Presentation on theme: "Violence in Society: Rape and Murder"— Presentation transcript:
1 Violence in Society: Rape and Murder Chapter 5Violence in Society: Rape and Murder
2 The Problem in Sociological Perspective Violence: the use of force to injure people or to destroy their propertyTypes of ViolenceSituational group violence: unplanned and spontaneousOrganized group violence: planned but unauthorizedInstitutionalized group violence: violence carried out by agents of the governmentAnti-institutional violence: violence directed against the government in violation of the law
3 What Makes Violence a Social Problem? The amount of violence (an objective condition) does not make violence a social problem.Subjective concerns about violence make it a social problem.When deciding whether a particular violent behavior is a problem, people ask the following questions:What do the actors intend by their action?Does violence conform to, or violate, social norms and values?Does the violence support or threaten the social order?Is the violent committed by or against the government?
4 Rate Of Violence Number of violent crimes for each 100,000 Americans Always be wary of crime statistics
6 Figure 5.3 – How Countries Compare in Rape and Murder
7 Looking at the Problem Theoretically Biological ExplanationsCesare Lombroso (1835–1909)Atavistic: biological throwbacks to earlier period when humanity was violent and primitiveKonrad Lorenz (1966)Claimed that evolution was the key to explaining violencePsychologist John DollardFrustration–Aggression Theory of ViolenceProblems with biological approach
8 Psychological Theories Behavior Modification – Operant ConditioningStress that if some behavior is rewarded (“reinforced”), that behavior will occur againModelingCopying another person’s behaviorProblems with psychological approachSociological approach to understanding violenceSociologists stress environmental causesExamine how social life shapes and encourages—or discourages—violence
9 FunctionalismEmile Durkheim: asking the sociological question…functions of crime?Crimes affirm a society’s norms and valuesRecognizing crime = line between right and wrongBrings people togetherSocial changeViolence/crime is normalAnomie: feelings of disconnectedness and anxiety
10 Robert Merton: Strain Theory Used Durkheim’s anomie to explain crime in the U.S.Success becomes a cultural goalCultural Means: ways to reach cultural goalStrain (or frustration and anxiety) that comes from limited means may motivate some to commit crimeStrain Theory explains why high crime rates exist among poor minorities—they experience fewer means to achieve success
11 Gottfredson and Hirschi: Control Theory Control Theory: places root cause of committing illegal acts on a lack of self-controlCauses of low self-control are negative and tend to show themselves in the absence of nurture, discipline, or trainingIneffective child-rearing practices are the major cause of low self controlInternal/External controlsMinimum requirements of effective child rearing:Adequate monitoring of the child’s behaviorRecognition of deviant behavior when it occursFair and consistent punishment of such behavior when it occurs
12 Symbolic Interactionism Edwin Sutherland: Differential AssociationPeople learn violence by interacting with other violent individuals.People learn techniques, attitudes, motives, drives, and rationalizations for violence.Excess of definitionsMost significant interactions in which people learn violence take place earliest in life, are the most frequent, endure the longest, and are the most emotional or meaningful.Mechanisms for learning violence are the same as those used to learn nonviolence.
13 Marvin Wolfgang: Subcultures of Violence Subcultural TheoryPeople who grow up in subculture that approves violent behavior have higher chance of becoming violentFitting the theories togetherTheories complement one another wellSubcultural theory stresses that violence is woven into the life of some groups.Differential association explains how people learn that violence is a suitable response from other violent people.
