Criminology Final Exam Study Guide

How does Felson’s routine activities theory explain crime and deviance?
Felson’s routine activities theory explains crime and deviance by stating the 3 key factors: the availability of suitable targets such as homes containing easily stable goods, the absence of capable guardians, such as police, homeowners, neighbors, friends, and relatives, and the presence of motivated offenders, such as a large number of unemployed teenagers. This increases the likelihood that a crime will take place.
What is victim-precipitated crime?
According to victim precipitation theory, some people may actually initiate the confrontation that eventually leads to their injury or death and can be either active or passive.
What are the key ideas of Beccaria?
The key ideas of Beccaria are that (a) people choose all behavior including criminal behavior, (b) their choices are designed to bring them pleasure and reduce pain, (c) criminal choices can be controlled by the fear of punishment, and (d) the more severe, certain and swift the punishment the greater its ability to control criminal behavior.
How did Beccaria influence the United States Bill of Rights?
His writings have been credited with as the basis of the elimination of torture and severe punishment in the 19th century, which in turns was embraced by the Declaration of the Rights of Man.
What are the main points of classical theories of crime?
The main points of classical theories of crime are that punishment has four objectives 1. To prevent all criminal offenses, 2. When it cannot prevent a crime, to convince the offender to commit a less serious crime, 3. To ensure that a criminal uses no more force than is necessary, and 4. To prevent crime as cheaply as possible.
What is meant by individual agency?
Individual Agency is simply the capacity of individuals to act independently and make free choices.
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What are some current rational choice theories of crime?
Some current rational choice theories of crime are deterrence theory.
How Are Poverty and Deprivation Related to Crime?
Poverty and deprivation are related to crime by people being in inadequate living conditions and are feeling as though they do not have a equal chance in society which is deprivation so they may feel the need to participate in crime so that they are assured certain rewards such as money, jewelry and a chance for them to feed their family.
What are the three branches of social structure theories of crime?
The 3 branches of social structure theories are social disorganization theory, strain theory and cultural deviance theory.
How does (1) Ecological/ Social disorganization theory, (2) Strain theory, (3) Cultural deviance theory (cultural transmission theory) explain crime?
These theories explain crime by highlighting key elements that can cause crime such as deteriorated neighborhoods, inadequate social control, law-violating gangs and groups, conflicting social values, unequal distribution of wealth and power, frustration, alternative methods of achievement, development of subcultures as a result of disorganization and stress, and subcultural values in opposition to conventional values.
What is social structure?
Social structure focuses on the social environment that one can be surrounded by which can lead to crime. What causes inequality? Unequal distribution of wealth and power in society can lead to inequality. What does inequality lead to? It can lead to a person to experience strain, which in essence can lead a person to a life of crime. How? Because people suffering through strain may experience failure to achieve goals, disjunctions of expectations and achievements, removal of positive stimuli and the presentation of a negative stimuli.
How do Shaw and McKay argue that social areas/neighborhoods affect criminal behavior?
Shaw and McKay argue this by stating that social areas and neighborhoods affect criminal behavior with 6 key elements: poverty, social disorganization, breakdown of traditional values, criminal areas, cultural transmission and criminal careers.
How are values shaped by neighborhood deprivation?
They are shaped by the development of law violating gangs and groups and deviant values are thus replaced by conventional values and norms.
How does values in disorganized neighborhoods impact youth crime?
This impacts youth crime because studies have shown that poverty affects children because they are more prone to join these law violating gangs and behavior impairments. Furthermore, they are more prone to dropping out of school and becoming teenage parents.
What problems do families have socializing their children in these areas?
The problems they have is one the family itself can be weak and dysfunctional and thus not placing the morals and values that the kids should have as well as the inadequate education system. Negative factors surround them influence their kids.
What is the role of social disorganization and specifically peer groups in promoting crime?
The role of social disorganization is to breakdown the social institutions and organizations such as school and family, and the role of peer groups is to develop gangs and replace conventional values and norms with deviant values.
