G673: All sociologists

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The positive side of crime: reaffirming boundaries, Changing values, Social cohesion, Safety Valve. The negative aspects: breakdown of collective conscience - Anomie,
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Influenced by durkheim. Why dont people commit crime? attachment; to family, commitment; investments, involvement; in community, belief; crime is wrong
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Strain between goals and means=anomie. conformity, innovation, ritualism, retreatism, rebellion.
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It is important to consider the wide power relations in society. Who creates the laws? who benifits from them?
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Young - The vertigo of late modernity.
Institutions in Uk (media, education) stress meritocracy.Meritocracy is a myth. 'chaos of inequality' characterises financial rewards in the uk. contradiction between culture that stresses monetary value, institutions fail to deliver.
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Legilslation in the Uk gives excessive prominance to the protection of property.
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The state are reluctant to pass laws which regulate large capitalist concerns. capitalist states often use vast sums of money to attract investment from corporations. new investors recieve taz concessions, cheap loans, etc.
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greed, hostility, self interest, generated by the capitalist system motivates crimes. low income areas, people use what they have to get what they can.
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Crime is rational, makes sense in dog eat dog society, individuals have to fend for themselves.
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Law enforcement, USA. 1, selecting and punishing subject class: protects system that is responsible. 2. imprisonment neutralises opposition. 3. labelling criminals as animals - hidden from view.
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Capitalism does not always produce high crime, e.g. switzerland.
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hegemony - the ruling class ideology becomes 'common sense'
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youth styles are a challenge to class inequality.
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1970's skinheads style, response to decline in working class communities. exaggreated masculinities and anti immigrant stance.
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this resistance is magical, a form of illusion, each generation faces similar problems, but they are all trapped.
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Ethnic minorities, recieving end of discrimination, worse socio economic position. forms cultures of resistance, in which crime is an organised resistance, with basis in anti colonial struggles.
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Taylor, Walton and Young
The New Criminology. Wider origins, immediate origins, Meaning to acts, historical context, imapct of social reaction etc.
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Policing the crisis. moral panic about mugging and black youth, hegemony under threat. societies problems blamed on immigrants, government justified use of force to groups that were trying to challenge them.
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Downes and Rock
Hall failed to show in 'policing the crisis' how the moral panic was instigated
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There is no evidence that the public were panicking about black mugging, however if they were this would have been rational.
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the new criminology gave far too romantic view of criminals.
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The New criminology strayed too far from marxism
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The new criminology gave a far too romantic view of criminals.
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There is a working class bias in the prison population. 74% unemployed or employed at lowest occupational levels.
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debate about corporate crime is as much about coporate practises and biases over what is morally wrong as it is about breaking the law.
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annual loss of $40 billion dollars from white collar crimes
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Loss of life in exploration for oil in north see, lack of concern for safety issues of workers.
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Multinationals dump products. plants and practises in underdeveloped countries.poorer countries do not have the power to control large companies.
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1, stop and interrogate, 2. handed to juvenile officer, middle class better able to negotiate. 2 cities, highest rate of delinquancy has most juvenile officers.
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Taylor, Walton and Young.
How do subjective meanings originate? why do police see the 'typical delinquant' coming from low income background. who has power in society?
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The deviant career: primary deviation - commiting the act. secondary deviation, getting caught. - moral entrepreneurs, master status, self fullfilling prophecy. negotiation.
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Does not think deviants are normal people. they are not no different from anyone else untill someone comes along and 'slaps' label on them. must be reason why label applied to certain individual.
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Coastal inuits of canada. Chronic stuttering (secondary deviance) is a response to parents initial reaction to minor speech defects (primary deviance)
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Phillips and Bowling
Negative treatment of black youth by the criminal justice system lead some members of community to feel hostile. This produces self fulfilling prophecy.
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youth killed himself. accused of incest. incest not uncommon on island, but if too public offenders ostracised.
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young male prostitutes engages in homosexual behaviour but regarded it as work and saw themselves as straight.
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Labellers explore marginally deviant activities. dont explore crimes of rich and powerful.
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Labellers criticise doctors, psychiatrist, police officers, but how do more powerful groups benifit.
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laws are the reflection of the activities of people that actively seek to create and reinforce laws.
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Outlwawing of cannabis in US - 'moral cruscade' 1. people should control actions, 2. pleasure for its own sake is wrong. 3. Drugs are addictive and enslave people/
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police operate on stereotypical assumptions about what is suspicious/criminal. decision to stop or arrest rests on stereotype.
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racial profiling. older and more experienced police officers use racist language in front of younger officers. young people fit police stereotypes.
