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73 terms

Exam 2 Criminology

SCC Criminology with Rita Dondlinger
Choice Theory
Theory that focuses on changes in criminality over the life course; developmental theory.the view that crime is a decision to violate any law and is made for a variety of reasons, including greed, revenge, need, anger, lust, sex, jealousy, thrill-seeking, or vanity
Rational Choice Theory
The view that crime is a function of a decision-making process in which the potential offender weighs the potential costs and benefits of an illegal act adopts a utilitarian belief that man is a reasoning actor who weighs means and ends, costs and benefits, and makes a rational choice.
This theory has roots in the Classical School of Criminology developed by the Italian social thinker, Cesare Beccaria
Trait Theory
The view that criminality is a product of abnormal biological or psychological traits
Bio-social Theory
the belief that physical, environmental and social conditions work together to provide human behavior.
Arousal Theory
obtaining thrills is a crime motivator,
according to the arousal theory, sensation seekers look for stimulating activities that may include aggressive, violent behavior patterns
Nature Theory
Intelligence is largely determined genetically and low IQ is linker to criminal behavior
Nature theory argues that intelligence is largely determined genetically, that ancestry determines IQ, and that low intelligence, as demonstrated by low IQ, is linked to criminal behavior
Social Disorganization Theory
a branch of social structure theory that focuses on the breakdown in inner city neighborhoods of institutions such as family, school, and employment
This theory focuses on the urban conditions, such as high unemployment and school drop-out rates, to explain crime.
Strain Theory
is the theory that crime is a function between goals and resources, in which lower class people are unable to achieve goals so they experience strain by anger, frustration and resentment.
Strain theory holds that crime is a function of conflict between people's goals and means
Strain is limited in affluent areas because educational and vocational opportunities are available.
Social Learning Theory
the view that people learn to be aggressive by observing others acting aggressively to achieve some goal or being rewarded for violent act
Social Control Theory
maintains that all people have the potential to violate the law and that modern society presents many opportunities for illegal activity
Social Control theory suggests that crime occurs when the forces that bind people to society are weakened or broken
Social Structure Theory
is the view that disadvantaged economic class position is a primary cause of crime.
Social Reaction (Labeling) Theory
the view that people become criminals when they are labeled as such and accept the label as a personal identity
Social Reaction Theory suggests that people become criminals when significant members of society label them as such.
A major premise of social reaction theory is that the law is differentially constructed and applied, depending on the offenders
Social Conflict theory
the view that tries to explain crime within economic and social contexts and to express connections between social classes, crime, and social control.
According to conflict theorists, societal conflict promotes crime by creating an atmosphere in which the law is a mechanism for controlling the have-not members of society
Critical Feminism
the approach that explains both victimization and criminality among women in terms of gender inequality, patriarchy, and the exploitation of women under capitalism.
Critical Feminism reflects a critical perspective that explains both the exploitation of women and women's criminality in terms of gender inequality and patriarchy.
Developmental Theory
view that criminality is a dynamic process, influenced by social experiences as well as individual characteristics.
Latent View or Latent Trait Theory
The view that criminal behavior is controlled by a "master trait", present at birth or soon after, that remains stable and unchanging throughout a persons lifetime.
Life Course Theory
Theory that focuses on changes in criminality over the life course; developmental theory.
Neutralization Theory
a. Denial of responsibility: unlawful acts are beyond offenders control - "they made me do it"
b. Denial of Injury: offenders perception has changed - "stealing is borrowing"
c. Denial of the Victim: the victim deserved it - "vandalism"
d. Condemnation of the Condemners: shifting blame to others- "its society's fault"
e. Appeal to a higher loyalty: loyalty to a higher cause - "I had to protect my friends"
Travis Hirschi's Social Control Theory
a. Attachment : sensitivity to and interest in others
b. Commitment : time, energy, and effort spent in conventional activities
c. Belief : morals, values, belief in the law
d. Involvement : participation in convention activities
Situational Crime Prevention
* reduces the opportunities for criminals to commit crime
* changes criminals' ideas about whether they can get away with a particular crime
* makes it seem harder, riskier, and less rewarding to commit crime
General Deterrence
is a crime control policy that depends on the fear of criminal penalties, convincing the potential law violator that the pains associated with crime outweighs the benefits.
Specific Deterrence
the view that criminal sanctions should be so powerful that offenders will never repeat their criminal acts.
