Crime and Society (Readings in History & Theory)

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Contents

  1. The Founders of Sociology
  2. Free Crime And Society Readings In History Theory
  3. Recommended For You
  4. My OpenLearn Profile
  5. Chapter 7. Deviance, Crime, and Social Control
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Youth Justice brings together for the first time the most influential international contributors to the emergent field of youth justice studies. It contains all the basic ingredients of a superb teaching book with the qualities of a thought-provoking text Should be required reading for all students of criminal justice policy and it will be a valuable teaching resource for all those involved in the delivery of courses on young people, justice and punishment' - Punishment and Society. Text provides many different perspectives on all aspects of the youth justice system, will serve as a great compliment to studies of the youth justice system and attitudes towards punishment in all levels.

This book was used in teach 'young people, law and order'. It is a recommended read as the information about restorative justice is useful. It helps students to think critically and challenge the status quo. Skip to main content. Other Titles in: Criminology General. Download flyer Recommend to Library. For the practitioner and general reader it is a book to dip into, a means to access debates and remind oneself of the ebb and flow of policy' - Youth Justice Youth Justice brings together for the first time the most influential international contributors to the emergent field of youth justice studies.

John Muncie and Gordon Hughes. However, police reported hate crimes totalled only 1, incidents in About one-third of the General Social Survey respondents said they reported the hate-motivated incidents to the police. In police-reported hate crimes had dropped to 1, incidents. The majority of these were racially or ethnically motivated, but many were based on religious prejudice especially anti-Semitic or sexual orientation. A significant portion of the hate-motivated crimes 50 percent involved mischief vandalism, graffiti, and other destruction of property. This figure increased to 75 percent for religious-motivated hate crimes.

Violent hate crimes constituted 39 percent of all hate crimes 22 percent accounted for by violent assault specifically. Crime Statistics What crimes are people in Canada most likely to commit, and who is most likely to commit them? To understand criminal statistics, you must first understand how these statistics are collected.

These annual publications contain data from all the police agencies in Canada. The accuracy of the data collected by the UCR also varies greatly. Because police and other authorities decide which criminal acts they are going to focus on, the data reflects the priorities of the police rather than actual levels of crime per se. For example, if police decide to focus on gun-related crimes, chances are that more gun-related crimes will be discovered and counted. Similarly, changes in legislation that introduce new crimes or change the categories under which crimes are recorded will also alter the statistics.

A self-report study is a collection of data acquired using voluntary response methods, based on telephone interviews. In , for example, survey data were gathered from 79, households across Canada on the frequency and type of crime they experience in their daily lives. The surveys are thorough, providing a wider scope of information than was previously available. This allows researchers to examine crime from more detailed perspectives and to analyze the data based on factors such as the relationship between victims and offenders, the consequences of the crimes, and substance abuse involved in the crimes.

Demographics are also analyzed, such as age, ethnicity, gender, location, and income level. Though the GSS is a critical source of statistical information, disadvantages exist. Inability to contact important demographics, such as those who do not have access to phones or who frequently relocate, also skews the data.

For those who participate, memory issues can be problematic for the data sets. While neither of these publications can take into account all of the crimes committed in the country, some general trends may be noted. Crime rates were on the rise after , but following an all-time high in the s and s, rates of violent and nonviolent crimes started to decline.

In they reached their lowest level since Perreault, In , approximately 2 million crimes occurred in Canada. The rate of violent crime reached its lowest level since , led by decreases in sexual assault, common assault, and robbery. The homicide rate fell to its lowest level since An estimated 1. The major contribution to the declining crime rate has been decreases in nonviolent crime, especially decreases in mischief, break-ins, disturbing the peace, theft of a motor vehicle, and possession of stolen property.

As noted above, however, only 31 percent of violent and nonviolent crimes were reported to the police. What accounts for the decreases in the crime rate? Opinion polls continue to show that a majority of Canadians believe that crime rates, especially violent crime rates, are rising Edmiston, , even though the statistics show a steady decline since Where is the disconnect? There are three primary reasons for the decline in the crime rate. Firstly, it reflects the demographic changes to the Canadian population. Most crime is committed by people aged 15 to This age cohort has declined in size since Secondly, male unemployment is highly correlated with the crime rate.

Following the recession of —, better economic conditions improved male unemployment. Thirdly, police methods have arguably improved since , including having a more targeted approach to particular sites and types of crime. Whereas reporting on spectacular crime has not diminished, the underlying social and policing conditions have. It is very difficult to get a feel for statistical realities when you are sitting in front of a TV screen that shows a daily litany of violent and frightening crime.

At the end of , approximately 38, adults were in prison in Canada, while another , were under community supervision or probation Dauvergne, By way of contrast, seven million Americans were behind bars in Bureau of Justice Statistics, In the United States in , the incarceration rate was approximately 1, per , population. More than 1 in U. While Aboriginal people accounted for about 4 percent of the Canadian population, in , they made up Aboriginal women made up Gladue that the social history of Aboriginal offenders should be considered in sentencing. Section Nevertheless, between and , the Aboriginal population in prison grew by 44 percent Correctional Investigator Canada, Hartnagel summarised the literature on why Aboriginal people are overrepresented in the criminal justice system Firstly, Aboriginal people are disproportionately poor and poverty is associated with higher arrest and incarceration rates.

