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Criminology Lecture Notes2

A lot of human actions are due to desire to solve

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– a lot of human actions are due to desire to solve problems . Social action -- trying to figure out a result to problems . Poor boys don’t have means to achieving the American Dream . We live in a status culture – working class boys will be more aware of who they are in relation to that status culture . Merton (American dream is economic success indicated by money) . Poor boys cannot get the lifestyle they want, so they reject it . Exploritory gestures . P. 175 – analysis of how group formation occurs . Cloward and Ohlin . Opportunity . Double fail people (Retreatist subculture) . These guys just hang around/don’t do much – not as delinquent as some of the other boys – “Corner boys” “Retreatists” . Conflict subculture – violence driven . Criminal subculture – . Different subcultures form – criminal is the best – opportunities are available because the subcultures are integrated/connected to each other . Criminal subculture buys into the American Dream concept – Conflict subculture does not Lecture 2/20/2012 . Agnew: General Strain Theory (1992) . Focuses on the individual being blocked from attaining certain goals . Cohen: cultural theory – focuses on subcultures that develop among lower class delinquent youth
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. Cloward and Ohlin – opportunity theory . Agnew – elaborates on strain concept . Where strain occurs in time . How does strain relate to goal . Agnew focuses on boys and how it applies to the delinquency/criminality of females . Experienced Strain (types of strain) . Strain as the failure to achieve positively valued goals . Strain is the disjunction between aspirations and expectations/actual achievements . Aspirations refer to the future – long term goal . Ex. Consider a little boy – he aspires to be a lawyer some day but because he has no resources (background + money) and because of poverty, he knows he has no chance of him achieving his goal – THIS DISJUNCTION IS STRAIN . Strain as the disjunction between expectations and actual achievements . What the kid thinks he should have versus where he should actually be at this very moment . Ex. Expecting to have a certain group of friends vs. his actual group of friends . Expects to have those things but he has not actually achieved them – something the kid has experienced now at the present moment (not a long term goal) . . Strain as the disjunction between just/fair outcomes and actual outcomes . Strain as the removal of positively valued stimuli from the individual . Fear of family leaving (incarceration), lose girlfriends (and other things they like) . Strain as the presentation of negative stimuli . Ex. Homeless people, littering, broken buildings, pollution . Strain occurs even though the experienced strains do not affect the individual’s ability to attain a goal . Types of Strain . Vicarious Strain . Anticipated strain . Anticipating the likelihood of getting hit in a high crime environment . Strain does not seem to necessitate any criminal acts . What links strain to delinquency and crime . Causal mechanism
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a lot of human actions are due to desire to solve problems...

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