What are recent ecological theories of neighborhoods?
Recent ecological theories of neighborhoods view that living in deteriorated, crime-ridden neighborhoods exerts a powerful influence over behavior that is strong enough to neutralize the positive effects of a supportive family and close social ties.
What did Williams Julius Wilson find?
He found that the lowest level of the underclass is truly disadvantage meaning that these individuals are socially isolated people who dwell in urban inner cities, occupy the bottom rung of the social ladder and are victims of discrimination.
What did William Julius Wilson in the 1980s and later discover about Chicago neighborhoods and the effects of the concentration of poverty?
He discovered that most adults in inner-city ghettos are not working during a typical week, poverty is eternal and unchanging and get worse for residents and further shut them out of economic mainstream.
What are the basics of Durkheim’s Anomie Theory?
The basics of Durkheim’s Anomie Theory are that an anomic society is one in which rules of behavior such as norms, customs, and values have broken down or become inoperative during periods of rapid social change or social crisis.
What is anomie and what causes it?
Anomie is a condition produced by normlessness, because of rapidly shifting moral values a person has few guides to what is socially acceptable. Merton defines it by saying it is when a person is unable to achieve personal goals by available means.
What basic question did Durkheim and early sociologists try to answer?
The basic question they tried to answer was what factors cause a person to participate in deviant values and norms.
How did Durkheim’s ideas help to explain crime?
His ideas helped explain crime by introducing the notion if traditional values, norms, and customs are not strong in a society than that crime is more likely to occur.
How is crime related to mechanical and organic solidarity?
Crime is related to mechanical and organic solidarity because crime is more likely to occur when a society transitions from mechanical solidarity which has shared values, traditions and unquestioned beliefs to an organic solidarity which causes people to be connected by their interdependent needs for one another’s services and production.
What is the basic point of Merton’s anomie theory, and how does it build on Durkheim?
When the same success goals held up to all, but access to legitimate means blocked to large segments of a population, anomie increases. Merton’s anomie theory describes how conditions favorable to crime increase when societies stress the same cultural goals for all, but put little stress on norms or legitimate means of achieving these, and systematically deny large segments of the population access to legitimate means of achieving these goals.
What are five ways in which Merton says that people react/adapt to the experience of the disjunction between access to cultural goals and institutional means?
The five ways in which he explains this is conformity (embraces social goals and has the means to do), innovation (accepts social goals, but does not have legitimate means to do so), ritualism (practice traditional ceremonies regardless if they have a purpose or goal), retreatism (rejects goals and means of society), and rebellion (substituting an alternative sets of goals and means for conventional ones).
What is the American dream?
The American dream is a term that employs both a goal and a process.
What is Messner’s Crime and American Dream (Institutional Anomie Theory)? and What might be done to change this?
He adds to this by stating that the American Dream involves accumulating material goods and wealth via open competition. As a process, it involves both being socialized to pursue material success and believing that prosperity is an achievable goal in American culture. Well this happens because capitalist culture promotes intense pressures for economic success and this can change when people stop being so interested in making money so that they can focus on the needs of their family and restraints of morality.
How is institutional anomie demonstrated in the success at any cost theme in such films as Scarface?
Institutional anomie is demonstrated in the film Scarface by him wanting more power and money and this is causes antisocial behavior as a function of cultural and institutional influences in U.S. society.
What are the key Ideas of Agnew’s General Strain Theory of Crime (GST)?
The key ideas of Agnew’s general strain theory, identify the micro-level or individual influences of strain, and explains why individuals who feel stress and strain are more likely to commit crimes.
What are the sources of strain, according to Robert Agnew and his general strain theory?
Sources of strain are failure to achieve positively valued goals, disjunction of expectations and achievements, removal of positive stimuli and the presentation of negative stimuli.
How do people cope with strain?
Some people who experience strain fall into a life of crime and eventually resort to criminality but some cope with strain by marshaling their emotional, mental, and behavioral sources to cope with anger and frustration produced by strain.
