Criminology Lecture Notes

Families more divorce than ever changes in crime

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Families – more divorce than ever . Changes in crime rates throughout the years really do not disconfirm their theory . Ex. 1900 – low crime rates . Even when American crime rates were at their lowest, they were still high . American crime rates are consistently high, even when they’re low, they’re still high . Our robberies are a lot more violent than those in other nations . Criticizing one form of capitalism: American capitalism . Other nations’ capitalist systems are not generating as much crime as our capitalist system . American economy not kept in check and other institutions are too weak . All of the definitions we have studied so far . Durkheim – anomie was normlessness – moral vacuum . Merton’s anomie theory: did not say that moral, regulatory system of American society collapsed . Said that normative culture stayed in place . Anomie = rejection of the cultural goals and/or the institutionalized means in society . Individual rejecting norms puts that individual in a state of anomie . Reason we’re rejecting the norms/means is because we’re feeling too much pressure . Messner and Rosenfield – weakness of the institutions that deregulates behavior and creates a feeling of normlessness – state of freedom because institutions cannot provide sufficiently strong norms . Summary . Durkheim – anomie is normlessness . Merton: anomie is rejection of cultural goals and means
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. Messner and Rosenfield – anomie is a lack of regulations from noneconomic institutions . Strain Theory . How it has emerged and been developed out of a particular part of Merton’s theory . Strain = blocked opportunities . People in the lower classes have a limited means to reach success . Merton’s theory is an anomie theory – rejection of goals/means, not just material deprivation . Did use strain, but not in a way that is equated with poverty Discussion 2/9/2012 . Exam . Everything up until Feb 6 th . Multiple choice . Summary . Durkheim . Anomie: normlessness, deregulation, . Merton . Anomie: rejection of cultural goals and/or institutional means . Messner and Rosenfield . Weak institutions (everything except the economy) . Messner and Rosenfield . Culture structure crime OR structure culture crime . Culture = values and goals, internalization of shared goals/values . Avoid arguments of tautology . Institutions: functions to keep a society working and balanced . Regulate individuals’ actions and behavior (ex. Economy, there is no regulation) . Pattern of action . Norms + values . Statuses + roles . Groups + orgs . Cullen p. 181 – . Pattern of action . Education: study just to get a job . Economics are embedded into the education – people just go to school to make more money . P. 260 – Lanier – glance at it
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