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Introduction to Criminology Ch 6
Terms in this set (39)
In 1966 sociologist Oscar Lewis argued that the crushing lifestyle of lower class areas produces a __________ that is passed from one generation to the next.
culture of poverty
The strain theory holds that crime is a function of the _______ between people's goals and the means they can use to attain them.
Some young men in poor inner city neighborhoods build their self image on the foundation of:
Envy, mistrust, and aggression resulting from perceptions of economic and social inequality are precursors to high crime rates. This cause and effect is referred to as:
Which theory is best described as a branch of the social structure theory that sees crime as a function of the conflict between people's goals and the means available to attain them?
According to the __________ theory, poverty, income inequality, hopelessness and despair push many residents into criminal behavior patterns.
According to social ecologists, what is the term used to describe when some residents view the outside world as the enemy bent on destroying the neighborhood?
According to Shaw and McKay, which zones had the highest crime rates?
Zones I and II
Shaw and McKay identified distinct ecological areas that had developed in Chicago, forming a series of nine ___________, and noted that there were stable and significant interzone differences in crime rates.
Robert Agnew's general strain theory helps identify the ______ level influences of strain.
Economic disadvantage and poverty can be especially devastating to:
The goal of accumulating material goods and wealth through individual competition involving the process of being socialized to pursue material success and to believe it is achievable is called the:
According to Shaw and McKay, what is an essential element of misbehavior in slum areas?
teenage law violating groups
The __________ asserts that because of strain and social isolation, a unique lower class culture develops in disorganized neighborhoods.
Cultural deviance theory
Albert Cohen first articulated the theory of delinquent subcultures in his classic 1955 book _______________.
____________ occurs when individuals accept the goals of society but are unable or unwilling to attain them through legitimate means, and the resulting conflict forces them to adopt innovative solutions to their dilemma.
The burdens of underclass life are most often felt most acutely by:
Which of the following is not discussed in some of the more recent social ecological research?
According to the _____________ theory, the key to understanding the root cause of crime can be found in the nation's socioeconomic makeup.
Shaw and McKay studied crime and delinquency in ____________.
________________ is the social control exerted by cohesive communities.
All of the following statements are true according to the social disorganization theory except:
Residents in a crime-ridden neighborhood try to leave at the earliest opportunity.
Residents in transient neighborhoods take a lot of interest in community matters. ←
Crime rates are elevated in highly transient neighborhoods.
Personal relationships in disorganized neighborhoods are strained because neighbors are constantly moving
According to the _________________ theory, crime flourishes in an area where institutions of social control, such as family, commercial establishments, and schools, have broken down and can no longer perform their expected function.
In 1970 Swedish economist Gunnar Myrdal described a worldwide ___________ that was cut off from society, its members lacking the education and skills needed to function successfully in modern society.
In a ________________ society, people are grouped according to economic or social class, characterized by the unequal distribution of wealth, power, and prestige.
Describe the association between social structure and crime.
According to social structure theory, the root cause of crime is the socioeconomic disadvantages that have become embedded in American society. People in the lower class are driven to desperate measures, such as crime and substance abuse, to cope with their economic plight. Aggravating this dynamic is the constant media bombardment linking material possessions to self-worth.
Identify the elements of social disorganization theory.
This theory focuses on the urban conditions that affect crime rates. Crime occurs in disorganized areas where institutions of social control, such as the family, commercial establishments, and schools, have broken down and can no longer perform their expected or stated functions. Indicators of social disorganization include high unemployment and school dropout rates, deteriorated housing, low income levels, and large numbers of single-parent households. Residents in these areas experience conflict and despair, and as a result, antisocial behavior flourishes.
Explain the views of Shaw and McKay.
Shaw and McKay explained crime and delinquency within the context of the changing urban environment and ecological development of the city. Poverty-ridden transitional neighborhoods suffer high rates of population turnover and often cannot induce residents to remain and defend the neighborhoods against criminal groups. The values that slum youths adopt often conflict with existing middle-class norms, which demand strict obedience to the legal code. Consequently, a value conflict further separates the delinquent youth and his or her peer group from conventional society; the result is a more solid embrace of deviant goals and behavior.
Differentiate between the various elements of ecological theory.
Crime rates and the need for police services are associated with community deterioration: disorder, poverty, alienation, disassociation, and fear of crime. In larger cities, neighborhoods with a high percentage of deserted houses and apartments experience high crime rates. As fear increases, quality of life deteriorates. People who live in neighborhoods that experience high levels of crime and civil disorder become suspicious, distrust authorities, and may develop a "siege mentality." As areas decline, residents flee to safer, more stable localities.
Discuss the concept of strain.
Strain theorists argue that although people in all economic strata share similar social and economic goals, the ability to obtain these goals is class dependent. Most people in the United States desire wealth, material possessions, power, prestige, and other life comforts. Members of the lower class are unable to obtain these symbols of success through conventional means. Consequently, they feel anger, frustration, and resentment, referred to collectively as strain. To resolve the goals-means conflict and relieve their sense of strain, some people innovate by stealing or extorting money; others retreat into drugs and alcohol; some rebel by joining revolutionary groups;and still others get involved in ritualistic behavior by joining a religious cult.
List and compare the elements of cultural deviance theory.
Cultural deviance theory combines elements of both strain theory and social disorganization theory. A unique lower-class culture has developed in disorganized neighborhoods. These independent subcultures maintain unique values and beliefs that conflict with conventional social norms. Criminal behavior is an expression of conformity to lower-class subcultural values and traditions, not a rebellion from conventional society. Subcultural values are handed down from one generation to the next in a process called cultural transmission.
Political, social, and economic programs such as affirmative action have erased the economic gulf between whites and minorities.
localities are unable to provide essential services, such as education, health care, and proper housing
Miller's focal concern theory
Citizens who obey the street rules of lower-class life (focal concerns) find themselves in conflict with the dominant culture.
Cohen's theory of delinquent subculture
Status frustration of lower-class boys, created by their failure to achieve middle-class success, causes them to join gangs.
Cloward and Ohlin's theory of opportunity
Blockage of conventional opportunities causes lower-class youths to join criminal, conflict, or retreatist gangs.
People who adopt the goals of society but lack the means to attain them seek alternatives, such as crime.
Institutional anomie theory
Material goods pervade all aspects of American life.
Relative deprivation theory
Crime occurs when the wealthy and the poor live close to one another.
General strain theory
Strain has a variety of sources. Strain causes crime in the absence of adequate coping mechanisms.
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