What are some of the traits that enable some people to cope with strain in non-deviant ways?
Both individual traits and personal experiences over the life course help people to cope with strain in a non-deviant matter.
What are some examples of ways people differ in intellectual ability, reasoning capacity, ability to handle rejection, in temperament, ability to rationalize or otherwise cope?
Some examples can be people using violence for self-protection may increase feelings of self-worth among those who feel inadequate or intellectually insecure. Violent responses may also be used in responding to a negative stimuli. Some defenses are cognitive in which people rationalize frustrating circumstances.
Agnew writes of negative affective states, such as anger, frustration, disappointment, depression, and fear that come about from 4 primary sources of strain. Examples of the development of negatively affected states and how they might promote crime and deviance?
Well when negatively affected states such as anger, frustration, disappointment, depression, and fear occur it can lead to antisocial behavior such as drug abuse, delinquency, violence and dropping out of high school.
What is the relationship between how often strain occurs, the likelihood that negative emotional states will arise?
Well the relationship of strain and negative emotional states that can arise is the ecological differences within the community. They influence the goals people pursue and the ability people have to meet these goals, also influences the feelings of relative deprivation and exposure to aversive stimuli, including family conflict, incivility, and economic deprivation, and influences the likelihood that angry, strain-filled individuals will interact with one another.
How does this, in turn, increase the possibility of the rationalization of aggression? Of this perceived justification for anger; resentment; perceptions of injury?
This increases the possibility of rationalization of aggression because certain people have an explosive temperament, being overly sensitive or emotional, low tolerance for adversity and poor problem solving skills, and with these skills it makes people feared and disliked by society.
Miller’s Focal Concerns of Lower class Culture. What does Miller argue are the focal concerns of lower class culture?
He argues that trouble, toughness, smartness, excitement, fate, autonomy are the focal concerns of lower class culture.
How does Cohen’s subculture theory account for juvenile crime?
Status frustration, reaction formation to inability to meet standards of middle-class measuring rods. These youth find trouble in positively impressing authority figures such as teachers, employers, or supervisors. He says there are 3 existing subcultures the corner boy (some petty or status offenses) the college boy (embraces the cultural and social values of the middle class), and the delinquent boy (adopts a set of norms and principles in direct opposition to middle-class values.
In what historical/intellectual context did Sutherland first propose his theory of crime?
He first propose his theory of crime in his 1939 text, “Principles of Criminology” with the final version of the theory appearing in 1947.
What are the key principles that he mapped out in his differential association theory? The key principles of the differential association theory are 1. Criminal behavior is
The key principles of the differential association theory are 1. Criminal behavior is learned, 2. Learning is a by-product of interaction, 3. Learning occurs with intimate groups, 4. Criminal techniques are learned, 5. Perceptions of legal code influence motive and drives, 6. May vary in frequency, duration, priority, and intensity, 7. The process of learning criminal behavior by association with criminal and anti-criminal patterns involves all the of mechanisms involved in any other learning processes, and 8. Criminal behavior is an expression of general needs and values, but is not excuses by those needs and values because noncriminal behavior is also an expression of those needs and values.
What is learned in Sutherland’s theory and how is it learned?
Criminal behavior is learned along with criminal techniques and is learned by interaction with intimate groups.
How do definitions of the situation as favorable or unfavorable to crime come about?
This comes about when a person becomes a criminal when he or she perceives more favorable than unfavorable consequences to violating the law. According to Sutherland’s theory, individuals become law violators when they come in contact with people, groups or events that produce an excess of definitions favorable towards criminality and are isolated from counteracting forces. Example of this is when a person is exposed to friends sneaking into a theater to avoid paying for a ticket or talking about the virtues of getting high on drugs.
What are some examples of differential techniques, attitudes, and motives?