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phillips and bowling
decision to stop young black males in cars 'driving whilst black'. assume youth driving cars becase they were drug dealers or had stolen them.
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Paternalistic attitudes, the chivalry factor.
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Police discretion - Individualistic, occupational culture, Suspiciousness, Internal solidarity/social isolation, conservatism, masculinty, structural approach.
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65% police resources are spent on patrolling public spaces.
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judges favour those similar to them. Black youth up for same offence as white youth, 17% more likley to get prison sentence.
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Women are more likely to recieve shorter sentences than men. however women that deviate from norms of femininity are treated more harshly. e.g. sexually promiscuous girls more likely put into care,courts reluctant to imprison mothers w/ young child
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Farrington and Morris
Doubly deviant women recieve harsher sentences.
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Female victim, not male offender, ends up on trial in **** cases. women have to establish their respectability.
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Dobash and Dobash
Police officers very unlikely to make an arrest in cases of domestic violence, seen as priate matter. (outdated)
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The media tend to focus on violent/ sexual crimes, particulary in tabloid and TV
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Crime news focuses on dramatic events, rather than causes. Newspapers like the Guardian somtimes analyse the causes of crime howerver. recent Tv programmes highlight crime as an everyday part of life.
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Factors that make a good story - noveltly, freshness suprise; drama, excitement; titillation; focus on personalities.
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The media coverage of crime reflects public concerns.
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s. Cohen
Folk devils/moral panics. Deviancy amplification spiral. mods and rockers 'hell bent on destruction'
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Hoodies. Bluewater shopping centre, tony blair 'clamp down'. hoodies became common term, symbol of mischief. clothing sales of hoodies rose.
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evaluation of moral panics: implies crime is contructed by the media. media may exaggerate, but crime must be taken seriously
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McRobbie and Thornton
Moral panics loosing impact. Folk devils are contested. Pressure groups less succesful. threat of rebound (john major back to basics)
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A. Cohen
Lower class boys strive to emulate middle class values, lacked means. Led to status frustration, rejected values, inverted middle class values,
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Evaluation of Cohen. The young boys are showing resistance to capitalism
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Cloward and Ohlin
illegitimate oppurtunity structures. Merton fails to appreciate parallel oppurtunity structure. three adaptations; criminal, conflict (warfare) retreatist.
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Chicago gang. shows evidence of illegitimate oppurtunity structure.
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Lea and Young
Majority of crimes are intra racial. Scraton 'romanticises' criminals, in doing so ignores real harm that crime does to its victims.
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crime is seductive, young males are drawn to it.
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Young males like taking risks and engaging in edgework.
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relative deprivation/marginalisation causes subcultures to form. they are located in the views of wider society, but are blocked off from success.
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There are no distinctive sub cultural values, all groups in society share subterrenean values. most of the time people control these desires. when they do, we use techniques of neutralisation. e.g. denial of responsibility, denial of injury.
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Jock Young et al
Based on a series of victimisation surveys. criminology should provide solutions for policy makers.1) relative deprivation (runic man), 2) marginalisation (some groups more likely to be deprived) 3) subculture. (strain)
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Political revolutions only occur when the poor become aware of the sheer scale of differences between themselves and the rich
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Young does not explain the real causes of street crime. left realists have not carried out empirical research into offenders motives. too reliant on subcultural theory. however it has provided useful concepts. neither attacks or glorifies the police.
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Why do some people who experience relative deprivation turn to crime and others do not? Left realists never ask victims views about the causes of crime.
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Kinsey, Lea and Young
Military Style Policing leads to mobilisation of bystanders. Police need to improve relationships with the community and use minimal policing.
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late modern society is characterised by instability, insecurity and exclusion. deindustrialisation, decline of manual jobs has lead to unemployment and poverty. destabilisation of family/community. poor are excluded. Widespread resentment.
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Left realists have ignored corporate/organised crime.
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Left realism is not realistic. It ignores the real causes of crime (the capitalist system)
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Left realism concentrates on street crime and burglary. It fails to explore the ways that society harms women.
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Lea and Young
solution: deal with the deeper structural causes of crime. urban crime legitimate response to lack of opportunities. Policies: educational programmes, minimum pay legislation (fair wage), economic investment in poor communities.
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Sherman and Strang
general public sees restorative justice as weak and favouring the offender. Victims generally favoured it because it reduced their fear of crime and anger towards the offender.
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Reintegrative shaming; labelling act not deviant. avoids negative labelling. Attempts to reintegrate offender back into society.
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In the USA and Uk there is a lower class subculture below the working class (the underclass). Subscribes to deviant/criminal values. Lacks morals/commitment to marriage/family. absent father=young delinquent males.
