Crime and Criminology (PowerPoint download) by ert554898


									Crime and Criminology

1. What is crime?
2. Durkheim on crime
3. What is deviance?
Course Website
Crime can be defined…
 Form of normal behavior
 Violation of behavioral norms
 Form of deviant behavior
 Legally defined behavior
 Violation of human rights
 Social harm/injury
 Form of inequality
Definition of crime
 If we believe that crime is human
 conduct in violation of the criminal
 law, we can easily identify criminal
 behavior from non-criminal
  Carol Carr
 The woman, Carol Carr, 64, killed her sons,
  Michael R. Scott, 42, and Andy B. Scott, 41, in a
  nursing home
 Both men were in the advanced stages of
  Huntington's disease and were bedridden and
  unable to communicate.
 The disease, a degenerative nerve disorder that
  causes involuntary body movement, dementia
  and death, killed their father, Ms. Carr's first
Carol Carr
 ''What she did was illegal, but also what she
  did was moral: she stopped the suffering of
  these children,'' her lawyer, Lee Sexton, said.
Unusual behaviors?
 Keeping poop in show boxes
Emile Durkheim (1895)
 Made three specific claims about the nature
   of crime:
1. Crime is normal
2. Crime is inevitable
3. Crime is useful
Crime is normal
 As normal as birth and marriage
 Crimes occur in all societies
 They are closely tied to the facts of collective
 Crime rates tend to increase as societies
  evolve from lower to higher phases
Kitty Genovese of Kew Gardens,
New York
 In 1964, a 29-year-old Kitty cried out for help
  from her neighbors when an assailant
  stabbed her twice in the back.
 News reports afterwards suggested that 38
  neighbors heard or saw some of what
  happened that night.
 Everyone feels that someone else will do
  something or that someone is better
  equipped to respond
Crime is normal
 Crime is functional for society
 By punishing criminals, society reaffirms it
  own values
 If crimes were not committed, then the values
  of society would become blurred
 If there is no punishment, then there would be
  no way of reestablishing the values that the
  crime offends
    Crime is inevitable

 No society can ever be entirely
    rid of crime
   Imagine a community of saints in a perfect and
    exemplary monastery
   Faults that appear venial to the ordinary person will
    arouse the same scandal as does normal crime
   Absolute conformity to rules is impossible
   Each member in society faces variation in
    background, education, heredity, social influences
Crime is useful

   Crime is indispensable to the
    normal evolution of law and morality
   Crime often is a symptom of individual
    originality and a preparation for
    changes in society
   Rosa Parks (was a criminal) is a hero
   Her simple act of protest galvanized
    America's civil rights revolution
Three perspectives on crime
 The Consensus View of Crime
 The Conflict View of Crime
 The Interactionist View of Crime
The Consensus View of Crime
 Consensus = agreement
 Crimes are behaviors believed to be
  repugnant (repulsive) to all elements of
 Substantive criminal law – written code that
  defines crimes and their punishments
 This code reflects the values, beliefs, and
  opinions of society’s mainstream
 Concept of ideal legal system
Legalistic definition
 Crime is human conduct in violation of the
  criminal laws of state, the federal
  government, or a local jurisdiction that has
  the power to make such laws
 Some activities are not crimes even though
  they are immoral (watching pornography,
  torturing animals, creating poor working
 No law= No crime
Domestic Violence
 Twenty-five years ago, police, prosecutors,
  and judges did not view domestic abuse
  (rape and battering) as real crime but rather
  as private matter where the woman to blame
 No law = no crime

Up to fifty percent of workers
 cannot drink water or go to the toilet
 when they want
A quarter of workers receive less than the
legal minimum wage, even though Nike
makes huge profits
“Abusive treatment", physical and verbal, is
exercised in more than a quarter of its south
Asian plants
Poor working conditions - Crime?
 For many years, human rights groups have
  attacked Nike for the low pay and terrible
  working conditions, and for the use of child
 Over half of its employees in Asia work more
  than sixty hours a week and have no day off
Conflict View of Crime
 Powerful groups of people label selected
  undesirable forms of behavior as illegal
 Powerful individuals use their power to
  establish laws and sanctions against less
  powerful persons and groups
 Official statistics indicate that crime rates in
  inner-city, high-poverty areas are higher than
  those in suburban areas
 Self-reports of prison inmates show that
  prisoners are members of the lower class
Conflict View of Crime

 Crime of inequality includes a lot of behaviors
  that are omitted by legalistic definition
 Crime is a political concept used to protect
  powerful people
 Crimes of power (price fixing, economic
  crimes, unsafe working conditions, nuclear
  waste products, war-making, domestic
  violence, etc)
 The developing South (particularly African
  countries like Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea, Algeria
  and Mozambique) has become the dump for
  hundreds of thousands of tonnes of
  radioactive waste from the world's rich
 A colossal business which is linked to money
  laundering and gunrunning
Nuclear waste drums
found by Greenpeace

