Topic 1 - Defining Deviance
The normative approach to crime and deviance
- Deviance refers to the actions which violate consensual norms.
- This is the approach used by Durkheim
- Sociologists who use this definition look to see the difference between deviants and non deviants
The relatavist approach to crime and deviance
- Deviance is the violation of norms
- The norms are adopted through a dynamic process which leads to some groups norms being accepted whilst other groups norms aren't accepted
- Sociologists who use this definition look to find why some norms are adopted whilst others aren't
Topic 1 - The Normative Approach To Crime
Some crime is positive because:
- it reaffirms the boundaries (reminds people of whats right and wrong)
- indicates changing values (people sympathising with criminals signals a change in values e.g. gay rights)
- encourages social cohesion (horrible crimes bring people together e.g. 9/11)
Too little crime is bad because there is no social change
Too much crime is bad because it threatens social order
Anomie refers to a lawless state. During social change there's a weak collective culture which means that people are free from the collective culture's social cohesion. In this situation individuals will look after their selfish needs rather than follow social values.
Merton: Durkheim's anomie is too vague. Anomie is instead a situation where sicuakk aoorived goals arent available to most of the population following socially approved means.
Topic 1 - The Relativist Approach to Crime
The Relatavist approach
- Groups compete for their values to be passed into laws
- These values may or may not reflect the majority's view
- The bourgeoisie and the proletariat have different values
- The ruling class imposes laws which reflect their own interests
- Therefore deviant acts are acts against the ruling class's interests
- The groups who succeed in having their values passed into laws are referred to as moral entrepreneurs
- Becker: These moral entrepreneurs use the media to create a moral panic so that the public will help introduce or enforce the moral entrepreneurs laws
Topic 1 - Social Control
- Social control ensures that only some norms are accepted which provides predictability
- Without predictability we would be unable to interact
Formal control refers to specific agencies which are created to enforce control e.g. the police
Informal control is manifested in our interactions e.g. the family and the community
Topic 1 - Informal Social control
The individuals - Hirschi (1969) : Crime only occurs when people's attachment to society is weakened. Strengthening the individuals attachment to society, commitment to society, belief in societies values and involvement in society will lower crime.
The Family - Farrington and West (1990) : Under 6% of the sample accounted for over 50% of the sample's convictions. This 6% were more likely to come from poor parenting or single parent households. This illustrates the importance of the family in enforcing informal social control
The community - Murray (1990) : The underclass is increasing which has created a group of irresponsible young people who rely on the welfare state. This has created a generation which is more likely to commit crime because this community doesn't value society's values
Deviance is simply the working class trying to resist oppression. It will cause capitalism to collapse (critical criminologists). The decline of the community's control and the increase of crime is harming the working class (left realists). Social control weakening causes crime because capitalist society exploits workers so when they're released from control they're more likely to commit crime (Right wing writers)
Topic 1 - Formal social control
The Functionalist View - Durkheim (1893)
- The form of punsihment depends on the type of society
- In a mechanistic society the punishment reflects retribution i.e. paying for what they've done with a savage penalty
- In a organic society the punishment reflects restitution i.e. forcing a person to make amends through imprisonment
The Marxist View
Hall: The justice system only benefits the ruling class
Reiman: The law outlaws working class crime whilst ignoring the bourgeoisie's crime e.g. corporate crime
Topic 1 - Late modern perspectives
- In premodernity discipline was against the body e.g. physical beatings. In late modernity this has changed as discipline is more subtle. The state instead seeks to control the criminals mind by making them think about their crime in prison
- In premodernity there were public punishments which aimed to scare people. In late modernity there is the idea of the panopticon. This is where the state can see you do everything even if you can't see them
- In premodernity formal social control was erratic but in late modernity there are increasingly more agents of social control,.
- Historically there was simple control and laws weren't properly enforced. Now there are increasingly more agents of social control e.g. the school and media
- There were very few people enforcing control but now there are thousands of people working for the state enforcing control
- Previously control was public and obvious but now it is hidden ansd subtle e.g. cctv
Topic 2 - Strain + Subcultural Theories
- People committing crime have different values to the law abiding populations
- They have their own subculture where they share some of the mainstream values but changed some values to justify their deviant behaviour
- This is why they're called subcultures - because they're different cultures within a culture
How these subcultures form
- Society prevents certain groups from succeeding which causes a strain
- The group then reject society's values and develop alternative values to create a subculture
- These alternative values may justify crime
- People commit crime because they're in a position where they can't conform to society's values and beliefs
Topic 2 - Strain Theory
Merton (1938) - tries to explain deviance within the functionalist framework
- Crime happens because of a strain between society's socially accepted goals and the means of obtaining these goals.
- The goals change according to the individual's position in society e.g. people in a lower position in society have more restricted goals
- This system works when the majority can achieve their goals but when they can't - anomie occurs
The 5 potential forms of strain between socially accepted goals and the means of obtaining them:
- Conformity: Person still tries to get socially accepted goals with socially approved means
- Innovation: Person tries to get socially accepted goals with alternative (criminal) means
- Ritualism: Person uses accepted means, has lost the socially accepted goal
- Retreatism: Person rejects socially approved goals and means e.g. drug/alcohol dependent individual goes under this
- Rebellion: The socially approved goals and means are rejected and replaced
Topic 2 - Criticizing Strain Theory
- People go after a variety of goals at once and Merton focuses on people achieving one goal at a time
- Cloward and Ohlin
- Merton doesn't appreciate the illegitimate opportunity structure (illegal opportunity structure)
- This structure has 3 types of subculture:
- Criminal Subculture
- Where theyre's a thriving criminal subculture and offenders can work their way up the crime ladder
- Conflict Subculture
- No local criminal subculture providing careers. The group is most likely violent to other similar groups e.g. gang violence
- Retreatist Subculture
- There is no opportunity to join a criminal or conflict subculture so the individual turns to drugs or alcohol instead
Topic 2 - Criticizing Strain Theory
The Study of El Barrio
- Drug dealers and criminals in New York believed in the American dream of financial success
- However the only difference is that this subculture uses crime to pursue this lifestyle
- This supports Merton as well as Cloward and Ohlin's strain theory because shows desire to be included in society
- Subcultures come from a desire to be part of the mainstream society which has rejected them
- For example black children consume American culture by watching TV despite their exclusion from full participation in this culture. They acquire popular bran names (mainly through crime) to overcompensate.