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The welfare state is responsible for emergence of underclass because of welfare dependency
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Ethnography. flat on estate in yorkshire. miserable economic condition affected mental/physical health, depression, no identity or value, many did not commit crime. few signs of underclass.
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Rex and Tomlinson
Reject idea of underclass. poverty often caused by factors beyond the poors control.
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Broken windows. Crime flourishes where social control breaks down. incivilities. police should concentrate on order maintenance. zero tolerance.
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Wilson and herrnstein
crime is inevitable. people More likely to commit crime if they are not socialised into acceptable behaviour by family. they may be impulsive and have a lack of regard for others.
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Factors such as lack of investment are more important than penalties. Concentrating on minor offences means major offenders get away. If communities are made orderly criminals may simply move their activities.Wilson ignores class ethnicity gender.
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Zero tolerance had little impact on crime rates compared to more liberal approaches. right realists ignore the impact of stratification and poverty.
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Stan Cohen
New right thinking leads to class inequalities in victimisation - rich live in paranoid fortresses guarded by technology and private security forces.
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Rational choice theory. Decision to commit crime is a rational calculation of likely consequences. if perceived rewards of crime outweigh costs, more likely to offend. The costs of crime are currently low and this is why the crime rate has increased.
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Control theory
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Situational crime prevention. Encourages potential victims to design out crime, making themselves harder targets
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Crackdown on subway robberies displaced them to the street above.
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60% to prison reoffend
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Retributive justice stigmatises the individual, and involves disintegrative shaming. forms master status.
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Large proportion who commit crime believe they will not get caught, so instead of increasing punishment maybe we need to increase probability offenders will get caught.
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Offenders are more likely to be improsoned than ten years ago.
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50% of the prison population have committed minor offences for which prison is inappropriate/damaging.
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25% increase in prison population = 1% decrease in crime.
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Malestream criminology. Male dominance of offenders; male domination of sociology; vicarious identification (what interests males is studied); sociological theorising (male sociologists do not consider if their theories can be applied to females.)
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Smart and Cain
the concerns of criminology are male concerns. feminist criminology should not accept the boundaries of criminology. Transgressive criminology (go beyond the boundaries)
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Women have been socially and legally unable to give or withhold sexual consent through much of human history. Prostitution is abuse, *********** harms women.
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Males are socialised to be aggressive, self seeking and individualistic, may make them more disposed to take risks/ commit criminal acts.
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Females are more conformist, patriarchal society imposes greater control over behaviour in areas such as home, public and work.
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Girls are more strictly supervised by their parents in activities outside the home.
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McRobbie and Garber
teenage girls lives revolve around a bedroom culture that means they are more likely then boys to socialise with their friends in the home (can't commit crimes)
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Females more controlled for fear of bad reputations. boys in schools use verbalised sexual labels such as **** to control girls.
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The ratio of male to female crime is 1.5 to 1 not 7.1
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Working class females commit more crimes because they lack controls. Criminal women are those who have little qualifications/failed to find work.
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Shoplifting/prostitution are fuelled by economic necessity.
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As society becomes less patriarchal womens crime rates will rise. this has led to a new type of female criminal and an increase in womens contribution to crime. women are taking on male social roles, instead of confining themselves to 'feminine crim
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Females are increasingly likely as males to engage in risk taking behaviour. 15/16 y/o in east midlands. traditional male attitudes taken on by females
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teenage girls motivated to commit crime because of drug habit, excitement or pressure for conspicuous consumption.
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Box and Hale
If female crime has increased, it is due to unemployment and inadequate welfare benefits.
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Boys in the Uk socialised into hegemonic masculinity that stress masculine goals that must be achieved, e.g. power, objectification of women, emotionally hard, anti authority, risk taking, seeking thrills. subordinated masc. less powerful.
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messerschmidt fails to explain why particular individuals commit more crime than others.
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Search for pleasure has to placed in the context of masculinity, which stresses the importance of status and control. 'transgression; (act of offending) is thrilling, motivated by moral self transcendence.
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most youths are in a state of drift, unsure who they are, any event which gives clear identity welcomed. committing offences provides a break from boredom, pleasure and a sense of being something.
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Edgework - crime associated with the thrill of getting away with it, danger of being punished.
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Islington crime survey
Sympathetic unstructured interviews. Crime shaped peoples lives. 28% felt unsafe in their own homes. WOmen were afraid of going out at night.
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Peoples fear of crime in the islington crime survey was realistic.
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Kinsey - The Merseyside crime survey