Unemployment in particular is correlated with higher crime rates. Thirdly, the criminal justice system disproportionately profiles and discriminates against Aboriginal people. It is more likely for Aboriginal people to be apprehended, processed, prosecuted, and sentenced than non-Aboriginal people. Fourthly, the legacy of colonization has disrupted and weakened traditional sources of social control in Aboriginal communities. The informal social controls that effectively control criminal and deviant behaviour in intact communities have been compromised in Aboriginal communities due to the effects of forced assimilation, the residential school system, and migration to poor inner city neighbourhoods.

Although black Canadians are a smaller minority of the Canadian population than Aboriginal people, they experience a similar problem of overrepresentation in the prison system. Blacks represent approximately 2. A survey revealed that blacks in Toronto are subject to racial profiling by the police, which might partially explain their higher incarceration rate Wortley, Racial profiling occurs when police single out a particular racial group for extra policing, including a disproportionate use of stop-and-search practices i. Moreover, in a reverse of the situation for whites, older and more affluent black males were more likely to be stopped and searched than younger, lower-income blacks.

It seems intuitive that harsher penalties will deter offenders from committing more crimes after their release from prison. However research shows that serving prison time does not reduce the propensity to re-offend after the sentence has been completed. Some researchers have spoken about a penal-welfare complex to describe the creation of inter-generational criminalized populations who are excluded from participating in society or holding regular jobs on a semi-permanent basis Garland, The painful irony for these groups is that the petty crimes like theft, public consumption of alcohol, drug use, etc.

There are a number of alternatives to prison sentences used as criminal sanctions in Canada including fines, electronic monitoring, probation, and community service. These alternatives divert offenders from forms of penal social control, largely on the basis of principles drawn from labelling theory. Many non-custodial sentences involve community-based sentencing , in which offenders serve a conditional sentence in the community, usually by performing some sort of community service.

The argument for these types of programs is that rehabilitation is more effective if the offender is in the community rather than prison. In special cases where the parties agree, Aboriginal sentencing circles involve victims, the Aboriginal community, and Aboriginal elders in a process of deliberation with Aboriginal offenders to determine the best way to find healing for the harm done to victims and communities.

The emphasis is on forms of traditional Aboriginal justice , which centre on healing and building community rather than retribution.

Sociological theories of Crime

It is difficult to find data in Canada on the effectiveness of these types of programs. However, a large meta-analysis study that examined ten studies from Europe, North America, and Australia was able to determine that restorative justice conferencing was effective in reducing rates of recidivism and in reducing costs to the criminal justice system Strang et al. The authors suggest that recidivism was reduced between 7 and 45 percent from traditional penal sentences by using restorative justice conferencing.

Rehabilitation and recidivism are of course not the only goals of the corrections systems. Many people are skeptical about the capacity of offenders to be rehabilitated and see criminal sanctions more importantly as a means of a deterrence to prevent crimes, b retribution or revenge to address harms to victims and communities, or c incapacitation to remove dangerous individuals from society. The political controversies that surround the question of how best to respond to crime are difficult to resolve at the level of political rhetoric. Tough and soft are moral categories that reflect a moral characterization of the issue.

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The Founders of Sociology

A question framed by these types of moral categories cannot be resolved by using evidence-based procedures. The story of the isolated individual whose specific crime becomes the basis for the belief that the criminal justice system as a whole has failed illustrates several qualities of unscientific thinking: knowledge based on casual observation, knowledge based on overgeneralization, and knowledge based on selective evidence.

Moral categories of judgement pose the problem in terms that are unfalsifiable and non-scientific. The sociological approach is essentially different. It focuses on the effectiveness of different social control strategies for addressing different types of criminal behaviour and the different types of risk to public safety. Thus, from a sociological point of view, it is crucial to think systematically about who commits crimes and why. Also, it is crucial to look at the big picture to see why certain acts are considered normal and others deviant, or why certain acts are criminal and others are not.

In a society characterized by large inequalities of power and wealth, as well as large inequalities in arrest and incarceration, an important social justice question needs to be examined regarding who gets to define whom as criminal. In this regard, sociology is able to advocate policy options that are neither hard nor soft, but evidence-based and systematic. Aboriginal sentencing circles : The involvement of Aboriginal communities in the sentencing of Aboriginal offenders. Deviance and Control Deviance is a violation of norms. Society seeks to limit deviance through the use of sanctions that help maintain a system of social control.

In modern normalizing societies, disciplinary social control is a primary governmental strategy of social control. Theoretical Perspectives on Deviance The three major sociological paradigms offer different explanations for the motivation behind deviance and crime. Functionalists point out that deviance is a social necessity since it reinforces norms by reminding people of the consequences of violating them.

Critical sociologists argue that crime stems from a system of inequality that keeps those with power at the top and those without power at the bottom. Feminist sociologists emphasize that gender inequalities play an important role in determining what types of acts are actually regarded as criminal.


