The Problem of "Crime" lecture goals is to....
To understand alternative definitions of "crime" and to assess their limitations and usefulness. ; and To consider the extent to which different types of behavior may become defined as "criminal" and the potential consequences for doing so
Some possible definitions include
a commonsense definition; a legalistic definition; various types of sociological definitions
what is a Commonsense Definition of crime?
A grave offense against morality; something reprehensible, foolish, or disgraceful (Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary). recall problems with this definition
what is a Legalistic Definition of crime?
An intentional act in violation of the criminal law, committed without defense or excuse, and penalized by the state as a felony or misdemeanor (Tappan, 1947). recall problems with this definition
what are Three Sociological Definitions of crime?
1. Socially harmful behavior that may be legal or illegal yet has consequences similar to legally prohibited behavior.; 2. Any violation of human rights (e.g., the right to life, liberty, happiness, etc.); 3. Any behavior defined as 'criminal' (by the government, agents of social control, the powerful
Can corporate greed (or the maximization of profit) be defined as criminal by employing alternative definitions
how does Jankowski (in "Gang Business: Making Ends Meet") argue that gangs behave similarly to legitimate businesses
gangs possess an entrepreneurial spirit; they also provide opportunities and other useful services in poor neighborhoods
The FBI defines Aggravated assault as....
an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury.
what are sociological approaches to understanding how and why crime actually becomes defined as such
Conflict theory; Functionalist theory; and Symbolic interactionism
According to the conflict theory, what is the sociological approach to understanding how and why crime actually becomes defined as such
the legal system is a tool of the powerful to control subordinated groups
According to the symbolic interactionism theory, what is the sociological approach to understanding how and why crime actually becomes defined as such
crime and criminal justice is negotiated and "accomplished" among social actors.
According to the functionalist theory, what is the sociological approach to understanding how and why crime actually becomes defined as such
crime performs a 'function', or, is somehow useful to society or certain social groups. Defines the moral boundaries of society.