14 Conflict Theory Violence is inherent in society Social classes find themselves competing over limited resources.Essential division is between owners of production and workers.Situation is particularly tense for working-class males.Look beneath the surface and realize that capitalist class is actually more violent than the working class.Form of violence that distinguishes workers from capitalists
15 Research FindingsTwo most serious forms of physical violence: rape and murderForcible Rape: form of assault where one forces another to have any type of sexual relations against that person’s willStatutory Rape: sexual intercourse between an adult and a minor
16 Rape Rape perceived as social rather than personal problem Feminists: traditional definition of rape places blame on the victim, not perpetratorFeminist revision removed burden of guilt from victim and placed on perpetratorRape is an outcome of patriarchy: control by men of a disproportionately large share of powerLegal definitions of rape changed and replaced with Criminal Sexual Assault
17 The Social Patterns of Rape FBI: 89,000 American women are forcibly raped each yearThe National Crime Victimization SurveyPredictable social patternsAcquaintanceship; place; time; season; age; income; race–ethnicity; geography; region; weaponSociologists conclude that rape is not the act of a few sick men, but, rather, is intimately linked to our patriarchal culture.Injury, rape, and resistanceWoman who resists her attacker less likely to be raped, but more likely to be injured
18 Profiling the Rapist 10 profiles of rapists based on confessions: Woman HaterSadistGenerally Violence-proneRevengePoliticalSoldier Rape: rape committed by a soldier on a country’s inhabitants during wartimeWalter Mitty rapistOpportunistDate Rapists, also called Acquaintance RapistsRecreational RapistHusband rapist attacks his own wife
19 Reactions to Rape The trauma of rape Dealing with their trauma Does not end with the physical attackDealing with their traumaExpressive or ControlledDealing with the legal systemPolice departments have grown more sensitive to rape victimsIn only 40% of reported rapes is someone arrested“Legal Rape”Homosexual rape
20 Murder The social patterns of murder Least likely to be committed by a strangerPerpetrators share characteristics of social class, sex, age, and race–ethnicity with rapistsMen as killers identify guns as masculineMost dangerous time of the week is Saturday nightSaturday Night Specials refer to any inexpensive handgunU.S. murder rates have plunged 43%
27 Explaining Social Patterns Acquaintanceship: most killed by someone they knowPoverty: Conflict Theory—people in poverty may be striking out at one another instead of at their oppressors.Functionalists adopt both strain theory and control theory.The meaning behind murder: Symbolic Interaction—in some poor subcultures criminal behavior enhances a person’s reputation.Social classes also resolve disputes differently.
29 Killing as a manly act: the measure of one’s capacity as a man Women are less likely to be socialized into violenceRacial–ethnic differencesAfrican Americans kill at a higher rate than other races.More likely to be poorSubculture identifies masculinity with the willingness to defend oneself aggressivelyInterracial patterns: Functionalists stress a connection between race–ethnicity and money
30 Mass Murder: killing of four or more people in a single episode Serial Murder: killing of several people in three or more separate eventsFour social policies for prevention of violence:Programs that teach equalitySocial policies that increase the likelihood that rapists will be punishedSupport research to determine how our culture creates a climate of violenceGun control
31 The Future of the Problem Conflict theory indicates that tensions will remain in our societyFunctionalist perspective explains that violence is functional enough to be perpetuated and maintainedSymbolic interactionist perspective focuses on violence as a cultural symbol used to resolve conflictSociological perspective on violence essential to understanding our present and future stateUnderstanding of the social basis of violence can be used to implement beneficial solutions
32 The Mass Media and Violence There is no single cause of violence in US societyMost researchers agree that mass media play a part in the problemToday’s young people live in a world dominated by the mass media, and violence is an ever-growing part of that cultureMost analysts agree that violence in the media affects everyone by desensitizing people to violence
33 Poverty and ViolencePoverty itself as a form of violence that US society inflicts on peopleLow income people are highly represented as both victims and offenders of violent crimesMost violent crime in poor neighborhoods is a work of a small number of repeat offenders
34 Youth Gangs and Violence Youth gangs can be:Nonviolent groupsThose who sometimes clash over turfAll-out criminal organizationsTypical violent gang members:Come from poor, single-parent familiesAre from neighborhoods characterized by high crime rates, drug abuse, and limited job opportunities
35 Drugs and ViolenceDrugs contribute to violence by distorting judgment and reducing inhibitionsAddictions can cause cravings so strong that the search for the next high may lead some people to violence and sometimes even to neglecting or abusing their children