the poor suffer more than the wealthy from the effects of crime.
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Questionnaire/interviews give a distorted and invalid view of womens experience. impose the researchers categories on women. researchers should try to understand womens experiences using unstructured interviews/observation.
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Dobash and Dobash
109 unstructured interviews with women who had an experience of domestic violence. 23% experienced violence before marriage, thought it would end. first blow, little injury, shock shame and guilt. became routine and normal.
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Female victims of domestic violence unable to leave because of gendered power relationships , women blame themselves and threat of loosing children undermines confidence.
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Survivors of domestic violence found many women undermined by verbal and physical violence.
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Hanmer and Saunders
One randomly selected street, Leeds, sympathetic and well trained female interviewers. 20% of women had been sexually assaulted but had not reported crime.
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Crime and Justice survey
35% young people 10-15 one personal crime in last year. 19% of 10-15 year olds experienced 5 or more incidents in last year. offending strongly associated with being victim.
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OCs may not be useful because it only tells us about increased reporting of particular crimes by general public than actual increases in crime.
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Ocs diverts attention away from middle class/white collar/corporate crime
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Lea and Young
OCS largely correct, working class people of commit more crime than other social groups.
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face to survey. 40,000 households. pre coded closed questions. 1990s only 1 in 4 reported to police. gap is now closing. majority of crimes property related. Violent crime fallen 12% since 2007.nearly a million fewer victims. women worry most.
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Ethnicity in CSEW
majority of crimes intra racial. 88% white victims white offenders involved.
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Bowling and Phillips
VIctims influenced by racial stereotypes and culturally determined expectations of who commits crime. Where the offender is not known, white people likely to ascribe crime to those of african Caribbean origin.
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Graham and Bowling
1,721 14-25 year olds. social class did not affect if people admitted to committing offences. lower classes admit tot more serious offences. offending the same of white black and asian. males more likely to offend than females.
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Rejects the view that working class are more lilkey to be criminal than middle class.
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roughnecks (working class), saints( middle class). saints carried out more crimes that were more serious. none of them received any punishment, better able to negotiate.
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Summarised 'patchy' knowledge of sociologists, research indicates direct and indirect discrimination against ethnic minorities.
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The police reflect wider society, therefore some racist recruits may join.
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Smith and Gray, Holdaway
Racist views among police officers, stereotypical views of criminality of african carribbean youths. this group were stopped and searched a lot more. (7x more likely than white)
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police are characterised by institutional racism. 'procedures, practises and culture tend to exclude or disadvantage non white people'
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Bowling and Phillips
review of a number of studies 1980/90 portrayed asian communities as inward, passive. there has been significant increase in stop and search of ethnic minorities. police officers see racism as natural
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Mawby and Batta
British asians (1980) relatively poor, working class few committed crime, those that did was of minor nature.
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Groups of asian males more willing to take risks of rebelling against parent culture. more aggressive stance on racist attacks and were more willing to use violence to defend communities. 'bengali bad boy image' (1999)
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Phillip and Brown
10 police stations across britain. african carribbean more likely to be arrested than their representation in the community
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Scraton and gordon
policing, media coverage and political debates centre around 'race' as problem. ethnic minorities on receiving end of discrimination. this has meant cultures of resistance formed, roots in anti colonial struggles.
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economic exclusion of ethnic minorities combined with negative social attitudes has forced them to develop an alternative economy. wide range of marginally legal/illegal activities. spontaneous set of rebellious practises. internalized rage
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Rural areas are characterised by 'Gemeinschaft' small scale, close knit communities where everyone knows everyone else, people know what is going on in community. "Gesellschaft" urban areas, large scale, loosely knit, impersonal.
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Shaw and Mckay - Functionalist
Cocentric zones identified levels of offenders. Zone two nearest city centre highest rates, but different offenders (zone of transition). over time, successful moved to affluent suburbs. cultural transmission - crime became acceptable.
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two housing estates, one had higher number go offenders. as anti social behaviour grows, it drives away the law abiding people. relatives of anti social also move in. estate has 'tipped'
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Offenders commit crimes associated with cognitively known areas.
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How easy/attractive the target is.
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Hobbs and Lister
the 'nocturnal economy' clubs/pubs. few police officers available
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Card 2


Influenced by durkheim. Why dont people commit crime? attachment; to family, commitment; investments, involvement; in community, belief; crime is wrong



Card 3


Strain between goals and means=anomie. conformity, innovation, ritualism, retreatism, rebellion.


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Card 4


It is important to consider the wide power relations in society. Who creates the laws? who benifits from them?


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Card 5


Institutions in Uk (media, education) stress meritocracy.Meritocracy is a myth. 'chaos of inequality' characterises financial rewards in the uk. contradiction between culture that stresses monetary value, institutions fail to deliver.


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