- This supports strain theory as it shows their desire to be included in society
Topic 2 - Status Frustration
Was interested in why most crime is thrill motivated rather than economically motivated.
He found that lower class boys tried to imitate middle class aspirations but they didn't have the means which led to status frustration.
The lower class boys then rejected and opposed the middle class aspirations as a result.
This mostly happens in schools
- There is no evidence that this occurs in schools
- For lower class boys to reject the middle class values they would have had to first have known the values
Topic 2 - Focal Concerns
Subcultural theory is supported by Miller who believe that 6 aspects of lower class male culture are likely to lead to deviant behaviour
- Smartness : their subculture believes everyone should have a witty responese
- Trouble : their subculture believes they don't go looking for trouble, it finds them
- Excitement : their subculture belives that it's important to look for thrills
- Toughness : Their subculture believes that being the strongest and demonstrating it is important
- Autonomy : Their subculture believes members shuldn't be pushed around
- Fate : Their subculture believes that fate can't be avoided
Miller has no evidence that these 6 values actually exist BUT Parker successfully applied Miller's focal concerns to a group of young males who stole car radios to pay for their cannabis,drinking and fighting. However, Box believed these values could apply to all males
Topic 2 - Evaluating Subcultural Theory
- Subcultural theory doesn't illustrate whether subcultures are a response to working class or middle class values
Matza and Sykes
- the only difference between offenders and law abiding citizens is how often and in what circumstances subterranean values (set of deviant values existing with socially approved values) emerge. There aren’t distinct subcultural values
- There aren't distinct subcultural values
Topic 2 - Alternative theories
Postmodernism - Katz
- crime is seductive because it's thrilling.
- This is what attracts young males to it - rather than the rejection from society
Masculinity - Winlow
- Traditional working class values fitted physical labour
- Now that this form of employment has gone working class males are faced with a problem as their values aren't appropriate for todays employment
- This could lead to crime as an alternative
Gangs - Marshall
There are 3 different types of gangs
- Peer groups: young people spending time in specific places, crime is incidental
- Gangs : young people spending time in specific places, aim to commit crime. This is what the majority of theories explain
- Organized criminal groups: hierarchy, ages vary, involved in serious crime. Cloward and Ohlins theory applies to this definition
Topic 3 - Traditional Marxism
The Basis of Criminal Law
- Laws are there to protect the rich and powerful and therefore benefit the bourgoisie
- e.g. property laws protect those who own the properties (the bourgeoisie)
- Personal violence is dangerous so the bourgeoisie protect themselves using their agents e.g. police
The dominant Hegimony
- The ruling class in capitalist society's impose their values through agencies e.g. religion, education, media
- This creates hegemony (when the ideas and values of the ruling class dominate thinking in society)
- In democracy the dominant values lead to the creation of laws. Individuals think they're agreeing to values based on their own opinions but their values are based on the bourgeoisie's beliefs
- The law making proccess is based on the ruling classes interests but laws could still benefit the population if the laws were enforced fairly
- However the police focus on punishing the working class and not the ruling class
Topic 3 - Traditional Marxism + criticisms
Individual Motivation - Bonger
- Capitalism is based on greed, slelfishness and competition which is reflected in people's attitudes to life. People are happy to look after themselves at the expense of others with these values
- The poor commit crime due to desperate conditions. Others commit crime because of capitalisms values.
- Crime supports capitalism by diverting atttention away from capitalism's exploitation and putting attention on dangerous criminal individuals who only the police can protect us from.
- This idea that 'only the police can protect us' helps justify heavy policing in working class areas.
Criticizing the traditional Marxist Approach
- Crime victims are ignored as the harm done by offenders isn't taken into account. It's important to take victims into account because they're usually from less well off sections of the population
- Not all laws are because of the ruling class interests. There are many other influences on law making and ignoring these is one dimensional
Topic 3 - The New Criminology + criticisms
Taylor, Walton and Young - The New Criminology
- To understand crime you have to look at the criminals motivation and the influences
- An example of a motivation: jealousy.
- An exaple of a influence: family
- It's important to take a marxist perspective when looking at the crimes circumstances and the polices response to it but it's also important to use interactionist ideas to see how the situation develloped
- The crimes of the rich need to be explained
- A criminal is someone who's angry at capitalism and has wrongly expressed this anger through crime rather than politics
Hirst: it strays too far from traditional marxism
Rock: it romanticizes crime. Some sociologists suggest this is why left realism developed
Carlen: new criminology doesn't discuss patriarchy's power which continues to oppress women
Topic 3 - Marxist subcultural theory and criticism
Marxist Subcultural Theory
capitalism controls people through ideological dominance and economic pressure (e.g. peoples need for jobs)
Only groups on the margins of society can resist capitalism because they aren't controlled by these two factors e.g. working class youth
- working class youth subcultures resist capitalism and this is shown in their clothes and language
- But this resistance is only an illusion because it doesn't solve their problems, despite them thinking that it does.
- Each generation of working class youth are exploited by the ruling class. The only thing that changes is the way they express their resistance
The writers were biased and wanted to prove that youth subcultures are an attack on capitalism. They fixed their findings to show what they wanted. It ignores the huge variation of subcultures based on locality, age and other factors. There is no true social class basis to youth subcultures. This idea has simply been created by the media
Topic 3 - Crimes of the state + problems in studyi
Ross: when it's necessary, the state will break its own or international laws to protect its interests or MNC interests. There are 3 types of state crimes:
- crimes committed within a particular country and those by one country against another
- e.g. the USA interfering in political processes to protect MNC's / when it went to Iraq to exploit oil
- Direct and Indirect actions of the state apparatus
- direct e.g. misinforming and not providing full facts to agencies
- indirect e.g. state involved in crime through its agencies e.g. when police accidentally shot innocent Brazillian in London 2005
- Crimes of commission and omission
- commission = directly involved in crime
- omission = failed to do something which had consequences
Difficulties when studying state crimes
- states define what is criminal within their boundaries . This can be overcome by using human rights as a guideline. e.g. the US not giving adequate social security payments is a breach of human rights and therefore a state crime
- States can stop sociologists from studying the subject
Topic 4 - Left Realism
Marxists reduce crimes to moral panics and they romanticize working class criminals
Left realism looks at the individuals and what caused them to commit crime and provides a causal explanation for crime
They believe society is an unequeal capitalist society but reform rather than revoltuion is the answer
Jock Young (2002)
- The majority of crimes victims are the working class because its deprived people who are desperate for material possessions.
