Sociology A2 Cards - Crime & Deviance - Part 2

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  • Age & Crime: Subcultural explanation (C&D, Topic 5a)
  • Interactionist
  • Subterranean values - used by all groups in society (not just C&D)
  • Usually control desires
  • When emerge, use techniques of neutralisation for justification

Techniques of Neutralisation -

  • Denial of responsibility - denies own fault
  • Denial of victim - claims its victim's fault
  • Denial of injury - victim not hurt by crime
  • Condemnation of condemners - feel picked on, others done it & not being punsihed
  • Appeal to higher loyalties - rule ignored as more important issues at stake
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Left Realist Explanations

Jock Young - Street crime commited by mostly young males, due to...

  • Relative deprivation - comparison feeling, media, economic & consumer goods
  • Marginalisation - economic, social & political, youths in urban areas
  • Subculture - If suffer 2 above, reflect own issues, in wider society's values but blocked off

Kinsey et al - Military-style Policing

  • Local communities don't give info, stop & search many or CCTV
  • Mobilisation of bystanders - locals suppport 'target' members, major social disturbances
  • Improve relations - get info, Minimal policing - over focus on some crimes, distorts OCS

Young - High crime society, low tolerance

  • Individualism - Consumerism, big wealth inequality, media promote cultural inclusion & economic exclusion
  • Social exclusion - poor systematically excluded, goals but no legitimate means
  • Late modernity - C widespread (class), Public & state reactions change (formal controls)
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Left Realist Solutions

Deal with deeper structural causes of crime - (if felt meritocratic, less anger & crime)

  • Reduce income & wealth inequalities - standard of living, jobs, housing, urban enviros
  • Urban crime is rational response to lack of legitiamte means
  • Educational policies, Minium pay legislation, Economic investment (poorest urban areas, creates jobs)

Improve Policing - Lea & Young -

  • Military-style policing in urban area, esp black communities
  • Use racial profiling used in stop & search, insitutional racism
  • Build local community trust, get info

Restorative Justice -

  • Sherman & Strang - Public thinks weak & favours criminal, Victims like it as reduces fear & anger
  • Braithwaite - Reintegrative shaming, labels act as deviant, not offender, makes aware of impact, easier to readmit to society, crime rates lower in societies where used primiliary
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Right Realist Explanations

New Right - Murray - The Underclass - Main cause of crime in inner city areas

  • Below w/c, unemployed, Own deviant values - socialise kids, Lack moral values
  • Sigle mums, boys use role models on street (no dad), status in crime, hate police/authority
  • Marsland - welfare dependency, workshy

Right Realism - Wilson - Broken Windows -

  • Incivilities - minor offences (litter, drugs), controlled by community
  • Crime where social order breaks down, incivilities not controlled, leads to more serious crime
  • Police to target incivilities, makes different view of what's acceptable - Zero tolerance

Rational Choice Theory - Clarke -

  • Commit if rewards outweigh costs, costs low so high crime rate, informal/formal control weak

Control Theory - Hirschi -

  • 4 bonds (Attachment, Commitment, Involvement, Belief), less when young so more criminal
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Right Realist Solutions

Situational Crime Prevention (SCP) -

  • Reduce oppurtunities for crime, design out crime,
  • Increase chance of getting caught - make harder targets with security
  • Works in cars security -  less theft

Broken Windows - Wilson -

  • Incivilities (litter) uncontrolled leads to serious crime, informal/formal social controls weak
  • Must tackle any signs of decline immediatley
  • Public housing not above 3 floors, residents take care of shared spaces
  • Zero Tolerance - Police must tackle all crime - New York subways

Retributive Justice & Incarceration (imprisonment) -  

  • Criminals excluded from society, deters others, punitive approach - more in prison
  • Costs of crime (prison sentences) too low, need to increase cost & chance of being caught so costs outweigh benefits of crime
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Types of Feminism and Crime

Liberal -

  • Bring women into agenda, show how women ignored in research
  • New theories to cover male & females

