What is Social Disorganization Theory?
Focuses on the conditions within the urban environment that affect crime rates. A disorganized area is one in which institutions of social control have broken down and can no longer carry out their expected or stated functions.
Views crime ridden areas in which residents are trying to leave at the earliest time. Disinterested in social and community values.
environmental forces that have a direct influence on human behavior
Concentric Zone Theory
As working and middle class families flee inner-city poverty areas, the most disadvantaged population is consolidated in urban ghettos. Shaw and McKay noticed that distinct ecological areas had developed in the city, and there were concentric circles, or zones, and there were stable and significant differences in crime rates. Heaviest was in the transitional zones. Farther away had less crime. These crime rates stayed the same even with the ethnic populations changed. It was a result of the area, not the ethnic groups.
distinct ecological areas develop in cities, comprising a series of 5 concentric circles (zones) and there are stable/significant differences in interzone crime rates Highest crime rate = Zone 2 (zone of transition) Multiple cultures and diverse values (conventional and deviant) coexist must make a choice between the two.
What did Shaw & Mckay research?
linked crime in transitional slum areas to the inclination to commit crime. After population expansion in the mid 1800s, they saw a dramatic influx of foreign born immigrants and migrating families. Congregating in the central city, the newcomers had the oldest housing areas and faced numerous health and environmental hazards. People tried to get out of these bad areas, or transitional neighborhoods, and there was a lot of crime.
Collective Efficacy (Sampson & Groves)
Cohesive communities with high levels of social control and social integration, where people know one another and develop interpersonal ties, may also develop collective efficacy: mutual trust, a willingness to intervene in the supervision of children, and the maintenance of public order.
Informal social control
Primary level, award or withhold approval or respect. Helps to keep at risk kids in check.
Institutional social control
Schools, churches help to control crime
Public social control
External sources of social control. Police, politics.
Many people have challenged Shaw and McKay's concentric circles because they relied on police records, which can be different since police officers have discretion when they arrest. Middle class areas may have more crime, but less dense populations or less patrol. Shaw and McKay also assume that neighborhoods are stable, and many find social disorganization to be confusing.
People share similar values and goals but the ability to achieve personal goals is stratified by socioeconomic class. - sharp divisions between then rich and poor create an atmosphere of envy/mistrust that may lead to violence/aggression
Mechanical vs. Organic Solidarity:
Mechanical solidarity is characteristic of a pre-industrial society, which is held together by traditions, shared values, and unquestioned believes. Organic solidarity is in post industrial societies which are highly developed and dependent upon the division of labor; people are connected by their interdependent needs for one another's services and production.
Durkheim's version on anomie:
a society in which rules of behavior have broken down or become inoperative during periods of rapid social change or social crisis such as war or famine. If a society falls into anomie, it can no longer limit the goals and desires of a society.
people are connected by traditions, shared values, and unquestioned beliefs. Highly dependent on the division of labor
people are connected by their interdependent needs for one another's services and production
Shift in traditions and values creates social turmoil, established norms begin to erode and lose meaning
Merton's version of anomie
found that two elements of culture interact to produce potentially anomic conditions: culturally defined goals and socially approved means for obtaining them. He argues that legitimate means to acquire wealth are stratified across class and status lines.
Cultural goals vs. means:
Some people reject societal goals as being unsuited to them, and some people have inadequate means of attaining success.
Innovates, Conformity, Ritualism, Retreatism, Rebellion.
accepts goals and means
accepts goals, creates new means
rejects goals, keeps means
rejects both goals and means of society
rejects goals and means, substitutes new ones
Models of adaptation: Critiques:
Why do people commit certain crimes? Mugger vs. drugs?
Institutional Anomie theory
Antisocial behavior is a function of cultural and institutional influences.