 IIlegal dumps - among the largest in the world
  - in Somalia, where workers handle the
  radioactive waste without any kind of
  safeguard or protective gear - not even
 The workers do not know what they are
  handling, and if one of them dies, the family is
  persuaded to keep quiet with a small bit of
Interactionist View of Crime
 This view takes a smaller scale view of society and
  social order and analyses small or medium scale
  social interactions
 The main idea behind the interactionist approach to
  deviance is that the definition of what is deviant is
  socially negotiated
 We will discuss the fact that definition of crime differs
  from one culture to another and also across time
 It also differs according to where you are and with
  whom at any given moment.
 Imagine that a young male of 18 is walking
  home late one night through the city streets
  singing at the top of his lungs and weaving
  about in the road
 The police are called and the young man is
  taken to the police station
 When he gets there he explains that earlier
  that day he has been accepted for a place at
  Cambridge University and he had been out
  with his friends to celebrate
 He has no previous police record. His father
  is the local GP (General Practitioner)
 The police call his father who arrives looking
  rather embarrassed. He apologizes to the
  police and they have a little joke together
  about young men and ‘boys will be boys’
 The young man is sent home with a mild
  warning and the suggestion that he won't feel
  very well in the morning.
Another Scenario
 A young male of 18 is walking home late one night through the
    city streets singing at the top of his lungs
   The police are called and the young man is taken to the police
   When he gets there he explains that earlier that day he has
    been out with his friends to celebrate birthday
   He has no previous police record
   When asked for his address and telephone number the police
    realize that he lives in a notorious housing estate that has a high
    rate of criminal activity.
   The police call his father who arrives looking not very
    embarrassed. He apologizes to the police but they are
   The boy is charged with breach of the peace
Howard Becker (1966)
 “It is not act itself, but the reactions to the act,
  that make something deviant”
 People in different social groups/societies
  react differently to the same behavior
 Moreover, within the same society at a given
  time the perception of deviance varies by
  class, gender, race, and age
Deviance is commonplace
 We are all deviant from time to time
 Each of us violates common social norms in
  certain situations
 Being late for class is categorized as deviant
 Dressing too casually for a formal wedding
Relativity of crime
 Space
 Time
 Social context
Adultery is crime
Saudi Arabia, the
United Arab Emirates,
the Sudan, and some of
the northern states of Nigeria practice a very
strict form of Sharia law
Sharia law requires that married or divorced
persons found guilty of Zina (adultery) be
executed by stoning
Sati tradition
 Within the Indian culture there is a custom in
  which a woman burns herself either on the
  funeral pyre of her deceased husband or by
  herself with a momento after his death
 Proof of her loyalty to husband

 Prostitution legalized in Netherlands from October 1,
   Prostitutes have the right to hygienic working
    conditions and security in the workplace
   They must pay taxes
   Can have social insurance, be paid sick leave, and
    receive a pension if they work for a brothel or own a
   According to estimates published by the de Graaf
    Foundation, some 25,000 people work as prostitutes
    in the Netherlands.
Prostitutions in the USA
 A federal law against prostitution concentrate
  on the prohibition of crossing state or
  international boundaries for the purpose of
  engaging in sex for pay
 In selected counties in Nevada prostitution is
  not criminalized
Social Context of crime
 Crime is socially constructed (Burger, 1968)
 An criminal act can be the same but the
  interpretation of it can be different
The vocabulary of Homicide
 Murder is the name for legally unjustified, intentional
  homicide (legal and moral meanings)
 Execution is the name for justified homicide (when
  terrorists kill their enemies)
 Journalist Ambrose Bierce: “Homicide is the slaying
  of one human being by another. There are four kinds
  of homicide: felonious, excusable, justifiable, and
  praiseworthy, but it makes no great difference slain
  whether he fell by one kind or another-the
  classification is for the purposes of the lawyers”.
Vocabulary of homicide
 Debate about abortion
 Those who oppose call it murder
 Those who favor legal access to abortion
  speak of “terminating pregnancy” or
  “removing tissue”
 Different moralities-different vocabularies
 Crime is socially constructed?
What is deviance?
 Deviance involves the violation of group
  norms which may or may not be formalized
  into law
 Some examples: criminals, alcoholics,
  people with tattoos, compulsive gamblers,
  and the mentally ill
 Deviation from norm is not always negative:
 A member of an exclusive club who speaks
  out against its traditional policy of excluding
  women, or poor people
 Police officer who speaks against corruption
  within the department
 Deviant behavior is human activity that is
  statistically different from the average
 Deviance and crime are concepts that do not
  always easily mesh
 Some forms of deviance are not violations of
  the criminal law and the reverse is true as
Relationship between crime and deviance


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