- Its the most socially excluded individuals who crave cultural inclusion and this is what leads them to crime
- It's evident in the fact that working class individuals consume more culture media images
Crime is caused by:
Relative deprivation because it leads to a sense of injustice and resentment
Subcultures which form due to social injustice e.g. where there is racism, violent subultures flourish
Marginalisation because it leads to frustration and possibly crime
Topic 4 - Left Realism and Criticisms
The Solutions to Crime
ethnic minority police officers, CCTV, community policing (where the poplice and people know each other), community centres and community service as a punishment.
- It doesn't explain corporate crime
- It is based on quantitative data which doesn't show the offenders motives. Qualitative data would be need for that.
- It's deterministic because not everyone who experiences poverty turns to crime as the theory suggests
Topic 4 - Right Realism
Right realists have a tough stance on crime
Prison use should be increased, a sharp shock approach should be used when dealing with young offenders
Wilson and Keilling - The Broken Window Thesis
- neighbourhoods need to be orderly to prevent crime
- vandalism should be dealt with immediately because a disorderly environment sugests that the area is uncontrolled and crime can eb committed
- An orderly environment however encourages civility and good behaviour
- Police should have a zero tolerance policy so that law abiding citizens feel safe
The causes of crime
Biological differences - some people are more likely to commit crime than others. e.g. main cause of crime is low intelligence. Socialization - ineffective socialization increases the risk of offending. Rational choice - the choice to commit a crime is based on a cost benefit analysis. If the perceived punishments are low and the perceived gains are high the person will commit the crime.
Topic 4 - Right realism and criticisms
The solutions to crime
More police officers, CCTV, Zero tolerance policing, harsher punishments and a 3 strike rule (in America, after 3 serious offences you receive harsher punishments)
- ignores the wider structural causes of crime e.g. poverty
- cost-benefit calculations don't explain violent crime. They only explain utilitarian crime (based on money)
- It ignores corporate crime
- A zero tolerance policy gives police an excuse to discriminate against certain groups
- The idea that criminals choose to commit crime contradicts with the idea that their socialization and biological factors are what causes people to commit crime
Topic 5 - Labelling Theory
The theory suggests that most people commit crime but only some are stigmatised. There is no point in looking for a difference between deviant and non deviant people because there isn't one. Most people commit deviant acts. Labelling theorists want to understand the reaction to deviance rather than the cause of the crime. Rules are created by moral entrepreneurs to benefit them or because they believe the laws will benefit society.
- deviance isn't the act, its the label put on a person as a consequence of the act. It's only seen as deviant behaviour if that's what people have labelled it
- Just because someone breaks a rule doesn't mean that others will define it as deviant. Someone has to enforce or draw attention to the rule. If the person is successfully labelled then consequences will follow
Malinowski - Beckers labelling theory applied:
A youth committed suicide because he was publically accused of incest. Incest wasn't uncommon on the island and wasn't frowned upon as it was discreet. However, if an incestuous affair was too public the islanders would react with abuse. This shows that although people break a rule it is only deviant if others draw attention to it. In this case the ex lover of one of the siblings enforced the rule and the consequences which followed after the boy was successfully labelled was that the boy committed suicide.
Topic 5 - The effects of labelling
Lemert - The consequences of Rule enforcement
- There is primary deviance which refers to the actual rule breaking and is unimportant on its own. There is also secondary deviance which is the consequences of the responses people give to the primary deviance which is significant
- An example comes from the inuits in Canada. For them stuttering is caused by the importance of ceremonial speeces. Children with minor speech impediments were put under pressure and became more anxious. This resulted in a stutter developing.
- In this case the primary deviance was the minor speech impediment and the secondary deviance was the stutter which resulted on the pressure others put on the child.
- Labelling leads to a master status where the person comes to see themselves as their label. When their label has been applied the individuals other qualities aren't important. They're responded to based on their label
- This could lead to a deviant career as people act the way they have been labelled and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. As opportunities are closed off to them as they're treated as their label they may turn to a criminal career.
Topic 5 - The effects of labelling
Reiss - Some groups can reject the label
The labelling process is up for negotiation. Reiss found that male prostitutes maintain their image of being straight despite having sex with males. They rejected their labels as being 'gay'. Illustrating that labels can be rejected
Topic 5 - Deviancy Amplification
- When acts are labelled as deviant those who are regarded as deviants are cut off from mainstream society. They create their own subculture which leads to more pressure and further isolation. This amplifies their deviance
Jock Young - an example of deviancy amplification : drug use was driven underground due to increased police activity. This is because drug use was labelled as deviant and drug users were stigmatised and cut off from mainstream society . They created their own subculture and those within the subculture struggled to find employment which led to more isolation. This led to more issues, spurring the police to clamp down further. This amplification process continued
Cohen - the media + amplifying deviance
- the media built mods and rockers into 'folk devils'. This made young people label themselves as one or the other
- This helped create the violence between the two groups which confirmed them as trouble makers in the public's eyes
Moral panics as Cohen described them are outdated because today they're: no longer rare, are less likely to start because there isn't a clear bad and good, there is no single responses to a moral panic.
Topic 5 - Evaluation
- Rosenthal and Jacobson: labelling does affect the individual who is labelled. In their research teachers were told that some pupils are gifted. These 'gifted' pupils were chosen at random. The teacher labelled them as gifted and their academic achievement improved because the label led to them being treated as their label
- It's a deterministic explanation. Deviant individuals have a degree of consciousness and choice. They know their actions are deviant and they choose to act that way
- Akers: deviant people aren't normal individuals until someone labels them. There must be a reason as to why the label is applied to some groups and not others. Labelling theory is an incomplete theory until it explains why this occurs.
- Marxists: labelling theory doesn't explain why some groups have more power than others and are more able to get laws passed and enforced than others
Conclusion: Labelling theory has contributed by showing that defining deviance isn't a simple process and highlighted the consequences of labelling
Topic 6 - Patterns of Crime
To understand why people commit crime we have to know what crimes are committed and by who.
It's done through police recorded statistics, victim surveys and self report studies.