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Symbolic interactionists focus attention on the socially constructed nature of the labels related to deviance. Crime and deviance are learned from the environment and enforced or discouraged by those around us. Crime and the Law Crime is established by legal codes and upheld by the criminal justice system. The corrections system is the dominant system of criminal punishment but a number of community-based sentencing models offer alternatives that promise more effective outcomes in terms of recidivism.

Although crime rates increased throughout most of the 20th century, they have been dropping since their peak in Deviance and Control 1. Which of the following best describes how deviance is defined? In , Viola Desmond was arrested for refusing to sit in the blacks-only section of the cinema in Nova Scotia. A student has a habit of texting during class. One day, the professor stops his lecture and asks her to respect the other students in the class by turning off her phone.

School discipline obliges students to sit in rows and listen to lessons quietly in order for them to learn. Theoretical Perspectives on Deviance 6. A student wakes up late and realizes her sociology exam starts in five minutes. She jumps into her car and speeds down the road, where she is pulled over by a police officer. The student explains that she is running late, and the officer lets her off with a warning. According to critical sociology, which of the following people is most likely to commit a crime of accommodation?

Free Crime And Society Readings In History Theory

According to the concept of the power elite, why would a celebrity such as Charlie Sheen commit a crime? A convicted sexual offender is released on parole and arrested two weeks later for repeated sexual crimes. How would labelling theory explain this? Crime and the Law Which of the following is an example of corporate crime? Deviance and Control Although we rarely think of it in this way, deviance can have a positive effect on society.

Theoretical Perspectives on Deviance The Vancouver safe injection site is a controversial strategy to address the public health concerns associated with intravenous drug use. Read about the perspectives that promote and critique the safe injection site model at the following websites.


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Can you determine how the positions expressed by the different sides of the issue fit within the different sociological perspectives on deviance? What is the best way to deal with the problems of addiction? Crime and the Law How is crime data collected in Canada? New York, NY: Current. Hare, R. Without conscience: The disturbing world of the psychopaths among us. Rimke, H. The pathological approach to crime. In Kirstin Kramar Ed. Toronto, ON: Pearson. Deviance and Control Becker, H.

Outsiders: Studies in the sociology of deviance. Feely, M. The new penology: Notes on the emerging strategy of corrections and its implications. Criminology, 30 4 , Foucault, M. Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison.

Garland, D. The limits of the sovereign state: Strategies of crime control in contemporary society. Innes, M. Understanding social control: Deviance, crime and social order. Murphy, E. The black candle.

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Toronto, ON: Coles Publishing. Brookfield, VT: Ashgate. Schoepflin, T. Deviant while driving? Everyday Sociology Blog. Theoretical Perspectives on Deviance Becker, H. Becoming a marijuana user. Becker, H. Boyce, J. The division of labor in society. Hirschi, T. Causes of delinquency. Howlett, D.

Canadians for tax fairness [PDF]. Johnson, H. Dangerous domains: Violence against women in Canada. Toronto, ON: Nelson. Kong, R.

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Sexual offences in Canada. Statistics Canada catologue no. Ottawa, ON: Statistics Canada. Laub, J. Edwin H. Sutherland and the Michael-Adler report: Searching for the soul of criminology seventy years later. McFarland, J. Three former Nortel executives found not guilty of fraud. McLaren, A. The bedroom and the state: The changing practices and politics of contraception and abortion in Canada , Toronto, ON: Oxford.

McKenna, B. White-collar crime hits more than a third of Canadian organizations. Pyke, A. Are regulators throwing in the towel on financial crisis investigations? Quinney, R. Class, state and crime: On the theory and practice of criminal justice. New York, NY: Longman. Rusnell, C. Enbridge staff ignored warnings in Kalamazoo River spill. CBC News. Samuelson, L. The Canadian criminal justice system: Inequalities of class, race and gender. Singh Bolaria Ed.

Sharpe, A. Sinha, M. Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Snider, L. The regulatory dance: Understanding reform processes in corporate crime. Hinch Ed. Scarborough, ON: Prentice Hall. Tencer, D. Offshore tax haven prosecution pitifully low as sheltered money spikes: Reports.

Huffington Post. Wheeler, S. Socialization in correctional communities. American Sociological Review, 26, Zhang, T. Costs of crime in Canada, Aboriginal justice strategy annual activities report Allen, M. Police-reported hate crime in Canada, Boyd, S. Killer weed: Marijuana grow ops, media, and justice. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Correctional Investigator Canada. Dauvergne, M. Statistics Canada catologue No. Department of Justice Canada. Community-based sentencing: The perspectives of crime victims. Edmiston, J. National Post.

Some theorists have focused on biological and psychological factors, locating the source of crime primarily within the individual and bringing to the fore questions of individual pathology.

Chapter 7. Deviance, Crime, and Social Control

This approach is termed individual positivism. Other theorists — who regard crime as a consequence of social rather than individual pathology — have, by contrast, argued that more insights can be gained by studying the social context external to individuals. This approach is termed sociological positivism. Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. Take a look at all Open University courses. If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

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