Presentation on theme: "Crime & Deviance Major public / policy concern"— Presentation transcript:
1 Crime & Deviance Major public / policy concern Build on SO1505 lecturesConsider various theoriesToday: Control, Radical/CCCSTomorrow: Left Realism, FeminismRecap:Deviance – against cultural normsCrime – against criminal law
2 Control Theory Links to Durkheimian sociology Key focus: on CONFORMITY Social control underpins conformityCrime/Deviance marked by LACK of conformity
3 Control Theory: Hirschi All capable of devianceStrong bonds ensure conformityWeak bonds – deviant actsFour types of bond:Attachment: intimacyCommitment: to education, job, reputation, etcInvolvement: keep busyBelief: moral commitment to rules of society
4 Hirschi Empirical strength: deviants/criminals tend to lack controls ‘Delinquent’ children – surveys show weak family bondsLater work: ‘weak self-control’: poor socialization, even if later bonds are strong
5 Broader Control Theories Focus on family influence or ‘street life’ re delinquency‘Situational’ approaches – crime and risk; cost/benefitFocus on design e.g. housing estates – make crime less risky, weaken social bonds?
6 Control Theory - Evaluation Positives:Empirical researchPragmatic, policy-friendly e.g. install CCTVCan foster social integration of individualsConnects criminal acts to rationalizations of individuals
7 Control Theories - Evaluation Criticisms:- Ignore social structural factors underlying ‘weak bonds’Middle-class emphasis?Ignore motives and meanings re devianceConformity to ‘bad’ systems?People not that ‘rational’ re criminal behaviour
8 Radical/Conflict Criminology Diverse UK and US perspectivesRoots in MarxGeneral position:- Laws protect richLaws are ideologicalLaws enforced unequally.
9 US research Crime endemic in US capitalism – criminal networks at top. Chambliss’s study of Seattle…Working class crime usually a ‘means to survival’ (Quinney)‘Politicality of crime – actions against something, to gain social changeVictimize young, black males; ignores crimes of powerful
10 UK research ‘New Criminology’ (early 1970s) Attacked other positions Capitalism - exploitation causes crimeSocialism – equality, diversityPrior researchers ignored structural roots of crimeBUT: romanticized crime/class links; limited research
11 UK research Birmingham School (CCCS) Policing the Crisis Examine major concerns re ‘mugging’ in 1970sBut - statistics manipulated – no real rise in ‘muggings’So why the ‘moral panic’?
12 CCCS Police, media, judges, politicians reinforce panic Conflict-ridden society – but unites against ‘crime’/ ‘Black Mugger’‘War against crime’ legitimises StateWider moral panics re ‘deviant’ groups (powerless e.g. ‘scroungers’)Actual Black crime reflects social oppression
13 Evaluating CCCS Benefits: Very detailed mix of theory and evidence ‘Crime’ linked to social structures, institutionsExplores power relations, has serious critical componentEnables analysis of right-wing UK governments
14 Evaluating CCCS Weaknesses: Deterministic; Left functionalism Laws protect poor?Statistical evidence questionedUnderplay issues re victims; don’t confront making of criminals
15 Crime & Deviance Explore ‘Left Realist’ and Feminist theories today Offer advances on earlier theories
16 Left Realism Emerged in 1980s Major impetus in feminist criminology – where were women?General failure of Radical Crim to explain victimsWorking class not single unit – inner differences?Survey evidence – working-class feared and were victims of crime
17 Left Realism New Positions: - Crime is a real problem, needs to be tackled- Away from Idealism, engage evidenceWorking class re as more varied, diverse, internal differencesPolice, courts re as necessaryExamine Black and working-class crime
18 Left Realism Surveys point towards practical action Favour multi-agency approach – social services, I.R., schools, etcEnd of thinking re Socialist ‘Utopia’Crime: roots in relative deprivationCrime: often result of exclusion from intensive ‘consumer society’
19 Left Realism Pros: Maintains focus on structural context of crime - Much more engaged with disadvantaged communities, victimsGreater police/community relationsFocus on other agencies
20 Left Realism Some Criticisms: Fears of crime are often irrational Surveys – imprecise informationCommunity policing – many might favour ‘tougher’ approachVague sense of what community is
21 Feminist Criminology Key writers: Smart, Heidensohn, Carlen, Campbell Highlighted issues of female criminality or females in subculturesSignificant focus on victimsCritiqued old psycho-biological theories re women and crimeCriticized prior studies as patriarchal, ignoring gender gap, males studying males
22 Feminist Criminology Most statistics show most crimes by males Females commit similar offences, but less seriously and regularly? (Walklate)Focus on domestic violence, sexual offences, etc
23 Feminist Criminology Women treated leniently in CJS? No: evidence not there; cf. treatment of prostitutes, other ‘deviant’ women (e.g. ‘failed mothers’)Changes in Controls?Women more emancipated, looser controls, so more crime?No: economic marginalization more influential
24 Feminist CriminologyCarlen: most women experience ‘control’ effects of work and familyWomen lacking these bonds more likely to commit crimes e.g. especially those raised in care homesMore likely to get custodial sentences
25 Feminist Crim Variety of theories: Liberal Fem: Focus on discrimination against womenWeak re critical sociological insightsSocialist Fem:Connects gender/crime issues to class, conflicts and problems of capitalismStructuralist approach; interconnects power inequalitiesDilutes gender? Lifecourse differences
26 Feminist Crim Postmodern Fem: - Women as highly diverse groups - Celebrates ‘difference’, lifestyleRadical Fem:Focus on patriarchal roots of lawExplore women’s perspectivesGenerally, Feminist approaches influence ‘Left Realist’ approach re gender/surveysContribution re CJS, male violence towards women, etc.
27 Sum Up Could argue both approaches better since: Focus on victims; often better link of evidence to theoryFem focus on women – neglected beforeMost plausible – connect class and gender