BUT Crimes can't be recorded unless they're reported
British Crime Survey: people are less likely to report a crime if:
- Its private or embarassing
- Its only a trivial matter
- They're scared of the consequences
- They're not in a position where they can report it
British Crime Survey: people are more likely to report a crime if:
- They believe the police will get a good result
- They'll benefit from it
Topic 6 - Police Recorded Statistics
These statistics are drawn from the records of official agencies e.g. the police
produced every 6 months, give an accurate view of the criminal justic system, Been collected since the 1800's so you can make comparisons
BUT - it only shows the crimes which have been reported and recorded
Topic 6 - The role of the police, courts and gover
The role of the police : The police filter information due to severity, the victims social status and the crimes classification
- Discretion is also a factor according to Anderson. You're more likely to be arrested if your appearance and attitude seems disrespectful.
- Promotion is also a factor according to Collison. If the arrest will further the individuals carerer it's more likely the individual will be arrested.
The role of the courts - Crime statistics show court sentences which reflect social processes
- 75% of people who are charged in court plea guilty
- The norm is that the defence tries to get the lighest charges and the lightest punishment so people plea guilty for a less serious crime than they may have committed
The role of the government - The rise or drop in crime could reflect changes in laws or crimes
- For example people have a more positive attitude to cannabis use so police respond to this and arrest fewer people for its possession
- This would make statistics look like cannabis use is declining
Topic 6 - Victim Surveys
This is where a sample of the population is asked what offences have been committed against them over the time period e.g. the British Crime Survey.
Because the British Crime survey doesn't show detailed information about specific place there have been more in depth victim surveys e.g. the Islington Crime Surveys.
Strengths: these surveys overcome the fact that not all offences are recorded by the police and it gives a good picture of the extent and patterns of victimization.
However, it's based on people's memories which distort over time, its anonymous yet people underreport sex offences, people may put crimes under the wrong category and sometimes the victims are unaware of a crime committed against them
Victim survey depend on people knowing what activities are criminal and the media plays a role in this. e.g. TV adverts about domestic violence or sexual abuse educate people into knowing that it's wrong. This makes it more likely that they will then report the activities in victim surveys.
Topic 6 - Self report studies, the data explosion
Self report studies are where a selected group of the population are asked what crimes they have committed.
Strengths: it reveals offenders that haven't been caught by the police, it can find out the age gender and social class of hidden offenders, its the most effective way to find out about victimless crimes such as drug abuse.
However - People may lie or exaggerate, it mainly asks yound people and students which isn't representative, the majority of the reported crimes in these studies are trivial because of the unrepresentative sample.
The data explosion - Maguire
- previously, criminal statistics were the main source of crime statistics but now they gather information about unreported crimes, hidden crimes and the victims perspectives. This shows the increase in data gathered on crime
The Risk society - Garland
- people used to think that the government could control crime but people no longer believe it
- The government uses risk management to teach people how to avoid being victims based on the crime statistics rather than facing the problem of crime
Topic 6 - types of offences and victims
Types of offences
- Property crime
- 62% of crime in 2000 was property theft
- Violent Crime
- 20% of all british crime survey crimes is violence. only 5% is more than trivial
Types of victims
- Victims of Violence
- in 88% of cases the victim and perpetratior now eachother
- Low wage/ unemployed males have high victim rate
- Victims of Property Crime
- most likely low income families
- Repeat Victims
- 20% of all burgled houses experienced repeat burglaries
Topic 7 - Shaw and Mckay
Explaining offenders - Shaw and Mckay
- found that Chicago can be split into 5 zones with different offender levels
- Zone 2 was closest to the city centre and had the highest level of offenders.
- The findings showed that the population in Zone 2 was changing rapidly but that offender levels wouldn't change. This shows that the offenders kept changing so the zones are linked t crime rather than the people
- immigrants would arrive at the cheapest zones in Chicago - known as the transition zones
- Successful individuals would move and the unsuccessful individuals would remain in the zone
- The houses of those who moved from the transition zone was refilled with new immigrants
- This makes the process begin again. The high population turnover creates social disorganization because this is where informal social control is weak or absent
Shaw and Mckay changed the definition of social disorganization to refer to a alternative set of norms which differ from mainstream society's norms. These alternative norms make crime acceptable, they're passed on through socialization which makes criminals become this cultures role models.
Topic 7 - Criticizing Shaw and Mckay
Sutherland and Cressey
- Shaw and Mckay have been criticized as being too vague
- Sutherland and Cressey introduced the concept of differential association. Differential association refers to the fact that if people interact more with people who define law breaking as acceptable than people who define law breaking as unacceptable then they're more likely to break laws themselves.
- These definitions vary in frequency, duration, priority and intensity.
Most british research hasn't been able to produce the clear zones that shaw and Mckay found, however crime rates have been found to vary in diferent areas.
Morris : Different values aren't what cause high crime, instead it's housing policies which affect how delinquents are in certain areas. E.G. in Croydon the local housing policy puts problem families together
The crime rates in similar housing estates can be explained by tipping. The informal social control from the majority of law abiding citizens limits antisocial behaviour. If the antisocial minority grow then law abiding families will leave antisocial families may take the place. This makes more law abiding residents leave which means the estate has tipped.
There is little evidence to support the idea of social disorganization i.e. the idea that crime is due to a lack of society's mainstream norms
Topic 7 - Explaining offenders
Sociologists have looked at where offences occur and why they occur here and not in other places. For example violent crimess are more likely in poor districts and burglary is more likely in affluent areas neighbouring poor districts.
Cognitive Maps explanation
- we all have cognitive maps of the places we live and some areas are familiar whilst others aren't
- We're more likely to burgle a house in their cognitively known areas which explains why burglary is more likely to occur in affluent areas which neighbour poor districts
- Crimes are more likely in areas the criminals know and certain properties or people within these areas are chosen. Opportunities involve how attractive the target is and how accessible the target is
- This theory suggests that crimes are committed against those that will bring the most benefits to the perpetrator. It also suggests that people commit crimes in the area that they know because they know how accessible the targets within their area are
Routine activities explanation : crimes are more likely to occur if the day to day activities of the victim and offender coincide and when social control is limited
Topic 7 - Preventing Crime
Opportunity theory and the Routine Activities explanation suggest that:
- crime happens when the benefits outweigh the costs of crime so to limit crime the costs of crime need to be increased
- The costs of theft can be increased by making it difficult to steal e.g. neighbourhood watch and making it difficult to sell stolen good e.g. mark valuable items such as mikes
- The costs of violence can be increased by limiting the opportunities they have to commit violent crimes such as habing security staff and plastic glasses in pubs rather than glass glasses.