Some examples of differential techniques, attitudes and motives are learning the proper way to pick a lock, shoplift, and obtain and use narcotics. Also they learn proper terminology for their acts then acquire proper reactions to law violations. Examples is getting high on marijuana and learning how to smoke it properly.
What difference does frequency, duration, priority, and intensity make?
The differences that frequency, duration, priority and intensity makes is that when a person decides to obey the law or disregard it, it is influenced by the quality of social interactions that occur.
What is the key idea of Travis Hirschi’s Social Bond Theory?
Is that it links the onset of criminality to the weakening of the ties that bind people to society. He assumes all people are potential law violators, but they are kept under control because they fear illegal behavior will damage their relationships with friends, parents, neighbors, teachers and employers.
What are the Four Elements of the Social Bond Theory?
The four elements of the Social Bond Theory are attachment (refers to a person’s sensitivity to and interest in family, friends and community), commitment (involves the time, energy, and effort expended in conventional lines of action such as future, career, success, personal goals), involvement (people more involved in positive activities leaves little time for illegal behavior such as school activities, sports, social clubs and religious groups), and belief (people living in the same social setting often share common moral beliefs such as honesty, morality, fairness, patriotism, and responsibility).
What does the Labeling Theory state and how is the irony of Social Reaction Theory explained?
The Labeling Theory states that people who enter into law violating careers when they are labeled for their acts and organize their personalities around the labels. The irony of Social Reaction Theory explains that the role of society in creating deviance, and also explains why some juvenile offenders do not become adult criminals and develops concepts of criminal careers.
What is Sykes and Matza’s Neutralization Theory and discuss the key idea(s)?
They view the process of becoming a criminal as a learning experience in which potential delinquents and criminals master techniques that enable them to counterbalance or neutralize conventional values and drift back and forth between illegitimate and conventional behavior. Based their theory on observations such as criminals sometimes voice a sense of guilt over their illegal acts, offenders frequently respect and admire honest law abiding people, criminals draw a line between those whom they can victimize and those whom they cannot, and criminals are not immune to the demands of conformity.
What are the key ideas of Gottfredson and Hirschi’s Low Self-Control Theory?
The key ideas of Low Self-Control Theory, is that all varieties of criminal behavior and all the social and behavioral correlates of crime. Crimes such as burglary, robbery, embezzlement, drug dealing, murder, rape and insider trading all stem from a deficiency of self-control.
What are the characteristics, staring points (assumptions), and key ideas of Developmental Theories of Crime?
They attempt to provide a more global vision of criminal career encompassing its onset, continuation and termination. They consist of two distinct viewpoints the Life Course Theory and the Latent Trait Theory. The Life Course Theory holds that the propensity for crime changes over the life course, with multiple pathways to crime, multiple classes of criminals, and crime and its causes are interactional and they affect each other. The Latent Trait Theory holds that master traits guide behavior, such as impulsivity, intelligence, and control. Developmental theories are dynamic and integrative, and examine the different aspects of offending at different periods over the life course.
What is Problem Behavior Syndrome?
According to this view, crime is one among a group of interrelated antisocial behaviors that cluster together and typically involve family dysfunction, sexual and physical abuse, substance abuse, smoking, precocious sexuality and early pregnancy, educational underachievement, suicide attempts, sensation seeking, and unemployment.
How did Hirschi and Gottfredson describe impulsive personality characteristics?
According to them the propensity to commit crime is tied directly to a person’s level of self-control. People with limited self-control tend to be impulsive; they are insensitive to other people’s feelings, risk takers, shortsighted, and nonverbal. They have a here and now orientation and refuse to work for distant goals; they lack diligence, tenacity, and persistence. Tend to be adventuresome, active, physical and self-centered. As they mature they have unstable jobs, marriages, and friendships and are less likely to feel shame if they engage in deviant acts and are more likely to find them pleasurable. They are also more likely to engage in dangerous behaviors such as drinking, smoking, and reckless driving which in essence is associated with criminality.
What Are Some Types of Violent Crimes and Trends in Violent Crime?
