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Crime & Deviance Major public / policy concern

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Presentation on theme: "Crime & Deviance Major public / policy concern"— Presentation transcript:

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

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

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 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 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 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 Radical/Conflict Criminology
Diverse UK and US perspectives Roots in Marx General position: - Laws protect rich Laws are ideological Laws 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 change Victimize young, black males; ignores crimes of powerful

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 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 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 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 Evaluating CCCS Weaknesses: Deterministic; Left functionalism
Laws protect poor? Statistical evidence questioned Underplay 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 victims Working 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 evidence Working class re as more varied, diverse, internal differences Police, courts re as necessary Examine Black and working-class crime

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Feminist Crim Postmodern Fem: - Women as highly diverse groups
- Celebrates ‘difference’, lifestyle Radical Fem: Focus on patriarchal roots of law Explore women’s perspectives Generally, Feminist approaches influence ‘Left Realist’ approach re gender/surveys Contribution 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 theory Fem focus on women – neglected before Most plausible – connect class and gender


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