Although it may lower minor crimes these would be irrelevant for the crimes of the powerful. It also fails to explain why someone would WANT to offend in the first place
The privatization of public space
Public space is where everyone can go and private space is where entry is controlled by the owner. The issue of private and public space has caused a debate. For example shopping centres are public because most people are welcomed but they are also private because they are privately owned and the owner has the power to exclude people that they don't want on their property.
Topic 7 - The night time economy
Time is seen as a crucial and neglected element in understanding crime. If different places have different crime levels then so do different times.
There has been a growth in pubs and clubs popularity where people go to drink alcohol and possibly consume drugs
This leads to a huge number of young people coming together for a short time period in a restricted area
Almost 3 quarters of violent crimes occur during this night time economy
The control of this night time economy has been passed on from the police to private security companies i.e. bouncers
- the night time economy and globalisation is linked because the global economy has led to the decline in traditional employment. The leisure industry has taken over the buildings that the traditional employment used to be in and only provided a few employment opportunities
- Taylor suggests that where unemployment is high and there are leisure facilities there is high crime in the night time economy
Topic 8 - Gender differences in offending
Farrington conducted a longitudinal survey which looked at how offending developed.
He found that:
- Brothers are more likely to be convicted than sisters for a crime
- Brothers have more convictions than sisters
- Brothers begin offending slightly earlier than sisters
- Brothers stop offending slightly later than sisters
- Brothers mainly commit burglaries and vehicle theft
- Sisters mainly shoplift and commit deception offences
- Risk factors for brothers were: poorly educated or nervous parents.
- Risk factors for sisters were: low social class, harsh discipline or poor parental supervision
He proposed that the way to prevent crime is family based risk prevention. This may involve parental training and educating parents on supervision and discipline.
Topic 8 - Chivalry thesis
The Chivalry Thesis
Women don't commit less crime than males. They're simply given more leniant treatment
- Hood: men are more likely to be sentenced to prison than women
- Campbell: conducted a self report study and found that women are more likely to be cautioned than prosecuted
- Box: women aren't treated favourably when committing serious offences
- Farrington and Morris: men get more severe sentences than women but the gender differences disappear when the severity of the crime is taken into account
- Carol Smart: women commit less and more trivial crimes than men so are neglected from criminology because women's behaviour is seen as less of a problem
Topic 8 - The bias against women
Women are penalised for crimes against them
- Dobash and Dobash: police officers are unlikely to arrest people in domestic violence cases
- the female victim is on trial in **** cases rather than the male suspect. The women's evidence is only believed if her respectability is established
- Carlen: women are sentenced based on status e.g. they're wives, sisters or mothers rather than based on their crimes
- Heidensohn: The justice system is influenced by gender attitudes. Women are treated more harshly if they go against the norms of female sexuality. The only exception is mothers with young children who receive smaller imprisonment
Topic 8 - The biological explanation
- women are naturally caring and nurturing
- Dalton: hormones/menstruation may influence them to commit crime
- Moir and Jessel: PMS has been linked to some crimes
- Lambroso: believed that male criminals would have physical abnormalities e.g. an extra toe. He looked at female criminals and non criminals and found no physical differences. This suggests that they weren't born criminals
If PMS can be used to justify crime then it can also be used to justify not giving women job positions that involve responsibility
Parlee: PMS can be socially constructed and become a self fulfilling prophecy
Topic 8 - Other Theories
Sex Role Theory
- The female role means that women don't have the ability or opportunity to be criminals
- Their socialization, social control and lack of opportunities limit female crime.
- This is because women are socialised into the expressive role which doesn't teach values which would encourage crime. Society's control of women is greater so it's harder for them to offend and also as women do the housework and care for children there is less time for crime. Daughters also have less fredom than men.
Control and Feminist Theories
- The public control of women refers to women not wanting to go to public places due to fear of becoming a victim and limiting public behaviour as they don't want to be labelled as a '****' '****' or '*****'
- Women are also controlled at work by male superiors and may be intimidated by harassment
- Female crime is rising because of their increased freedom from male control
Topic 8 - Masculinity and Crime
Male groups turn to different types of crime to show their relevant form of masculinity.
White middle class boys - accommodating masculinity
- have to be subservient at school to succeed but out of school they show repressed characteristics e.g. drinking and vandalism
white working class boys - oppositional masculinity
- Less chance of educational success so masculinity is aggressive behaviour which opposes authority
lower working class ethnic boys - violent masculinity
- Don't expect a steady job or to be able to support their family. Violence expresses masculinity. Property crimes are committed to achieve material success
Topic 9 - Occupational + corporate crime
Corporate crime: crimes committed by companies against employees or the public Occupational crime: crimes committed against a company by an employee Sutherland Defined white collar crime as a crime committed by a person of respectable and high social status in the course of his occupation
- However this definition includes both crimes benefitting the company and crimes against the company
Corporate crime isn't necesarilly something illegal. It could just be breaking supervisory codes or doing harmful activities whilst still meeting regulations
Nelken: corporate crime debates are about corporate practises as well as Sociologist's view of what is morally write and wrong E.G. Pearce and Tombs: corporate crime should extent to the manufacture of cigarettes and alcohol because it's associated with illnesses
Topic 9 - The impact of occupational and corporate
The impact of occupational crime
- theft by employees is a major source of crime in Britain
- Clarke: Management turn a blind eye to fiddles and takes them into account when determining wages
- Direct losses from fraud in Britain is worth over £12 billion
- Thefrt by shop staff is worth £350 million a year
The impact of corporate crime
- there aren't any calculations which shows the costs of corporate crime however the costs aren't only economic
- e.g. Great western trains were fined 1.5 million pounds for a crash in London in 1999 when 7 were killed and 150 were injured.