Murder, Forcible Rape, Aggravated Assault, Mass, Spree, Serial Murder, Typology of Serial Killers, Terrorism, Is There a Terrorist Personality, Domestic Violence. The Terrorist Mind: The psychological, social, and political forces behind terrorism.
What are the roots of violence described in the text?
The roots of violence described in the text can be a function of human traits and makeup, improper socialization and upbringing, and could be related to dysfunctional social values.
How do ineffective families, exposure to violence, and cultural values influence the propensity to violence?
Ineffective families influence the propensity to violence by absent or deviant parents, inconsistent discipline, physical abuse, and lack of supervision have all been linked to persistent violent offending and may cause violent behavior to occur throughout life. Exposure to violence influences the propensity of violence by people adopting the violent methods themselves and children may become desensitized to the persistent brutality. Cultural Values influence the propensity of violence by creating a subculture of violence in poor and disorganized neighborhoods, which norms are separate from society’s central, dominant value system.
What is instrumental violence?
Are acts designed to improve the financial or social position of the criminal examples include armed robbery or murder for hire.
What is expressive violence?
Are acts that vent rage, anger or frustration from a person.
What are the different types of rape, according to Groth?
He first explains that rape contains at least one of three key elements: anger, power and sadism. The different types of rape according to Groth are gang rape, serial rape, acquaintance rape, date rape, marital rape, and statutory rape.
How do gang rapes differ from individual rapes?
Gang rapes differ from individual rapes because gang rape victims are more likely to resist and face injury than those attacked by a single offender.
What are some of the myths of rape, as discussed in class and the violence website?
Some myths of rape are the evolutionary/biological factors, male socialization, psychological abnormality, social learning, and sexual motivation.
How do gang rapes and individual rapes differ in terms of injury to victim, resistance of victim, and likelihood of reporting rape?
Victims are more likely to call police, to seek therapy and to contemplate suicide and are considered more severe in violence and in outcome.
What does the text and readings say about date rape?
In regards to date rape the text states that there is no single form of date rape. It may happen on the first date or after a developing relationship has been established. The male partner may feel that he is owed sexual relations or that sexual intimacy is an expression that the involvement is progressing.
What does the text say about the relationship between victims and offenders?
The victims tend to have history of excessive drinking and prior sexuality, conditions, which may convince them that their actions contributed to their own victimization. The offenders tend to get their victims drunk, threatening them with termination of relationship, threatening to disclose negative information, making them feel guilty and uttering false promises to obtain sex.
To what extent does rape have a sexist treatment by the legal system?
The extent that rape has a sexist treatment by the legal system is a major conflict. The police, prosecutors and court personnel and the legal technicalities, that authorize invasion of women’s privacy when a rape case is tried in court, treat rape victims in a sexist fashion.
What does the literature say about college women and rape?
In regards to college women and rape, date rape is believed to be frequent on college campuses and studies have shown that 15 to 30 percent of all college women are victims of rape or attempted rape.
What would you advise your sister or friend about preventing rape, including date rape?
The advise I would give my sisters in preventing rape from happening to them would be to be aware of your surroundings, don’t succumb to drinking or other acts you do not want to participate in and to call me if you are in danger.
How is the professional criminal distinguished from the occasional criminal?
The professional criminal is much more in-depth and successful in crimes. The occasional criminal can be novice burglars, such as juveniles and drug addicts who often find it difficult to establish relationships with professional fences that they turn instead to nonprofessionals to unload the stolen goods.
What are the characteristics of good burglars?
The characteristics of a good burglar include technical competence, maintenance of personal integrity, specialization in burglary, financial success, and the ability to avoid prison sentences.
What is a professional fence and what are the characteristics of a successful fence?
A professional fence is a term coined by Edwin Sutherland states that it is when a person earns their living solely by buying and reselling stolen merchandise. Characteristics of a successful fence are upfront cash, connections with suppliers of stolen goods, connections with buyers, and complicity with law enforcers.