get a job) . If these institutions are weak, they are not controlling or regulating people’s behavior anomic society, lawless and lack of norms society Lecture 2/8/2012 . Analysis of Messner and Rosenfeld’s institutional anomie theory . 2 paths to America’s high crime rates . Social Structure culture high crime rates . The economy is what contributes most to the American cultural system – needs people to be pursuing monetary success through the most technical means possible – continual spirit of innovation . As a result of the dominance of economy in American culture, other values do not contribute as much . Culture Social structure high crime rates . Other values of social structure are controlling – they limit people’s behavior a great deal, whereas the economy does not . Economy keeps things wide open for people . Crime is a very technically efficient way of getting things done – weak alternatives to American values high crime rate . Culture social structure // movement of people into the economy
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. Because people are focusing their activities in economy rather than other institutions, the other institutions become further weakened . Economy is an area of very low external social control . Social control restricts people to that which is normal, acceptable, etc. . Education, politics, family, and religion are very controlling institutions . Economy is a realm of freedom . Economy does not control people which is why the economy has failed – people invest in “fake” stocks and banks lend out money to those who cannot pay . Same freedom that people feel in the economy is what leads people to commit crimes – if you are free to economically innovate, then you are free to commit crime – American freedom is rooted in the dominance of the economy . Functionalism – how institutions support each other . If one institution fails, then the other supports it – BUT, in American society, since all institutions are weak, they cannot support each other . Education – schools are overcrowded, schools are broke .
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