SOCI 2450 week 1

Carleton University **We aren't endorsed by this school
SOCI 2450
Oct 16, 2023
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Consensus View of Society - Objectivist-legal approach reflects consensus view of society - Traditional criminological theories fit within consensus view of society - All in a society agree on values and morals - These values and morals are codified into law - The law represents all of our interests - The law applies equally to all regardless of status Crime and social reaction - Reflects conflict view of society - Various groups in conflict - More powerful groups have values/interests codified into law - Laws do not reflect all of our interests/not applied equally - Societal change = questioning traditional criminology - Critical criminology: questioning whether definitions of crime reflected social consensus or just the interests and values of certain groups - Awareness of the discretionary power of the criminal justice system (CJS) - Criminologists ask themselves: whose side are we on? Crime is socially defined - There are no universally condemned acts (even taking someones life) - There is nothing inherited in any act that makes it unlawful - it is up to society to decide - Context matters in how we define acts Crime is relative - Since crime is socially defined, the rules/laws can change - Historical and geographical differences (what is criminal in one place at one time may not be in another time/place) ex; marijuana, sexuality. - Ambiguity between criminal/non criminal Social Reaction Theories: Labelling theories - Deviance is not a quality of the act the person commits, but rather, a consequence of the application by others of rules and sanctions to an 'offender'. - The deviant is one to whom that label has successfully been applied; deviant behaviour is behaviour that people label (Howard Becker, 1963). Moral Panic theory - An exaggeration compared to the objective impact of the 'thing' & to other 'things' that may have a more serious impact. - Does not negate its seriousness
Moral panic trajectory 1) A condition, episode, person, or group is defined as a threat to societal values & interests - Unemployed youth - Sex offenders - 'Unknown strangers' 2) Its nature is presented in a stylized & stereotypical way by the media - Unemployment - crime 3) 'Experts' state diagnoses & solutions - Longer sentences for youth 4) Condition becomes more visible due to exaggerated attention - Ex: marjuana use in public park in the 1960s 5) Passes or remains long-term - Tide pods; pokemon - Guantanamo Bay; fear of immigration The 1990s Super-predator scare: the moral panic over youth violence
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