the social construction of crime

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  • the social construction of crime  (labelling theories)
    • social groups create deviance by creating the rules whose infraction consititutes deviance and by applying those rules to particular people and labelling them as outsiders
    • who get labelled
      • not every one who commits an offence is punished for it wether the person is arested charged and convicted depends on factors such as
        • their interactions with the agencies of social control such as the police and the courts
        • their appearence background and personal biography
        • the situation and circumstances of the offence
      • piliavin and briar found that police decisions to arrest a youth were mainly based on physical cues from which they made a judgement of the youths character th desiions were often also influenced by the suspects gender class and ethnicity as well as by the time and place
    • cicourel the negotiation of justice
      • officers typicifations their commonsence theories or stereotypes of what the typical delinquent is like led them to concentrate on certain types causeing the law enforcement to show a class bias
      • justice is not fixed but negotiable
        • for example when a middle class youth is arrested he was less likely to be charged this is particualarly because of his background did not fit the idea of the polices typical delinquent and partly because his parents were more likely to be able to negotiate successfully on his behalf convincing the control agencies that he was sorry that they would monitor him and ensure he stayed out of trouble in future


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