Introduction to crime knowledge recaps

  • Created by: Fxck_ambz
  • Created on: 11-12-17 10:50
semester 1 contents
crime and its historical context, capital punishment, how do we measure crime?, theoretical perspectives, biological and psychological perspectives, sociological perspectives
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semester 2 contents
crime and social class, gender, ethnicity & crime, youth crime and youth justice, abolition of prison for women, crime and culture, guest lecture-Frankie Owen "the little book of prison" , is green criminology important (seminar) , media & crime,
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cybercrime, terrorism and security.
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what is criminology?
No set of agreement . best described as a rendevouz subject (Rock 1986) a meeting place for those from different disciplines.
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think scientifically and using research as a basis for theorising about various aspects of crime: concerned with causes for criminal behaviour. realise the importance of criminal justice system.
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what is crime?
we think about crime all of the is the reason we look our doors at night, the reason we dont walk certain places alone, or why we dont leave laptops in display in cars. based on common sense assumptions but criminology challenges these.
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crime as a social construct
a common sense understanding of crime is that is an act which breaks the law however, the law differes over place and time and is subject to change due to social pressures.
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example of crime as a social construct
cannabis changes in classification between UK and Amsterdam, Gay rights, abortion. smoking in pubs, creation of new crimes (cybercrimes)
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crime as a social construct
"criminality is simply not something that people have or dont have; crime is not something some people do have and others dont. crime is a matter of who can pin the label on whom and underlying the socio-political process of social relations
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the sociological imagination
thinking sociologically is a way of seeing and thinking about society. "the first wisdom of sociology is this; things are not what they seem." (berger 1963)
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C. Wright Mills
noted that society creates the conditions in which many issues such as crime occur.
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Private problems
such as crime are not personal matters but public issues.
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crime and history
what is considered "criminal" changes over time. similarly who is also subject to change e.g. Nelson Mandela. both point to the relative nature of crime- crime must be seen in relation to the social context in which it occurs.
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why do we study history?
provides contextual background to our understanding of crime in contemporaryera e.g. prisons as opposed to hanging. it identifies the constantly changing natures of crime and punishment in society. political decisions have the ability to change
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key points
human understanding of crime is shaped by the social context at the time. no act in itself is criminal. acts are only criminalised once society has deemed them sufficiently deviant or harmful.
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policing as we know it is a relatively new phenomenon. 1181 assize of arms- ordered males over 15 to equip themselves to act as protectors of the home. in the event of a robbery - community policing
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night watchmen
1285-Statute of Winchester introduced night guards to patrol villages, early form of self policing. lack of access to road systems meant that many communities fended for themselves.
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bow street runners
18th century with growing divides in wealth between middle classes and lower classes. private paid detectives . role was to use information and contacts to recover goods and find culprit.
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robert peel and the new police
early 19th century- home secretary peel introduced first state paid, patrolling police force. deliberate use of blue uniform to distinguish themselves from the military. focus on prevention rather than detective work.
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1600s-local law enforcement centred on the parish.
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local opinions and laws
personalised, ecclesiastical courts maintained social discipline, "original sin" - religious morality and power of the church. punishment in public/ focus on humiliation.
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witch hunting
search for witches or evidence of witchcraft often involving moral panic, 16th & 17th century Europe. belief that a strong nation had uniform religious faith. witches as treasonous.
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witchcraft act 1735
a crime for a person to claim that any human being had magical powers or was guilty of practising witchcraft. max penalty : 1years imprisonment.
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the bloody code
increase in crimes carrying death penalty. 50 (1600s) to 200 (1800) , 18th century people hung for petty crimes
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18th century - bloody code
1744-6: people hung for arson, cattle stealing, in the 50 years 1749-1799 over half of capitally convicted were reprieved.juries sent petty criminals to gallows, punishment became public spectacle, middle class "eye for an eye" theory
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early 19th century- 160,000 convicted for a trivial offence e.g. theft were sent to various countries- America, Africa and Australia-never to return. huge voyages by ship- poor conidtions mahy convicts died en route,hard labour as punishment
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form of prison date back to 13th century-as places of detention rather than punishment. in the late 18th century prisons were used to warhouse people before trial and punishment. "bridewells"- small prisons which are considered earliest.
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prison pt 2
late 18th - mid 19th century- two tier prison system in UK
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Bridewell types prison
Mass incarceration for serious offenders
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changes in thinking about crime
the rise of modern prison coincided with enlightenment thinking about society, inc crime and punishment: 1) move away from punitiveness 2) crime as a rational act and not a result of religious, superstitious or supernatural influence.
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cesare beccaria (1738-94) famous work "On crimes and punishment" (1764)
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key ideas :
capital punishment not as effective as a life of hard labour; prison prederable to other forms of punishment: individuals are rational and purposive -punishments must outweigh the benefits of crime
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benthams panopticon
advocated prisons as the most effective form of punishment, designed the panopticon" a prison based around surveillance and regulation of conduct . suspicion of being under constant surveillance enough to ensure compliancy . principles of inspection
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Foccault 1977
"Discipline and punish" surveillance as discipline in society.
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experimental crime prevention
beccaria and bentham widely regarded as main founders of classicist thinking, however Henry Fielding (a bow street magistrate) looked at preventative measures to tackle the nations "gin craze"
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crime and social class
late 18th century - increases in property at crime at a time of inequality between wealthy and poor. many crimes related to "survival" e.g theft or protecting livelihood. "social crimes"=collective lawbreaking e,g, Luddite Machine
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new fears, old issues.
youth crime is a modern issue- a sign of decline in the social and moral order. "chavs" "neds" "gangs." evidence shows each generation views the next one as being more deviant etc. (pearson 1983) eg. teddy boys (1950s) and mods and rockers (1960s)
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historical developments
nightswatchmen, assize of arms, bow street runners, whipping and public humiliation , classicist criminology and punishment along pleasure principle. social crime survivial crimes and political protest as crime
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modern trends
public shaming e.g. community payback orders. community policing -neighbourhood watch etc. responsiblisation , private policing. revivial of classicist thinking. consumer capitalism and strain theory (Merton 1938) crime e,g, 2011 London riots,
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semester 2 contents


crime and social class, gender, ethnicity & crime, youth crime and youth justice, abolition of prison for women, crime and culture, guest lecture-Frankie Owen "the little book of prison" , is green criminology important (seminar) , media & crime,

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what is criminology?


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