Topic 9 - corporate crime as an invisible issue
There are several explanations for corporate crime's invisibility:
- Power Differences
- marxists think laws on corporate crimes show the power inequalities in society
- Braithwaite: laws reflect MNC's interests but there isn't a ruling class manipulating power
- Media Appearances
- Tombs and Whyte: corporate crime doesn't appear in the media because there aren't clear victims. When it does appear in the media it's reportes as an accident/scandal/abuse rather than a crime
- Policing of corporate crimes
- Braithwaite: corporations are controlled through regulations rather than policing. The agencies advise or at most fine a company for doing something wrong. The term lawbreaking is barely used
- Lack of research
- there isn't anything similar to the british crime survey which looks into corporate crime which is due to the limited access to large corporations
Topic 9 - globalization and crime
- globalisation gives TNC's a chance to grow, generating new forms of crime because of:
- the ability to move money around the world with limited controls
- cheap international transport and communication allloweing companies to produce in low cost countries.
Drug Trafficking : The first illegal sector to maximise profits. Drug trafficking is much easier and faster. Detection is also less likely. The potential for profits are huge but human costs are devastating. 105 people in America die eve from illegal drug overdoses and 6,000 treated by the emergency department every day
People Trafficking: people trafficking is also easier because of globalization. Adults trafficked for: labour, prostitution, organ removal. Children trafficked for: prostitution, adoption, forced marriage, to be soldiers. 1.2 million children are trafficked every year according to UNICEF
Cybercrime - financial scams, hacking, virus attacks, identity theft and racist websites: The spread of the internet and our reliance on computers has made this possible. Most cybercrime is undetected and unreported. A new cybercrime is committed every 10 seconds
Topic 9 - Environmental Crimes
Emmons: an environmental crime is an actional that breaks national or international Law
Chunn and Menzies: some actions that aren't currently defined as crimes are just as harmful to the environment.
E.G. the factory explosion in Bhopal which killed 20,000 people
Emmons definition would argue that health and safety laws were broken whilst Chunn and Menzies would say that the firm located there because of weak safety laws
Environmental crimes are a new area of criminology but it's more relevant as environmental concerns are an increasing issue
South: primary environmental crimes are crimes which are legal under international laws but cause enough damage for criminologists to study them e.g. air pollution. Environmental laaw breaking refers to the actions that break the international law.
In individual green crimes many of those involved don't see themselves as criminal e.g. throwing rubbish used to be seen as acceptable but it no longer is. Governments with nuclear power stations have to find a way to dispose of the waste in an environmentally friendly way - Green peace argue that there is no environmentally friendly way.
Topic 9 - Examples of Green crimes
Air pollution – from industry/transport
Deforestation – Amazon forest destroyed by beef cattle which are to be slaughtered for large supermarkets
Water Pollution – 25 million die each year from contaminated water (toxic waste and untreated sewage)
Topic 9 - State crimes
War Crimes - included prisoners torture, harming civilians, taking hostages and using child soldiers.
E.G. South Sudan had over 9,000 child soldiers fighting for them in April this year, The US have been accused of using excessive interegation methods with suspects in Guantanamo Bay
Genocide - violent crimes against a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.
E.G. Rwandan genocide in 1994 where a million Tutsis were killed by Hutus, Saddam Hussein attacking the Kurds in Northern Iraq.
The State + Corporate Crimes
Governments and MNC's are dependent on eachother for taxes and an organized business environment. Kramer (2006) provides an example of a state and a corporate crime.
The ‘challenger’ space shuttle exploded in 1986 killing the crew. NASA (the government space agency) maintained the program despite budget cuts which led to the explosion. A large corporation was pressurized to provide space shuttle parts, which were potentially dangerous, at a low cost . Before the space shuttle explosion, both NASA and the company knew the dangers. Yet the explosion was described as an accident. This is both a state AND a corporate crime
Topic 9 - Explaining occupational and corporate cr
- in some businesses the corporate culture might justify illegal acts in order to achieve its goals e.g. Braithwaite - Even now in the pharmacutical industry, bribing health inspectors is seen as normal. Geis - Price fixing is part of people's jobs in American companies
Emotion Based Approaches
- Portnoy: people with huge incomes and power put themselves at risk for further personal or business gain because its a world of thrill and excitement. The excitement is just as important as the money to executives
- Mars: employees have expectations about fair payment for the work that they do. If they don't get it then they'll do illegal things to reach that fair pay. How the illegal practises are labelled by the company and the employee is what determines the outcome of the label
Topic 9 - Explaining occupational and corporate cr
- every society has culturally approved goals and socially approved means of achieving these goals. People will develop alternative means when they can't achieve the goals with the socially approved means.
- Box: a business may turn to illegal means if it can't achieve its goals
- Braithwaite: in the pharmaceutical industry scientists will fabricate results so the products will be used
- corporate crime fits the idea that the rich and powerful are the real criminals. They can prevent most of their activities from being seen as illegal but when they want to, they will break the law.
- When they get caught breaking the law, they're less likely to be punished.
- Box: the powerful have succeeded in making corporate crime look less serious than street crimes
- Pearce: prosecutions against MNC's are rare because it would undermine the idea that most crimes are committed by the working class and qould question the bourgeoisie's legitimacy
Poor working conditions don't just exist in capitalist societies! Some of the most dangerous working conditions have been under communism. There are lots of laws to control corporation - surely this legislation would be minimised if marxism was correct
Topic 10 - Statistics
- black people are twice as likely to be cautioned, 3.5x more likely to be arrested than white people. Asian people are more likely to be charged than to receive a caution BUT its important to remember that it reflects arrest rather than offending raters + offenders are more likely to be younger and both black and asian groups have a large young population.
- most crime is intraracial. 88% of white victims claim white offenders were involved. 42% of crimes against black people were by black offenders BUT its important to remember that there's a higher white population and most victims don't see the offender so may assume the offender is a certain race based on stereotypes
It's clear there's a difference between the arrest rates of ethnic minority groups and whites. Sociologists reject the idea that race and crime is associated. Some sociologists think minority groups are over represented because they're more likely to have poorer background and most crime is from poorer people.
Topic 10 - racist police practises?
Some Sociologists argue: there are some racist individuals in the police but that once these ‘bad apples’ are removed the police force will no longer be racist
The canteen culture approach: Police officers have developed their own distinctive values due to their job being socially isolated. Reiner (1992) – this culture includes racism. Smith and Gray (1985) – racist views amongst police led to stop and searches on these youth
Philips and Bowling (2002): The police are institutionally racist.