Messner and Rosenfeld and Effect of the American Dream:
Capitalism makes people pursue monetary goals at a big cost. Goal = accumulating material goods/wealth via open, individual competition
Process = involves both being socialized to pursue material success and believing that prosperity is an achievable goal in American culture
Institutional imbalance of power
People in charge have the power over those who are not, which perpetuates lower classes and keeps the upper class in power the whole time.
General Strain Theory
Robert Agnew's theory that helps identify micro-level or individual influences of strain. Agnew explains why individuals who feel stress and strain are more likely to commit crimes.
Negative affective states
anger, frustration, and adverse emotions that emerge in the wake of negative and destructive social relationships.
Failure to achieve positively valued goals
disjunction between aspirations and expectations. Occurs when a youth aspires for wealth and fame, but assumes that goals are impossible because of their status.
Disjunction of expectation and achievement
being accepted into a good program but not a GREAT program.
Removal of positively valued stimuli:
Actual or anticipated removal of a valued object. Death, divorce, etc.
Presentation of negative stimuli:
Racism, anger, aggression, neglect, crime, conflict, stress.
Crime may be used as a coping mechanism for many.
3 types of coping mechanisms
Critiques of strain theory?
Doesn't fully explain gender issues in crime, females have as much or more strain as males, but their crime rate is much lower. They either have a difference in the relationship between strain and criminality or the ability to cope with the effects of strain his better for women than men.
Subcultural deviance theories
Combines the effects of social disorganization and strain to explain how people living in deteriorated neighborhoods react to social isolation and economic deprivation.
rules governing the day to day living conditions within these subcultures.
clinging to the unique value system that defines the lower class culture. Promotes illegal or violent behavior.
Social conditions make people incapable of achieving success legitimately, lower class youths experience a form of culture conflict called status frustration. This leads to gangs and non utilitarian, malicious, and negativistic behaviors.
Social Learning theories:
believe crime is a product of learning the norms, values, and behaviors associated with criminal activity. Can involve the actual techniques of crime as well as the psychological aspects of criminality.
Sutherland's theory contains basic principles about criminality. May vary in duration, frequency, priority, intensity.
Criminal behavior is learned:
: Suggested that it can be learned like any other behavior.
Learning is a by-product of interaction
Criminal behavior is learned by interaction, you don't commit crime unless you are associated with criminality.
Learning occurs within intimate groups:
Most intimate interactions have the most impact on influences.
Criminal techniques are learned
Specific direction of motives, drives, rationalizations, and attitudes.
Perceptions of legal code influence motives and drives
If something is not viewed as deviant in a group, there won't be as much of an aversion to it (friends who smoke pot)
Whether a person learns to obey the law or disregard is influenced by social interactions. Those of lasting duration may have a greater influence, as well as those that are frequent. Priority may refer to the age they were exposed to it.
Research on substance abuse:
Drug use requires learning how to buy and use drugs, which requires learning, and because it is illegal, it is usually in intimate groups like friends or even families, who usually do not feel as though it is very deviant. All aspects of Diff Assoc. seem to explain drug behavior, especially with adolescents.
attempt to explain crime as a type of learned behavior. Proposed by Akers with Burgess in 1966 and is a version of the social learning view that employs both differential association along with psychological learning theory.
Behavior is reinforced by positive responses, or being rewarded. Behavior is discouraged by being punished or having positive reinforcements taken away.
Techniques of neutralization
Sykes and Matza, assert that you can neutralize enforcement through guilt, respecting law abiding people, drawing dividing lines among potential victims (kids vs. adults, etc), or becoming subjected to conformity through community.
List the techniques of Neutralization
Deny the victim
Condemn the condemners
Appeal to higher loyalties
Critiques for learning theories?
The theory fail to account for the origin of criminal definitions. How did the first teacher learn this? Also fails to explain extraneous acts of violence, and random 1 time events. It's also possible that people seek out deviance and to be taught these things, so although they have to learn how to actually commit the crime, learning isn't the primary motivator.
