Criminology Lecture Notes

But their ideas were necessary for needed social

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but their ideas were necessary for needed social change in that their crime transformed society . Diagnostic Function . Something crime does for the social scientist – when social scientist looks to society and sees crime, then they see that that society has a collective conscience that is flexible enough to allow for change – concludes that it is healthy and has a moderate crime rate . Durkheim says that high crime rate is not good, but still need crime because it produces vital society functions . Our society is too big for these functions to take place – the only time this worked was during 9/11 because society started thinking together as one . Anomie Theory of Crime . Society changes really fast and that fast rapid change allows crime to happen . Durkheim worried about the Overregulation of society in mechanical societies and the underregulation of behavior in organic societies . Anomie: normlessness, deregulation, without law . Lawless, unregulated state . Dramatic changes in history during his life . French Revolution of 1789 – people had significant political power now that the monarch was dead . Early 19 th century – rapid industrialization in western Europe – massive amounts of wealth and consumer goods were flowing into the population . Suicide rates increased during this period . Durkheim describes humans as a bottomless abyss – continually consume and get more greedy as they consume . Morality puts a bottom on one’s appetite – defines at what level you should be satisfied . Believed that in pre-modern world, morality was very effective in regulating appetites – Ex. peasants did not want anything more than a peasant’s wages . With all the industrialization and changes, the moral system collapsed and could not develop fast enough – thus, the bottom fell out of people’s appetites . People could not get satisfaction suicide . State of anomie would allow for crime – if there is no law or regulation of people’s appetites, people would be free to commit crimes . Durkheim’s definition of Anomie: Anomie is a state of de-regulation or normlessness . Expect moral system to collapse with social change rapid crime
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. HOWEVER, in current societies, property crimes increase but violent crime decreases in modernizing nations – therefore, Durkheim’s theory is not correct since not all crime escalates . Violent crimes decrease as more cops control population, but property crimes increase because developing nations have more wealth and money (developing nations provide more opportunity/targets for crime) Lecture 2/1/2012 . Merton: Social Structure and Anomie . Macrosociology: . Microsociology: looks at small scale phenomenon . Merton’s theory: start at the microsociological level – look at individual and individual’s actions . Your actions are for some sort of goal that follows some sort of means (have a plan) . Merton’s model of society . Based on culture – tells you how to reach your goals . Whatever goals you pursue, will only be legitimate if they come from the culture . Effective Equilibrium – when individual receive satisfaction from reaching the goal itself – means to the goal are just as satisfying as attaining the goal itself .
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