Marxist -

  • Only undersood by locating males/females in context of society - divided by sexism & capitalism

Radical -

  • Only understand female crime from female perspective, Assume all men commit crime against women if can
  • Women create own approach to explain C&D, with male threat

Postmodernist -

  • Smart & Cain - Transgressive criminology (beyond boundaries), all (il)legal activities that hurt women - Domestic violence, stay in fear of violence, etc


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Andrea Dworkin

Radical Feminist

Pornography, Rape, Prositution - Inveitable expressions of gender norms, Patriarchial society

  • Women lack same rights (economic/social) as men so cant be consensual sex
  • Prositution is economic exploitation of women
  • Rape fits male gender norm as aggressive, female as passive
  • Women as property in law - US martial **** legal until 2003
  • Wants to ban *********** - 'sexually explicit subordination of women', all feminists should
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Low female crime rate

Feminist explanations - 10-20% female, 80-90% male

Differential socialisation - Smart & Oakley -

  • Males socialised as aggressive, ristaking - criminals, females as passive - less criminal values

Differential controls - Heidensohn -

  • Control of women at home - family roles like housewife so no time for crime, daughters kept inside, McRobbie & Garber - bedroom culture
  • In public - fear of crime so stay inside, limit behaviour as not sluts, Lees - boys use sexualised labels at school '****'
  • At work - male superiors at work, harrassment
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Men & Crime

Explaining the high crime among men -

Messerschmidt -

  • Boys socialised into hegemonic masculine value system - masculine goals  eg Objectification of women, Anti-authority, Taking risks
  • Accomadating masculinity - white m/c boys, educational achievement, deviant outside of school
  • Oppositional masculinity - white w/c boys, anti-authority, agreesion
  • Lower w/c ethnic minority boys - Lack means of hegemonic success, use violence, serious property crime for ecomonic success
  • For w/c as street crime, also m/c as white collar & corporate crime

Thrill seeking -

  • Katz - pleasure in crime 'transgression', thril is rational if achieving goal hegemony
  • Matza - state of drift for youth, crime as no place in society
  • Lyng - 'edgework' thrill of getting away & danger of getting caught, control over lives
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Victimisation – Left Realism

Victimisation of the inner-city poor - often ignored by OCSurveys

Islington Crime Survey (ICS) - Lea & Young - 

  • Victim survey, 1/3rd households affected by a serious in last 12 months
  • 1/4 always avoid being out at night as fear of crime, over half of all women did this - realistic as urban area & unreported ****
  • 28% unsafe in homes

The Merryside Crime Survey - Kinsey -

  • Fear of crime highest among poor as most at risk from it 
  • Quantity & impact of crime - poor suffer more
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Victimisation - women

Feminism: the victimisation of women -

Postmodern feminism -

  • Smart & Cain - Transgressive criminology - Go beyond boundaries, look at all activities that harm women

Feminist victim surveys -

  • Critical of CSEW as structured interviews have power issues - Graham - use unstructured interviews & observations instead
  • Dobash & Dobash - Domestic violence, unstructured interviews, used female researchers, violence worsened over time, became routine, blame themselves
  • Walklate - Victims of DV cant leave as gendered power relationships, less money & confidence
  • Kelly - Undermined by verbal & physical abuse 
  • Hanmer & Saunders - One random street in Leeds, female interviewers, 20% of women had been sexually assaulted, never reported it
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Reporting Crime

Pilkington - OCS only show increase in reporting of crimes, not actual increase

  • Public more materialistic - less tolerant of property crime - more reporting
  • Media need newsworthy stories - create moral panics - folk devils & deviancy amplification spiral - juvenile delinquincy less tolerated - more reporting/arrests/laws
  • Victimless crimes (drugs/prositution) less reported - depend on police - varies by area - cant compare stats

Every 100 crimes, only 47 reported to police, 27 recorded, only 5 get caution/conviction, Self-report studies show volume of crime should be greater, women & M/C as likely to do crime