Social control theories:
Maintains that all people have the potential to violate the law and that modern society presents many opportunities for illegal activity.
Reckless argues that a strong self image insulates a youth from the pressures and pulls of crimogenic influences in the environment. Reckless and his colleagues found that non-delinquent youths are able to maintain a positive self image in the face of environmental pressures towards delinquency.
Hirschi's theory that links the onset of criminality to the weakening of the ties that bond people to society. Illegal behaviors damage relationships, but without these ties, there is no penalty from friends or family when they do commit crimes.
Four elements of social bond:
Bonds lead to conformity, no bonds leads to crime
Attachment: Friends, family, community
Commitment: Family, career, success, future goals
Belief: Honestly, morality, fairness, patriotism, responsibility
Involvement: School, sports, community, church, social clubs
Empiricial support for bonding theory?
Kids who are more attached to families, friends, and school are less likely to be involved with a deviant peer group. Teens are able to develop social skills for harmonious social ties and coping mechanisms against stress. Youths in school have lower crime levels. Religious children who are in religious activities are less involved in substance abuse. Kids committed to school are less likely to be involved in crime. Youths in leisure activities and sports are less likely to be deviant and have better social skills
Critiques of bonding theory?
Many delinquents have bonds with their deviant friends, or are exposed to crime through bonds with criminals and less than conforming families. Not all bonds are equal, involvement and belief can have a varied influence on behavior. Some researchers have found these behaviors to better explain female crime than make crime. Agnew claims that there is a directionality problem between bonds and deviance, and perhaps crime/deviance causes bonds to be broken instead of the other way around.
Erickson argues that deviance is not a property inherent in certain forms of behavior, it is a property conferred upon those forms by the audience with directly or indirectly witness them. They are defined by society's reaction to people and their behaviors. People act according to these judgments.
Symbolic interaction theory
Cooley and Mead, held that people communicate via symbols like gestures, signs, words, or images, that stand for or represent something else. People interpret these symbols to create their self image: how they are perceived and how people treat them.
Looking glass self
Psychological concept created by Cooley that a person's selfgrows out of society's interpersonal interactions and the perceptions of others. You shape yourself based on how other people see you. The way your mom sees you is different than your boyfriend or girlfriend or how your brother sees you.
Primary vs. secondary deviance
Primary deviance involved norm violations or crimes that have very little influence on the actor and can be quickly forgotten. Like stealing a text book and getting an A, going to law school, being successful, the deviance is relatively unnoticed by the offender. Secondary deviance occurs when a deviant event comes to the attention of significant others or social control agents who apply a negative label. The newly labeled offended then recognizes his or her behavior and personality around the consequences of the deviant act. If the student was caught, arrested, couldn't go to law school, he becomes labeled as a criminal.
Critiques of labeling theory?
Some people are labeled and remain secret deviants. Critics also charge that social reaction theory fails to explain differences in crime rates. Labeling also ignores the onset of deviant behavior (why they commit crimes in the first place). Tittle found little evidence that stigma produces crime, many criminal careers occur without labeling; often comes after, rather than before chronic offending (serial killers).
Association between social conflict and crime, began in 1960s. Suggesting that the class-crime correlation found in official crime data was spurious. Chambliss and Seidman's writing included describing how control of the political and economic system affects the way criminal justice is administered, how definitions of crime favor those who control the justice system, and analyzing the role of conflict in contemporary society. Quinney also spelled out what he called the social reality of crime, which the law represents the interested of those who hold power in society.
Consensus vs. conflict
Bonger arguend that attempts to control law violations through force are a sign of a weak society, thought capitalism was held together by conflict, rather than consensus. The disparity between the classes kept it going. The social order is maintained for the benefit of capitalists at the expense of the population at a whole
"Crime nroms" vs "conduct norms"
Primary culture conflict
when two cultures govern behavior
ex. Person emigrates to another culture
Secondary culture conflict
when subcultures develop
related to differential organization
Rebellion is viewed as a combination of a rejection of societal goals and means, and a substitution of other goals and means.
