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1 Crime & Deviance Major public / policy concern Build on SO1505 lectures Consider various theories Today: Control, Radical/CCCS Tomorrow: Left Realism,

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Presentation on theme: "1 Crime & Deviance Major public / policy concern Build on SO1505 lectures Consider various theories Today: Control, Radical/CCCS Tomorrow: Left Realism,"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Crime & Deviance Major public / policy concern Build on SO1505 lectures Consider various theories Today: Control, Radical/CCCS Tomorrow: Left Realism, Feminism Recap: Deviance – against cultural norms Crime – against criminal law

2 2 Control Theory Links to Durkheimian sociology Key focus: on CONFORMITY Social control underpins conformity Crime/Deviance marked by LACK of conformity

3 3 Control Theory: Hirschi All capable of deviance Strong bonds ensure conformity Weak bonds – deviant acts Four types of bond: i)Attachment: intimacy ii)Commitment: to education, job, reputation, etc iii)Involvement: keep busy iv)Belief: moral commitment to rules of society

4 4 Hirschi Empirical strength: deviants/criminals tend to lack controls Delinquent children – surveys show weak family bonds Later work: weak self- control: poor socialization, even if later bonds are strong

5 5 Broader Control Theories Focus on family influence or street life re delinquency Situational approaches – crime and risk; cost/benefit Focus on design e.g. housing estates – make crime less risky, weaken social bonds?

6 6 Control Theory - Evaluation Positives: -Empirical research -Pragmatic, policy-friendly e.g. install CCTV -Can foster social integration of individuals -Connects criminal acts to rationalizations of individuals

7 7 Control Theories - Evaluation Criticisms: - Ignore social structural factors underlying weak bonds -Middle-class emphasis? -Ignore motives and meanings re deviance -Conformity to bad systems? -People not that rational re criminal behaviour

8 8 Radical/Conflict Criminology Diverse UK and US perspectives Roots in Marx General position: - Laws protect rich -Laws are ideological -Laws enforced unequally.

9 9 US research Crime endemic in US capitalism – criminal networks at top. Chamblisss study of Seattle… Working class crime usually a means to survival (Quinney) Politicality of crime – actions against something, to gain social change Victimize young, black males; ignores crimes of powerful

10 10 UK research New Criminology (early 1970s) -Attacked other positions -Capitalism - exploitation causes crime -Socialism – equality, diversity -Prior researchers ignored structural roots of crime BUT: romanticized crime/class links; limited research

11 11 UK research Birmingham School (CCCS) Policing the Crisis Examine major concerns re mugging in 1970s But - statistics manipulated – no real rise in muggings So why the moral panic?

12 12 CCCS Police, media, judges, politicians reinforce panic Conflict-ridden society – but unites against crime/ Black Mugger War against crime legitimises State Wider moral panics re deviant groups (powerless e.g. scroungers) Actual Black crime reflects social oppression

13 13 Evaluating CCCS Benefits: -Very detailed mix of theory and evidence -Crime linked to social structures, institutions -Explores power relations, has serious critical component -Enables analysis of right-wing UK governments

14 14 Evaluating CCCS Weaknesses: -Deterministic; Left functionalism -Laws protect poor? -Statistical evidence questioned -Underplay issues re victims; dont confront making of criminals

15 15 Crime & Deviance Explore Left Realist and Feminist theories today Offer advances on earlier theories

16 16 Left Realism Emerged in 1980s Major impetus in feminist criminology – where were women? General failure of Radical Crim to explain victims Working class not single unit – inner differences? Survey evidence – working- class feared and were victims of crime

17 17 Left Realism New Positions: - Crime is a real problem, needs to be tackled - Away from Idealism, engage evidence -Working class re as more varied, diverse, internal differences -Police, courts re as necessary -Examine Black and working- class crime

18 18 Left Realism -Surveys point towards practical action -Favour multi-agency approach – social services, I.R., schools, etc -End of thinking re Socialist Utopia -Crime: roots in relative deprivation -Crime: often result of exclusion from intensive consumer society

19 19 Left Realism Pros: -Maintains focus on structural context of crime - Much more engaged with disadvantaged communities, victims -Greater police/community relations -Focus on other agencies

20 20 Left Realism Some Criticisms: -Fears of crime are often irrational -Surveys – imprecise information -Community policing – many might favour tougher approach -Vague sense of what community is

21 21 Feminist Criminology Key writers: Smart, Heidensohn, Carlen, Campbell Highlighted issues of female criminality or females in subcultures Significant focus on victims Critiqued old psycho-biological theories re women and crime Criticized prior studies as patriarchal, ignoring gender gap, males studying males

22 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 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 24 Feminist Criminology Carlen: most women experience control effects of work and family Women lacking these bonds more likely to commit crimes e.g. especially those raised in care homes More likely to get custodial sentences

25 25 Feminist Crim Variety of theories: Liberal Fem: -Focus on discrimination against women -Weak re critical sociological insights Socialist Fem: -Connects gender/crime issues to class, conflicts and problems of capitalism -Structuralist approach; interconnects power inequalities -Dilutes gender? Lifecourse differences

26 26 Feminist Crim Postmodern Fem: - Women as highly diverse groups - Celebrates difference, lifestyle Radical Fem: -Focus on patriarchal roots of law -Explore womens perspectives Generally, Feminist approaches influence Left Realist approach re gender/surveys Contribution re CJS, male violence towards women, etc.

27 27 Sum Up Could argue both approaches better since: - Focus on victims; often better link of evidence to theory - Fem focus on women – neglected before - Most plausible – connect class and gender

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