CSEW Findings -

  • Less likley to report if... Trival, private matter, too embarassing, cant give info, too fearful
  • More likely to report if... Benefit them (insurance), trust police to get positive result,

Media give examples of crime - sensitising public to certain crimes - makes victims aware of being one - how victim surveys work, eg... Change of domestic violence from family matter to crime (positive)

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Recording Crime

Approx 40% of all crimes reported to police, aren't in OCS

The role of the Police - Factors influence their decisions -

  • Seriousness of crime, Social status of vicitim, Classifying crimes differs, Discreation - only 10% offences uncovered by police, arrests of based on disrepectful behaviour to police, Promotions & relationships at work - arrests are balance of promotions (lots) and comradeship (not too keen)

The role of the Courts - 

  • Pleading guilty - 75% of all charged plead guilty, often trying to lighest sentence even if innocent, usually for non-serious crimes - in stats

The role of the Government -

  • Cultural changes & influence of powerful groups - what is a crime changes over time
  • Changes in stats could be changes in law, not just crime itself
  • Eg... Increase in cannabis - police see change in public opinion - less arrests - stats 'show' decrease, not true
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CSEW (The Crime Survey Of England And Wales)

It is an annual victim survey using face to face structured interviews done by 22 trained interviewers with laptops to record responses from a sample randomly selected from the Postcode Address File aged 16+ in private residence. Designed to be nationally representative so results can be generalised to whole country. Response rate lower in inner city.

Makes good statistical data due to pre-coded fixed response questions. Asks only about past year. Focus mostly on certain crimes (Property/Violent). Methods highly scientific.

Findings -

  • During 1990's only 1 in 4 crimes reported but gap narrowing (Crime falling). Majority of crime in 2009 was property. Violent crime is 21% not 19% like in OCS (Though half results in no injury and has fallen since 2007 by 12%) Risk of becoming victim down from 24% to 22% - only 3% adults face violent crime in last year. Women fear all crime more except vehicle though those most afraid of violent crime (Women/Elderly) are least likely to be victims and those least afraid (Young men) are most.
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Ethnicity & Victim studies

  • Ask victims the ethnicity of offender

Findings -

  • eg CSEW - majority of crime is intra-racial (same race)
  • White victims = 88% white offender, 3% black, 1% Asian, 5% mixed
  • Black victims = 42% black
  • Asian victims = 19% Asian
  • Ethnic minority victims = 50% white offenders - although 90% pop white

Issues -

  • Only 20% of survey recorded crime are personal crimes where you see offender
  • Bowling & Philips - victims influenced by racial stereotypes, if offender identity not know white victims more liekly to say African-Carribean origin
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Class & Self Report Studies

Box - Reviewed 40 studies on deliquency (In different countries) and from these rejected the view shown in the OCS that w/c youth are more likely to offend than m/c.

Chambliss -  Studied two deliquent gangs from the same area in the USA, one were w/c "Roughnecks" who often got into fights, shop left and siphoned petrol and were seen as bad boys by locals and police - all arrested at least once.

The other were m/c "Saints" who were respectable and though stoppped/questioned sometimes were never even ticketed. Chambliss claimed the Saints did more and serious crime like drunk driving, stole and placed barricades on sharp road bends.

Chambliss concludes that the police are bias over class, don't suspect m/c as they don't fit the police stereotype of deliquent and the Saints parents also persuade police of their childs innocence. They see m/c deliquency as harmless pranks.

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Gender & Self Report Studies

  • Females in lots of criminal activities, less violence
  • Females commit less crime than men, in sexual crimes (traditionally male) and shoplifting (trad female)
  • Campbell - SRS showed ratio of crime, Male 1.5 to 1 female, not 7.1 (OCS)
  • Issues - Over-reporting, under-reporting, ethical issues, getting representative sample
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Ethnicity & Self Report Studies

The major study into this area done in Britian is the Home Office study by Bowling & Phillips -  "Young People & Crime"  based on a large sample.