More likely to punish the weak/poor
Ignore violations of wealthy
Racial Threat hypothesis:
states that bringing people from different groups together will worsen relations between the groups due to competition over scarce resources
: a lack of regulation and or investment will improve the interested of the neglected group.
Increase in intra-racial crime
Police are less likely to pursue
Marx; profits are reinvested which increases total quantity of capital.
Differences from conflict theories:
: Critical theories view crime as a function of the capitalist mode of production and not the social conflict which might occur in any society regardless of its economic system.
Marx believed that changes had to be made so there was not just a lower working class (proletariat) and a class of the wealthy (bourgeoisie). He viewed crime as a product of law enforcement policies akin to a labeling process theory. Saw a link between criminality and the disparities of the capitalist system.
Material forces of production
technology, energy sources, materials
Social relations of production
relationships that exist among the people purchasing the goods.
owners of the production companies.
people who do the labor for the production companies.
The Great Contradiction
What the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates, are its own grave diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable.
unmasking of the true purpose of law and justice. Involves identifying the destructive intent of capitalist inspired and funded criminology.
Capitalist society is misleading to the proletariat, and to other classes. These processes betray the true relations of forces between those classes. It is an ideological control which the proletariat either do not know they are under or which they disregard with a view of their own.
the relationship between law and capitalism is unidirectional, not always working for the rich and against the poor. Law is not the exclusive domain of the rich but rather used to maintain the long term interests of the capitalist system and control members of any class who threaten its existence.
view gender equality as stemming from the unequal power of men and women in a capitalist society, which leads to the exploitation of women by fathers and husbands. Under this system, women are a commodity.
advocates of RJ have made an ongoing effort to reduce the conflict created by the CJS when it hands out harsh punishments to offenders, many whom are powerless social outcasts. ; argues that old methods of punishment are a failure and that upwards of two thirds of a;; prison inmates recidivate soon after release.
Braithwaite notes that countries such as Japan, in which crimes being an inordinate amount of shame, have extremely low crime rates. Shame is a tool to assist in deterring crime. Critical feminism
Critiques of critical theories?
It has been criticized who charge that its contribution has been hot air, heat, but no real light. Some argue it simply rehashes the old tradition of helping the underdog, in which the poor steal from the rich to survive. Critical criminologists may unfairly neglect the capitalist system's efforts to regulate itself. Do not address problems in socialist countries. Blame capitalism for everything.
crime can begin in adolescence, and based on life events, can continue or end.
Latent trait theories
criminal behavior is controlled by a genetic trait, present at birth or soon after, that remains stable throughout life.
Gottfredson and Hirschi's self control theory
The cause of delinquent behavior is an impulsive personality
a strong sense of morality that does not allow a person to violate social norms or hurt anyone.
over a life-course, continuing to lack uniformity in a certain area (example: crime)
Causes of low self-control:
low self control can be caused by changing biology, socialization, opportunity costs of losing control.
Most common criminal trajectory, antisocial behavior peaks in adolescence and then goes away into adulthood.
Life-course persistent offender
Criminal activity continues into adulthood
Neuropsychological deficits and hormonal changes can cause more crime, and when snares effect this, behavior can remain stagnant.
arises when an individual's interactional style channels him or her into environments that themselves reinforce that style, thereby sustaining the behavior pattern across the life course through the progressive accumulation of its own consequences.
certain events, like pregnancy, drug use, death, or life events can hold up development. (I know he talked about this on Monday, but I can't find it in my notes. Make sure this is right...)
Age-graded theory of informal social control
Sampson and Laub's, traits and childhood experiences are important to understand why children become delinquent/commit crimes. Young adult experiences can redirect criminal trajectories/paths. Serious problems in adolescence undermine life chances, and positive experiences can help to propel though life without criminal behaviors, also help to create informal social control that limit deviance. Former criminals can find more traditional paths, reduces recidivism.
positive relationships that are kept throughout life, like relationships with friends, families, churches, schools, etc.