Conduct Disorders in Children
refers to a group of behavioral and emotional problems in youngsters. Children and adolescents with this disorder have great difficulty following rules and behaving in a socially acceptable way. They are often viewed by other children, adults and social agencies as "bad" or delinquent, rather than mentally ill. Many factors may contribute to a child developing conduct disorder, including brain damage, child abuse, genetic vulnerability, school failure, and traumatic life experiences.
Inter-generational Crime
crime can run through generations in families, Criminal fathers produce criminal sons who then produce criminal grandchildren
Social Classes
segments of the population whose members are at a relatively similar economic level and who share attitudes, values, norms, and an identifiable lifestyle.
Social Strata
is created by the unequal distribution of wealth, power and prestige
the movement in and out of delinquency, shifting between conventional and deviant values.
Culture of Poverty
is a separate lower class culture characterized by apathy, cynicism, helplessness and mistrust of social institutions, such as schools, government agencies, and the police, that is passed from one generation to the next.
Truly Disadvantaged
a term used for those who live below the lowest levels of poverty. The truly disadvantaged have retreated to lives of helplessness and hopelessness
transitional neighborhoods
are poverty stricken neighborhoods that suffer high rates of population turnover and are incapable of inducing residents to remain and defend the neighborhoods against criminal groups.
relative deprivation
is the experience of being deprived of something to which one believes oneself to be entitled to have. It refers to the discontent people feel when they compare their positions to others and realize that they have less than them.
pathways to crime
Authority conflict pathway: begins at an early age with stubborn behavior which leads to defiance and then to authority avoidance
Overt Pathway: begins with minor underhanded behavior and leads to property damage and the to more serious criminality
Covert Pathway: escalates into aggressive acts beginning with aggression leading to physical fighting and then to violence
key principles of life course theory
Problem Behavior Syndrome
Pathways t o crime
Age of Onset/Continuity of crime
life changing events
events that change your life.... marriage, birth of a child, death of a loved one,
offense-specific crimes
when offenders react selectively to the characteristics of particular crimes
offender-specific crimes
offender-specific crimes occur when the offenders evaluate their skills, motives, needs, and fears before making deciding to commit a crime
Id is the primitive part of people's mental makeup, present at birth, that represents unconscious biological drives for food, sex and other life sustaining necessities. The id seeks instant gratification without concern for the rights of others
The part of the personality developed in early childhood that helps control the id and keeps peoples actions within the boundaries of social convention. Ego is a reality check which develops early between the first and fifth years of life, where a child learns that their wishes cannot be instantly gratified
the moral aspect of one's personality - 2 parts: conscience and Ego Ideal.
Ego Ideal - forced to control the Id and directs people into the morally acceptable and responsible behaviors
Conscience - deals with right and wrong
nature vs nurture theory
intelligence is largely determined genetically and low intelligence is linked to criminal behaviour vs. Intelligence is not inherited but is a product of environment. Low IQ scores don't cause crime, but may result from the same environmental factors
differential association theory
a theory developed by Edwin Sutherland proposing that through interaction with others, individuals learn the values, attitudes, techniques, and motives for criminal behavior.
Therefore, the principles of Sutherland's Theory of Differential Association can be summarized into nine key points:
1. Criminal behavior is learned.
2. Criminal behavior is learned in interaction with other persons in a process of communication.
3. The principal part of the learning of criminal behavior occurs within intimate personal groups.
4. When criminal behavior is learned, the learning includes techniques of committing the crime, which are sometimes very complicated, sometimes simple and the specific direction of motives, drives, rationalizations, and attitudes.
5. The specific direction of motives and drives is learned from definitions of the legal codes as favorable or unfavorable.
6. A person becomes delinquent because of an excess of definitions favorable to violation of law over definitions unfavorable to violation of the law.
7. Differential associations may vary in frequency, duration, priority, and intensity.
8. The process of learning criminal behavior by association with criminal and anti-criminal patterns involves all of the mechanisms that are involved in any other learning.
9. While criminal behavior is an expression of general needs and values, it is not explained by those needs and values, since non-criminal behavior is an expression of the same needs and values.
paternalistic homes
father is breadwinner and rule maker; mother has menial job or is homemaker only; sons are granted greater freedom than daughters
social capital
Social capital refers to the institutions, relationships, and norms that shape the quality and quantity of a society's social interactions. Increasing evidence shows that social cohesion is critical for societies to prosper economically and for development to be sustainable. Social capital is not just the sum of the institutions which underpin a society - it is the glue that holds them together.
adolescent limited
refers to an individual who usually demonstrates delinquent or antisocial behavior only during his or her teen years then stops during the adult years..
course persisters
an individual that begins their offending at a very early age and continues to offend well into adulthood.
a. poor parenting
b. deviant behaviors
c. involvement in delinquent groups
an effect that occurs when an effort to control one type of crime has the unexpected benefit of reducing the incidence of another
the crime prevention techniques in one area may unintentionally result in increased crime rates in another area. Levels of crime may have simply shifted in response to efforts in another area.
