Class and Crime

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  • Created by: HLOldham
  • Created on: 23-03-16 16:26
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  • Class and Crime
    • Social Class and Crime
      • Strain Theory and Anomie - Merton
        • The working class are highly represented in the crime statistics compared to the middle classes
      • Labelling Theory - Becker
        • No act is deviant in itself: deviance is a social construct
      • Deviance Amplification - Young:
        • The idea that attempts to control deviance only increase it; more and more control produces more and more deviance
        • Study on hippy marijuana users - smoking marijuana only small part of hippy culture until it was made illegal, they became a deviant subculture with drug use at it's center
          • The idea that attempts to control deviance only increase it; more and more control produces more and more deviance
      • The Media, Folk Devils and Moral Panics - S. Cohen
        • Mods and Rockers
          • Press exaggeration created a series of moral panics, leading to higher prosecution levels and thus higher levels of deviance
            • Those at the center of the moral panics labelled 'Folk Devils'
              • No act is deviant in itself: deviance is a social construct
      • The Underclass - Murray
        • The underclass subscribes to deviant and criminal values rather than mainstream values
          • Blames single mothers
      • Ecology Theory - Park and Burgess
        • Closely related to functionalism and sub-cultural theory
          • Residents of inner-city areas more likely to experience blocked opportunities and subsequent strain and anomie, illegitimate opportunity structures are also more likely to be available in inner-city areas
      • Working-Class Focal Concerns - Miller
        • Lower class possess own culture that's fundamentally different to higher classes
          • Two factors tend to emphasize and exaggerate of the lower class subculture
            • 1. A peer group that demands close conformity to group norms
            • 2. Youngsters in terms of the peer status and norms achieve status
      • Subcultures and the Working-Classes - Cloward and Ohlin
        • 3 types of subcultures
          • 1. Criminal Subculture - emerge in areas with organised adult crime
          • 2. Conflict Subculture - emerge in areas with little adult organised crime
          • 3. Retreatist Subculture - young people who have failed in the criminal subcultures - 'double failures'
    • Marginality, Social Exclusion, Relative Deprivation and Rational Choice Theory
      • Marginalize - when a person/group/ concept is treated as insignificant
      • Social Exclusion - social disadvantage and relegation to the fringe of society
      • Rational Choice Theory - linked to realist theories of crime, argues that the W/C commit more crime than the M/C, this is because they are thinking rationally and weighing up costs vs rewards - they are making the decision to turn to crime
    • Less Informal Social Control
      • Leans towards realist approaches
      • Blames exclusion and marginalization for crime
      • W/C individuals are controlled less by institutions such as the family, education and peer groups
    • More Detectable Offences and More Likely to be Caught
      • The M/C may be guilty of white collar crime, which is not detected as much, e.g. fraud within a company
        • White collar crime - M/C crime, crime committed by business and government professionals, e.g. fraud
      • W/C crime is obvious and blatant in nature e.g. burglary, mugging, assault - the sorts of crime public thinks and worries about so police more likely to focus on it
      • The 'Dark Figure of Crime' - unreported and undiscovered crime

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