•There is direct racial discrimination which involves:
•The way arrests are made, the discrimination when sentencing and the over representation of minority groups in prisons
•There is indirect racial discrimination which involves:
•Ethnic minority’s are more likely to mistrust the police so are less likely to cooperate
•The social position of these groups makes prison more likely
Topic 10 - Left Realism
Lea and Young (1993)
Accept that the police have racist practises
This is because ethnic minorities are both economically and socially marginalised
Therefore they have a sense of relative deprivation
They create subcultures to cope which may involve high levels of personal crime
Topic 10 - Neo Marxism
Stuart Hall - moral panics led to the creation of the 'black mugger' label
- There was a growing conflict between the police and Afro-Caribbeans
- The 'black mugger' label helped to justify the heavy policing in black areas
- The focus on this minor problem helped to distract from the real economic and political crisis which was occurring
- Crime by black people is a form of political action
- it represents a culture which is resistant to its oppression by police harassment and racism
- The idea of higher criminality among black people was simply a myth caused by negative stereotyping
- Afro-Caribbeans were labelled as potential muggers and Asians were labelled as immigrants
Most crime is black on black - therefore it's hard to apply gilroy's explanation as it can't be a resistance to white oppression! Black crime is romanticized, ignoring the harm done by the crimes. Lea + Young - most crimes are reported by the public rather than the police
Topic 10 - exclusion approach
The economic exclusion and negative social attitude towards ethnic minorities has led to the creation of an alternative economy
The alternative economy involves marginally legal activities (e.g. kerbside car repairs) and clearly illegal activities (e.g. selling drugs)
There has also been the development of an alternative subculture which has emerged to oppose mainstream culture which involves rebellious practises
This explains the higher levels of crime
Topic 11 - Right realist approach
Situational Crime Prevention : Based on the idea that people will offend if the costs are smaller than the benefits of an offence
- Solutions are:
- Target hardening
- improving locks on houses, putting postcodes on items so that they're harder to sell
- Physical changes in high crime areas
- e.g. street lights, more open spaces, less bushes etc. blocking views, CCTV surveillance.
- Banning offenders from settings where crime can occur
- e.g. banning them from shops, shopping malls.
- Target hardening
Intervention : This refers to identifying high risk groups and intervening to limit their offending. Risks could be low income, poor housing and low school attainment.
Community: It's important to involve the local community in combating crime. If low level antisocial behaviour is kept under control then the escalation to more serious crime is stopped.
Topic 11 - The culture of control
- The traditional method of dealing with crime was penal welfarism(catching and punishing offenders but rehabilitating them so they can return to society after)
- Now there is a culture of control which has an adaptive and expressive element
- Adaptive element: identifying dangerous groups, intervening and changing the way they think and act
- Expressive element: more important for politicians to create the perception that crime is declining then to change crime levels. Their intervention focuses on changing perceptions rather than crime rates
Topic 11 - other theories
Actuarialism - Feeley and Simon
- conducted a similar analysis to Garland. The new penology has been developed
- In the past the criminal justice system would catch offenders to punish or rehabilitate them whilst in contemporary society the criminal justice system focuses on controlling the potentially deviant people before they become deviant
Penetration into society - Foucault and Cohen
- Community safety policy is a way for the government to diffuse its power into the community as the publics concern over crime allows the government to intervene in the family, school and community
- This is because the government say these social activities are potential causes of crime
Topic 11 - Policing
The development of Policing
- Traditionally :there was the bobby on the beat policeman, no police cars and if the police saw something happen then they would react
- In the 1980's : patrol cars and minibuses full of officers going around ready to respond
- In the 2000's : the neighbourhood police exist, PCSO's were developed, police are dedicated to specific areas and we have reactive police who answer to emergency calls
The relationship of police to society
- A consensual relationship
- the police have a close relationship with the local area as it's their job to represent the law abiding citizen's interests
- A conflict relationship
- police are an occupying force, imposed upon ethnic minorities and working class communities because police only patrol these areas
Topic 11 - Discretion
Police have to be discreet in what laws apply to what circumstances
There are 3 ways to explain police discretion
- Individualistic explanation
- the officer has certain interests or preferences so applies and interprets the law according tot them
- Cultural explanation
- police have a developed culture. They're mainly white and male, working long hours together and are quite isolated from the public
- Structural explanation
- Based on a Marxist theory laws are biased and reflect powerful groups interests which disadvantage the working class
Topic 11 - Canteen culture + The courts
- the culture of police is closed so people usually have to use covert police observations
- Bowling and Philips: some london police officers would stop cars where young black males were driving because they'd assume that the cars were stolen or the individuals were drug dealers.
- magistrates court is where less serious offences are judged
- Magistrates backgrounds don't have to reflect the whole population and as a result from a small range of social backgrounds
- Therefore the magistrates can't understand socially marginalized offenders
Topic 11 - Punishment
- social solidarity and punishment are linked
- In a mechanistic society members have similar beliefs and so people who offend are severely punished
- In a organic society members are more loosely held together and so people w ho offend are punished less viciously
- Punishment is part of the civilizing process
- Modern society is only possible because people have self control and agreed ways of acting
- A part of self control is to control anger and not to want to hurt others
- Prison, community punishment and community safety are part of the process of the state extending throughout society
Topic 12 - Durkheim
Durkheim wanted to prove sociology was a science so tried to explain suicide.
He did a multivariate analysis ( compared social incidences with actual statistics) and found patterns in suicide.
If suicide was an individual matter rather than a social matter then there wouldn't be any patterns.
Durkheim found that suicide is linked with a lack of social integration.
If a religion focuses on the group rather than the individual then the individual will be more socially integrated.
This explains why Catholicism has lower suicide rates, as the individuals are more integrated whilst Protestantism has higher suicide rates as the individuals are less socially integrated.
Topic 12 - Durkheim's types of society
- Egoistic society
- the individuals interests come before the wider groups interests so social integration is low
- People will put their own needs first
- Linked with protestantism because people make their own decisions and must accept their consequences
- Individual failure is the reason for suicide
- Altruistic Society
- The welfare of the wider group comes before the individual's interests
- Suicide is due to the individual being expected to on behalf of the wider society
- Anomic Society
- Social mechanisms provide a framework of what is acceptable and what isn't. When the mechanisms are weakened people revert to looking after their selfish needs
- Anomic suicide happens because of the lack of social integration in periods of rapid social change
- Fatalistic society
- An oppressive society
- Suicide because people may want to die rather than live in oppression
- This explains high suicide rates in prisons
Topic 12 - Criticizing Durkheim
Durkheim doesn't provide a clear definition of social integration but his analysis depends on it!!
