Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Chapter Two: The Nature and Causes of Crime.

Keyterms:
1.     Norms – social expectations about what constitutes appropriate behavior under different circumstances
2.     Deviance – violation of a social norm
3.     Mala in se – acts considered evil in themselves (assault)
4.     Mala prohibita – acts considered undesirable although not inherently evil (drug use)
5.     Offenses against morality – acts considered undesirable (adultery)
6.     Political crimes – acts viewed as a threat to the government (espionage)
7.     Regulatory offenses – activities of a business or corporation that are viewed as a threat to public health, safety, or welfare
8.     Overcriminalization – blurring the distinction between crime and merely inappropriate or offensive behaviors
9.     Legalization – legislative decision to remove a prohibited behavior from the criminal law
10.  Classical school – a perspective in criminalizing that sees crime as resulting from the conscious exercise of an individual’s free will
11.  Positivism – the perspective in criminology that sees human behavior as determined by internal and external influences, such as biological, psychological, and/or social factors
12.  Ethical view – the perspective that sees crime as a moral failure in decision making
13.  Structural/conflict view – the perspective that sees the criminal law as reflecting the will of those in power, and behaviors that threaten the interests of the powerful are punished most severely
14.  Biological determinism – positivists who see the roots of criminal behavior in biological attributes
15.  Psychoanalytic theory – Freudian theory that sees behavior as resulting from the interaction of the three components of the personality: id, ego, and superego
16.  Cognitive theory – view that behavior results from habits of thought and interpretations of reality
17.  Differential association – theory that a person becomes criminal or delinquent when he or she associates more with people who condone violation of the law than with people who do not
18.  Blocked opportunity – theory that crime results from lack of access to legitimate means for achieving goals
19.  Criminal subcultures – different forms of deviance that result when youths cease to adhere to middle-class standards and become part of the adult criminal, conflict, or retreatist subculture
20.  Labeling theory – view that adjudicating a juvenile as a delinquent encourages future delinquency through a negative public identity or changed self-image
21.  Social bond – individual’s attachment to society, including attachments to others, commitment to conventional activities, involvement in those activities, and belief in widely shared moral values
22.  Rational choice theories – theories that examine how circumstances affect criminal thinking to explain why offenders commit crimes in some situations but not in others
23.  Routine activities theory – the theory that sees criminal events as the result of a combination of a motivated offender, a suitable target, and the absence of a capable guardian to intervene
24.  Gun control – regulation of gun manufacturers, buyers, and sellers in an effort to minimize gun-related crimes


Questions For Review and Dicussion:

1.     Deviance is defined as a violation of the social norm. The difference between criminal and deviant behavior is that criminal behavior is lawfully unacceptable to society and deviant is unaccepted because it is inappropriate.
2.     Thoughts and deeds enter the definition of crime because thoughts alone do not pose a threat to society unless they are turned into actions do they pose a threat on society.
3.     The three types of mala prohibita offenses are crimes without victims, political offenses, and regulatory offenses.  These offenses differ from mala in se offenses because mala prohibita offenses are voluntarily, go against unjust government, and they violate the public’s well being and mala in se offenses against others.
4.     Some examples of over criminalization of behavior are prohibition, gambling, and marijuana.
5.     The four main views which crime is explained are classical, positivistic, ethical, and structural.
6.     Some arguments for biological and psychological determinism is that biological abnormalities and losing of the id help investigators solve crimes and reasons why.  Some arguments against biological and psychological determinism is that if people are able to think of a crime or act and do the deed then there is more than a biological and psychological reason to the crime.  There are also social theories that can explain crime.
7.     Differential Association is when a person becomes criminal or delinquent when they associate with people who condone violation of the law.  Blocked opportunity is when a person has a lack of access to legitimate means for achieving goals.  Labeling is when juveniles encourage future delinquencies through negative public views and changed self image.  Social bonding is when an individual attaches to a society or activities, or widely shared moral values.
8.     Rational-choice account for criminal behavior through routine activities by having a motivated offender, a suitable target, and the absence of a capable guardian to intervene.  Gender-based theories account for criminal behavior when it deals with male and female work positions, economic opportunities, and social class.
9.     Guns, alcohol, and drugs are concerns in the battle against crime because they are the leading causes of violence and all are illegal unless you are able to obtain certain guns, alcohol, and drugs legally.

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