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SY3 -Understanding Power and Control. Understanding Crime Mrs Leigh Ashford. Objectives. Consider ways of controlling crime and deviance Consider your own perceptions of crime Consider some causes of crime. WHAT IS POWER?

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sy3 understanding power and control

SY3 -Understanding Power and Control

Understanding Crime

Mrs Leigh Ashford

objectives
Objectives
  • Consider ways of controlling crime and deviance
  • Consider your own perceptions of crime
  • Consider some causes of crime
slide3

WHAT IS POWER?

“an individual or group has power when they are able to get what they want despite opposition from other people”

slide4

Sources of power

Coercion which involves the use of force. People obey because they feel that they have no choice and that they are forced to obey against their will.

Authority is exercised over us when we willingly obey an individual or a group because we see it as the right thing to do. Force is not necessary because we agree to obey.

social control formal or informal
Social Control – formal or informal?
  • The law
  • The media
  • Government policies i.e tax, welfare or education
  • Domestic violence
  • Role modelling
  • The police and armed forces
  • Socialisation
  • Patriarchy
  • False class consciousness
  • value consensus
  • Trade unions
  • Which form of control is the most effective?
slide7
Task
  • In groups of 3 brainstorm answers to questions in exercise 1 of your booklets. You have 5minutes!
slide8
Task
  • Now see if you can apply sociological perspectives to your answers
  • What are they ?
slide11
Official crime rates in the UK are falling and surveys suggest that as a result people feel safer than they did 2 years ago
young african caribbean males are more likely to be perpetrators of crime than victims
Young African-Caribbean males are more likely to be perpetrators of crime than victims
slide15

A middle-class white boy living in a rural community is more likely to receive only a caution for a first offence than a working-class black boy living in a city.

women offenders are sometimes treated more harshly because of a perception that they are unfeminine
Women offenders are sometimes treated more harshly because of a perception that they are ‘unfeminine’
what causes crime

What causes crime ?

A summary of types of theory

biological theories
Biological theories
  • Cesare Lombroso was the first of these thinkers.
  • They suggest that the physical make up of criminals is different from that of ‘normal’ people.
  • This then pre-disposes them to crime.
  • Some more recent gene mapping studies have shown certain genes may be linked to criminal behaviour – however this is not certain.
social psychology
Social Psychology
  • H J Eysenck was one of the best known.
  • They suggest that criminals are different in their mental structure in some way.
  • They commit crime because their social experiences have led to incorrect thinking.
structural theories of crime
Structural theories of crime
  • These suggest that the workings of society are at fault.
  • Laws and social structures create criminals.
  • Marxism sees capitalism as the main problem which leads to poverty and hence crime. However Functionalists see crime as a product of social consensus over what is right and wrong – crime is seen as good for society.
labelling theories
Labelling theories
  • These suggest that the reactions of people to those who are labelled as criminal is the problem.
  • It creates self-fulfilling and a hardening of the behaviour and does not allow people an escape route.
  • They define themselves as having a criminal identity.
sub cultural theories of crime
Sub-cultural theories of crime
  • Criminal behaviours arise through the creation of deviant norms and values within sub-cultures. Poor socialisation within families is identified as a major cause.
  • They form criminal groups with separate values and norms from those of mainstream society in order to attain the goals that they desire. E.g drug dealing to gain material wealth instead of qualifications and a job.
postmodernism
Postmodernism
  • These theories claim that other theories ignore the uniqueness of criminal acts.
  • It is pointless to try to explain crime with an overall theory since every action is unique and individuals are unique.
  • The main theories are out of date in today’s society. New technology such as CCTV and the internet has led to different solutions and forms of crime.
activity and discussion
Activity and discussion
  • One early sociology text, Jack Nobbs’ Modern Society suggested some of the following as causes of delinquency and delinquent behaviour.
  • Where do these following suggestions fit into the previous categories described?
what would be the best theory to use to explain these crimes
What would be the best theory to use to explain these crimes
  • Stealing from a supermarket
  • Taking drugs
  • Rape
  • Homicide
  • Genocide
  • Credit card fraud
  • Domestic violence
plenary discussion
Plenary discussion
  • Free-will vs Determinism
  • Do we choose to commit crimes or are we determined by social structures?
  • Which of the theories suggest free-will and which suggest structural causes?
  • A clue – biological causes of crime are deterministic but are not sociological – they are psychological.
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