Making crime harder to commit... fences, lightening, locks
theory of differential opportunity
is the view that lower class youths whose legitimate opportunities are limited, join gangs and pursue criminal careers as alternative means to achieve universal success goals.
What is institutional social control?
the control effective social institutions (schools, churches, business) have over crime rates
What is differential reinforcement theory?
a theory that combines both differential association and psychological learning theory in an attempt to explain crime as a type of learned behavior
What are the sources of stress/strain according to the general strain theory?
1. failure to achieve positively valued goals
2. disjunction of expectations and achievements
3. the loss of positively valued stimuli, such as a spouse
4. the presentation of negative stimuli, such as abuse and conflict
What is the differential opportunity theory?
people in all strata of society share the same success goals, but those in the lower class have limited means of achieving them
What is meant by differential reinforcement?
occurs when behavior is reinforced by being either rewarded or punished while interacting with others; AKA: direct conditioning
What is surplus value and how does it cause crime?
surplus value is the view that the laboring classes produce wealth that far exceeds their wages and it goes on to the capitalists; eventually, the largest corporations take over the smaller ones, reducing the power of the workers
What is the power-control theory?
the view that gender differences in crime are a function of economic power (class position) and parental control (paternalistic vs. egalitarian families)
What are the 3 factors structure to commit a crime?
1. risk of apprehension
2. seriousness of punishment
3. the potential gain
What are the four bio-social theories of crime?
1. biochemical: crime is a function of diet, vitamin intake, hormonal imbalance, and food allergies
2. neurological: criminals suffer brain impairment
3. genetic: criminal traits are inherited
4. evolutionary: the traits that have evolved are ingrained and can make people aggressive
Antisocial Personality Traits
A combination of traits, such as hyperactivity, impulsiveness, hedonism and inability to empathize with others, that make a person prone to deviant behavior and violence; also referred to as sociopath or psychopathic personality. SOCIOPATH- problems originate from environment, PSYCHOPATH- problems originate in ones mind
Cultural Deviance Theory
Sees strain and social disorganization together resulting in a unique lower-class culture that conflicts with social norms
Components of Social Disorganization
1. Deteriorated neighborhoods, 2. Inadequate social control, 3. Law violating gangs and groups, 4. Conflicting social values
Critical Criminology
The view that crime is a product of the capitalist system, Critical Criminology is aimed at identifying "real" crime in U.S. society, such as profiteering, sexism, and racism, considered to be Marxist or radical
Surplus Value
The difference between what workers produce and what they are paid, which goes to business owners as profits
Instrumental Theory
Sees criminal law and the criminal justice system as capitalist instruments for controlling the lower class
Structural theory
Based on the belief that criminal law and the criminal justice system are means of defending and preserving the capitalist system
Left Realism
Approach that sees crime as a function of relative deprivation under capitalism and favors pragmatic, community-based crime prevention and control
Principles of Restorative Justice
1. Crime is an offense against human relationships, 2. Victims and the community are central to justice processes, 3. First priority is to assist victims, 4. Second priority is to restore the community, 5. Offender has personal responsibility to the victim and to the community
Classical Criminology
people have free will to choose criminal or conventional behaviors, people choose to commit crime for reasons of greed or personal need, and crime can be controlled only by the fear of criminal sanctions.
Just Desert
those who violate the rights of others deserve punishment proportionate w/ the seriousness of the crime, w/o regard for their personal characteristics or circumstances
Cheater theory
sub population of men has evolved w/ genes that incline them toward extremely low parental involvement. Sexually aggressive, deceit for sexual conquest of as many females as possible.
Psycho-dynamic theory
(Freud) human personality is controlled by unconscious mental processes developed early in childhood, involving the interaction of id, ego, superego.
Anomie theory
Anomie results when socially defined goals (wealth and power) are universally mandated but access to legitimate means (job, education) is stratified by class, status
Control balance theory
Developmental theory that attributes deviant and criminal behaviors to imbalances between the amount of control that the individual has over others and that others have over him or her