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Consensus view, conflict view, and interactionist view are three views of what

consensus view

majority of citizens in a society share common ideas and work toward a common good and that crimes are acts that are outlawed because they conflict with the rules of the majority and are harmful to society... the law defines a crime; laws apply to all citizens equally

conflict view

the law is controlled by the rich and powerful who shape its content to ensure their continued economic domination of society. CJS is an instrument of social and economic repression; law is a tool of ruling class; crime is a politically defined concept; real crimes are not outlawed; the law is used to control the underclass

Interactionist View

criminal law reflects the values of people who use their social and political power to shape the legal system. moral interpreneurs define crime; definition of crime is subjective and reflects contemporary values and morals; criminal labels are life-transforming events


what is defined by these four things: criminal law; definition constantly changing; social forces mold definition; criminal law has social control function

UCR NCVS and self-report

3 ways crime is measured

Uniform Crime Report

most important way crime is measured; collects data on Part I crimes from police agencies

Uniform Crime Report

only includes crimes reported; depends on voluntary submissions; does not include federal crimes; differences in defining and counting crimes; sometimes police try to mediate and dont report are problems with which way of measuring crime?

National Crime Victimization Survey

Ongoing victimization study conducted jointly by the justice department and the US sensus Bureau that surveys victims about their experiences with law violation

National Crime Victimization Survey

Memory errors; reluctance to report intra family crime; not knowing proper legal definitions of crimes; under reporting(lost instead of stolen) under reporting (embarrassed) are problems with which time of crime measurement

Self Report survey

local surveys; designed to measure past and current criminal activities that relies on confidentiality to insure response validity; reveals the "dark figure of crime"

Factors Influencing direction of crime rate

age structure of population; immigration; economy/jobs; abortion; gun availability; gang membership; drug usage; media; medical technology; aggressive law enforcement; tough sentences; cultural change; criminal opportunity

Crime Patterns

ecological patterns; gender; race; class; age; career offending

victim patterns

gender; age; income; martial status; race; ecological factors; victim-offender relationship; repeat victimization

Choice Theory

people commit crime when they perceive that the benefits of law violation outweigh the threat and pain of punishment; use free will to choose between conventional or criminal behaviors; most people have potential to violate law; motivated offenders balance risks and rewards; factors considered are personal situational, and legal; most will avoid crime if punishment outweighs pain, substantial liklihood of getting caught, and swift punishment will

biosocial theory

biochemical theory and neurological theory, genetic factors with enviornmental stimulus; positive stage; genetic theory

biochemical theory

of the biosocial theory: crime especially violence, is a function of diet, vitamin intake, hormonal imbalance, or food allergies, alcohol intake

neurological theory

of biosocial theory: criminals and delinquits often suffer brain impairment. ADD and minimum brain disfunctions are related to antisocial behavior

positive stage

of biosocial theory: people embrace rational scientific explanations for observed phenomena

genetic theory

of biosocial theory: criminals traits and predispositions are inherited. the criminiality of parents can predict the delinquency of cildren

psychological theory

psycoanalytic theory; attachment theory; behavioral theory; cognitive theory

psychoanalytic theory

of psychological theory: development of personality early in childhood influences behavior for rest of a persons life. criminals have weak egos and damaged personalities. some suffer from mental illnesses and disorders: bipolar

attachment theory

of psychological theory: ability to form an emotional bond to another person in childhood follows people across the lifespan. failure to develop proper attachments may cause psyhological disorders

behavioral theory

of psychological theory: people commit crime when they model their behavior after others whom they see being rewarded for the same acts

cognitive theory

of psychological theory: bc they have distorted cognitive reasoning skills, criminals perceive the world as stacked against them and believe they have little control over negative events in their lives.

social structure theory

culture of poverty; social disorganization theory; strain theory; cultural deviance theory

culture of poverty

marked by a apathy, cynicism, helplesness, and mistrust of social institutions

social disorganization theory

of social structure theory: conflicts and problems of urban social life and communities control the crime rate. crime is a product of transitional neightborhoods that manifest social disorganiztion and value conflict. characterized by increased unemployment, deteriorated housing, low income levels, increased single parent households; collective efficacy; street efficacy

collective efficacy

ability of neighborhood residents to act cooperatively to maintain social control with in communites

street efficacy

using ones wits to aviod violent confrontations to feel safe

strain theory

of social structure theory: people who adopt the goals of society but lack means to obtain them seek alternatives such as crime

cultural deviance theory

of social structure theory: a lower class culture develops in disorganized poverty ridden neighborhoods whose norms put residents in conflict with conventional social norms leaading to law violations; subcultures; cultural transmission


substratum of society that maintains unique set of values and beliefs

cultural transmission

passing of cultural values from one generation to the next.

social process theory

interactions with family can change you; interactions with key social institutions (family, school, peer group, millitary service job) shape behavior; social learning theory; social control theory; self-control theory; social reaction theory

parental efficacy

ability for parents to provide support and disipline in a non coercive manner

conflict theory

human behavior is shaped by interpersonal conflict. economic and political forces in society are fundamental cause of criminality; crimes are defined in a way that meets needs of ruling class and economic/political elites;enron; conflict theory; radical feminist theory

conflict theory

part of conflict theory: commit crime when the law, controlled by rich and powerful defines their behavior as illegal. immoral acts of powerful go unpunished

radical feminist theory

part of conflict theory: capatilist system creates patriarchy which opresses women. male dominance explains gender bias, violence against women and repression.

developmental theory

disruption in lifes major transitions can be distructive criminally; as people mature the factors that influence their behavior change

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