Findings -

  • This study found that white and black respondants had very similar rates of offending (44% and 43% respectively) while Asian (Indians 30%, Pakistanis 28% and Bangladeshis 13%) had significantly lower rates.

Conclusions -

This study challenges the view that black people offend more than white people, it also supports that Asians do less.

However we can't be sure it shows the true rate either as Self Report studies rely on honesty (Minority ethnic young people may especially distrust authority), ignore those living in institutions and underplay the more serious offences.

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Police Racism

Explanations of higher arrests depending on race -

Reflection of society approach -

  • Lord Scarman - Police reflect wider society, some recruits are racist

Canteen culture - 

  • Officers have distinct working values, under pressure, social isolation, repsonse to pressure, sense of identity,
  • Reiner - culture includes isolation, macho vlaues, suspicious, racism,
  • Smith & Grey, Holdaway, Graef - Held stereotypical views on criminlity of African-Carribean youths, stop & search them more - 7 times more

Insitutional racism -

  • Found in MacPherson Inquiry (Stephen Lawrence death), entire culture is racist, not individuals, not personal values, affects assumptions about young black males, attitudes & behaviour
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Bowling & Philips

  • Mawby & Batta - w/c, poor, Asians in urban areas, stastically should be criminal, not very criminal or else minor crimes, due to family honour
  • Desai - some males go against this, use violence against racism, Bengali bad boy image instead of weak/passive one
  • Bowling & Philips - Insitutional racism - Overpolice areas with AC's, military-style, often resentment over loss of white areas,
  • CCTV in 5 urban areas, Asians less likely to be stopped & searched, AC depends on area 
  • CSEW explains this by other factors - age, income, area
  •  Most recent - increase in stops & searches of EM's, 12% black, 6% Asian
  • The Youth Lifestyles Survey - AND OUR SURVEY SAYS... 58% of black people felt police treated them less fair than white, 41% of Indians & 45% of Paskistanis & Bangladeshis felt same
  • Arrest AC 4X more than should be in porportion to pop, imprisoned 6X more compared to white people
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Exclusion & alternative economies -

  • Researched street life & economy of deprieved area in New York, mostly illegal mexican immigrants, African-carribeans & Puerto Ricans
  • Economic exclusion of ethnic minority groups + negative social attitudes - create alternative economy
  • Includes legal/illegal activities, drug-selling most profitable
  • Distinct subculture, street culture of resistance
  • Drugs leads to violence, addicts, internalised rage, small dealers get addicted, destroys families & communities, chaotic & violent community
  • Illegal activities & resulting culture may lead to involvement in crime
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Shaw & McKay

Locality & crime - Functionalism

  • Chicago, divide into 5 concentric zones,
  • Zone 2 nearest city centre, highest offender rate
  • Pop changed regularly, same level of offenders but different ones
  • Immigrants move into cheapest area - zone of transition, richer ones move out, new ones move in
  • High pop turnover = Social disorganisation - informal social control is weak/absent so crime happens

Cultural transmission Theory-

  • Social disorganisation = distinct set of values, alternative to mainstream societ
  • Some groups in socially disorganised & poorest zones of the city, crime became culturally acceptable
  • Continued through socialisation
  • Successful criminals are role models - show crime as normal + career possible
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  • Everyone has a cognitive map of where we live
  • Stongest is route from home to study/work & entertainment
  • Most likely to offend where opportunities for crime link with areas we know (on our cognitive map)
  • Less likely where we don't know
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Hobbs & Lister

Nocturnal economy -

  • Past 15 years - growth in pubs & clubs
  • Youth
  • Alcohol, drugs, fun
  • In 2000, over 200 million club addmissions = £2.5 billion
  • 3/4 all violent incidents in urban areas happen at weekend between 9PM - 3AM, usually by & between groups of young males - drunk/drugs

Issues -

  • Few police officers at night, 15,000 noctowls - 12 officers
  • Mostly done by private security companies paid by clubs/pubs
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