Support for Self control theories
Novice criminals commit a garden variety of crime, mature criminals become more specialized, drunk drivers are more impulsive, repeat offenders are more impulsive, incarcerated youth enjoy risk taking behavior, self control can predict deviant and antisocial behavior from teens to adults, white collar criminals have lower self control, gang members have lower SC, people who lack SC expect to commit crime in the future, gender differences in self control account for gender differences in crime, parents who manage behavior increase SC, having parents who can control behavior may reduce opportunity to commit crime. Victims have lower SC than nonvictims.
Critiques of self control theories
tautology, low self control = crime = low self control, people offend at different paces, fails to address individual and ecological patterns in cities, gender differences, moral beliefs, peer influence, people changing, modest relationship between SC and crime.
Expressive vs. instrumental violence
expressive acts of violence vent rage, anger or frustration. Instrumental violence is designed to improve the financial or social position for the criminal.
A young person develops a belligerent, angry demeanor, can come at the hands of abusive parents or caretakers, but can come from personal horrification, peer pressure, or bonds with violent people.
Takes violent youths full circle from being the victims of aggression to its initiators
Become same person they grew up despising
Ready to begin process with their own children
When the parents, peers, or caretakers make their peers/children violent as a way to perpetuate violence (often happens with parents who were abused)
Subculture of violence
Regions that experience violence tend to cluster together, because their norms are separate from society's central, dominant value system. They expect that violence will be used to solve social conflicts and dilemmas. Shared values are easier to deal with in groups.
Different types of rape:
1.Gang vs. Individual: One on one or a whole group.
2.Serial rape: raping more than one person over a period of time
3.Acquaintance rape: being raped by someone you know. Can include statutory rape or marital rape. About 50% of rapes are by acquaintances. Also usually less violent.
4.Marital Rape: being raped by a spouse. Traditionally, the husband could not be guilty of rape.
5.Statutory rape: Sex that is consensual, but is illegal because one of the partners is underage and is not of the legal consent of age.
Narcissistic personality disorder
Many rapists have been classified as having NPD, which is characterized by a love of one's self, and complete disregard of others in pursuit of their own gratification.
protect women from being questioned about their sexual history unless it directly bears on the case
the premeditation of murder, killing was considered beforehand and suggests that it was motivated by more than a simple desire to engage in an act of violence. Or the desire to inflict pain or violence.
First degree/Felony murder
deliberate and premeditated murder, or killing accompanied by a felony.
Second degree murder
requires the killer to have malice aforethought but not premeditation or deliberation. A person's wanton disregard for the victim's life and his or her desire to inflict serious bodily harm results in the victim's death.
Homicide without malice.
killing committed in the heat of passion or during a sudden quarrel that provoked violent
Involuntary Manslaughter/negligent manslaughter
Killing without meaning to, like a drunk driver or car accident.
fetal harm that causes death, before birth.
murder of very young children.
deliberate act of a parent killing their own child.
murder of senior citizens.
Relationship to offender (murder)
Murders can be separated as secondary to a felony, or acquaintance murders. Spousal murders have declined over the past few years, finding that it can be attributed to the shift away from marriage in modern society. Most occur among acquaintances, about 90% of schools with 1000+ students experience violence each year.
Assault and battery definitions:
Battery requires offensive touching, assault requires no actual touching but either attempted batter or intentionally frightening the victim y word or deed.
Someone who robs for money, steals expensive hardware, may do "jobs"
A sudden opportunity prompts the robbery (lax security, a wallet sitting down)
people who steal to support a drug addiction
Most crime rates are higher during the summer, robberies peak during the winter months. One reason maybe that the cold weather allows for greater disguise, robbers choose vulnerable victims, set up people, look for opportunities to steal.