- Suicide statistics are social constructs. Social constructs are the idea that statistics represent the activities of the people who construct the statistics rather than the actual criminal activity
E.G. the decision to classify a death as suicide is taken by a coronor so there may be bias in the verdicts which are reached
- The findings that a high level of social integration leads to low suicide rates can be explained by the fact friends and relatives may deny the death was a suicide as they feel guilty (they could even destroy suicide notes!)
- Douglas also criticized Durkheim for using official statistics because he believed death should be classified by its meaning for the deceased by analysing suicide notes and diaries instead.
Topic 12 - Douglas's 4 reasons for suicide
Topic 12 - Taylor
Taylor takes a realist approach
He argues that suicide statistics can't be taken as valid
We can still explain suicide however by revealing the structures and caused which aren't directly observable
Ectopic Suicides: where the individual is detached from others so suicide is self contained
Symphysic Suicides: where the individual has an overwhelming attachment to a person or people. Suicide isn't self contained, instead it's a way of communicating a message to others
Certain suicides: where the individual knows they want to take their life
Uncertain suicides: Where the suicide involves risk taking .
Topic 12 - Taylors 4 types of suicide
Topic 12 - Examples of Taylor
Topic 13 - Wilkins + Young
The social amplification of deviance - Wilkins
•Moral panics designed to reduce deviance actually amplify deviance because over reporting on a particular antisocial behaviour leads to the public calling for law and order to be strengthened.
•The attention given to deviance by the media attracts new recruits to the ‘deviant group’ and defines what the public expects. This amplifies that deviant activity in society
- Studied drug use in north London. He found that increased policing led to drugs being driven underground
- This then isolated drug users which caused them to develop a subculture . This led to further increased policing
- A moral panic was created by the media. Policing was further increased so the drug users became further isolated
- This illustrates the social amplification of deviance
Topic 13 - Folk Devils + Moral Panices
- The media creates folk devils such as the mods and rockers
- The media coverage made people categorize themselves as one or the other which then resulted in social disruption, causing a moral panic.
- This pressurized the police to do something despite the concern being out of proportion to the act
Goode and Ben-Yehuda
- Folk devils are portrayed as selfish and evil and the media suggests that a disaster will occur if the folk devils aren't controlled
- This pressurizes law enforcement agencies
- The moral panics appear and disappear fairly quickly but they may reappear and they may even lead to a change in policy
- The social reaction to moral panics may further the crime and deviance
- For example the just say no drug campaign led to higher ecstasy use
Topic 13 - Furedi
Moral panics happen when society doesn't adapt to social change and when there is a loss in control
- In the 50's and 60's the youth were acquiring economic and cultural power
- This lead to the creation of the teddy boys
- The older generationn felt they were losing control
- This was fuelled by the media
Topic 13 - Theory
The Functionalist View
- In the UK the media is based on the idea that people share values on what is and isn’t acceptable.
- The media therefore focuses on problem groups because they assume that people are like minded and share the same moral concerns
- Therefore the media is only giving people what they want
The Left Realist View
- Moral panics shouldn’t be dismissed as a product of ruling class ideologies
- The media identifies groups which are a real threat
- The crime which is reported is real and its naïve to think otherwise because they harm and threaten communities
- Moral panics therefore are sometimes justified
Topic 13 - Theory
The Marxist View - Stuart Hall
Moral panics serve a ideological function. For example:
- The media coverage of black muggers in the 70’s resulted In young afro-caribbeans being labelled as a threat.
- It caused a divide between the white and black working class, diverted attention from economic and political instability and also justified repressive laws
McRobbie ( A Feminist)
Moral panics are less frequent and harder to sustain today
This is because folk devils can fight back through pressure groups and social movements
Topic 14 - Patterns of Victimisation
Younger people are at a greater risk of being a victim
Minority ethnic groups are more likely than white groups
Males are more likely to be victims of violent attacks
females are more likely to be victims of sexual or domestic violence
If you have been a victim once, you are likely to be one again
Topic 14 - Positivist Victimisation
Miers identified 3 features of crime:
–There are factors which produce crime patterns –Crime of violence are interpersonal -victims have contributed to their own victimisation
–Studied 588 homicides
– 26% of victims triggered the events e.g. was the first to use violence
It can lead to the victim being blamed e.g. she asked for it
It ignored wider problems e.g. poverty
It ignores situations where the victim is unaware of the crime e.g. environmental crimes
Topic 14 - Critical Victimology
There are structural factors which cause crime
- e.g. patriarchy and poverty
The state has the power to label what is a crime
- e.g. police not pressing charges in domestic assault denies the wife of victim status
It disregards the role victims play in a crime e.g. not making their homes secure It's a valuable theory as it draws arrention to the fact that a victim's status is constructed by the powerful. Crime benefits the powerful at the expense of the powerless.
Topic 14 - The impact of victimisation
•Lack of sleep •Difficulties in social functioning •Increased security consciousness
•It has a effect on the family and witnesses e.g. a child witness of a sniper had bad dreams •It has waves of harm e.g. hate crimes against a minority can cause anger, fear, intimidation
Topic 14 - Feminism
•Female victims are under represented in official statistics because victims of ****, domestic abuse and sexism in the workplace are under represented •Domestic violence is a form of patriarchal power and control and is a result of the unequal power relationship between men and women •Because of fear of crime women are constrained from taking an active role in society •Women have to restrict their behaviour by not appearing too provocative in order to avoid negative labels such as '****', 'whore' or '*****'.
Topic 14 - Victimology
Conservatives think that the ideal victim which deserves attention is...
–Blameless for the incident
–Didn’t know the offender
–Was weaker than the offender
–Was the victim of a one off incident by an individual and not a corporation
- Victims of racist crime are under reported E.g. racism in the workplace/racist attacks
- The MacPherson Report (1999):
- Ethnic minorities are over policed and under protected
- Victims may be reluctant to report offences which deprives them of justice and reduces the flow of information to the criminal justice system
Marxists : victims of corporate crime are underepresented in official statistics
Topic 14 - The hierarchy of victimisation
Public sympathy goes in a certain orfer for victims of assault.
From the most sympathy is given to a child victim, then an elderly victim, then a young male victim.
The least sympathy is given to a homeless victim.
The victim movement
The campaign to give victims a voice has brought about:
–Victim offender meetings
–Impact statements in court
Crime and Deviance