Criminology Today

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Containment theory
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A form of control theory that suggests that a series of both internal and external factors contribute to law-abiding behaviors
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According to the Chicago school of criminology, which concentric zone is responsible for the most crime?
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Zone 2: Ghetto-deteriorated housing, abandoned buildings, transition
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According to environmental criminology, ___ of the area is responsible for ___ of police calls
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3% 50%
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Physical deterioration and unrepaired buildings lead to increased concerns for safety and higher crime rates in the area
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Broken windows thesis (Wilson and Kelling)
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Characteristics of the lower class subculture which lead to conflict with the law These lead to delinquency, and they are in conflict with the majority of society
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Focal concerns
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Focal concerns of delinquent subcultures, according to Walter Miller
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Trouble-respected for getting in trouble Toughness-invulnerable Smartness (street)- \”game\” Excitement-thrill, premium on excitement Fate-belief that things will happen no matter what Autonomy-independent, take care of own problems (characteristics of lower class subculture which lead to conflict with law)
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Members of the lower class subculture demonstrate certain behaviors that are different from those of larger society, resulting in conflict with the law
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Lower class subculture theory (Walter Miller)
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People act upon the labels given to them. An interactionist perspective that sees continued crime as a consequence of limited opportunities for acceptable behavior that follow from the negative responses of society to those defined as offenders; also called social reaction theory
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Labeling theory
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First act recognized as being deviant/criminal Often undertaken to deal with transient problems in living
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Primary deviance
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The deviant behavior that results from official labeling and from association with others who have been so labeled…
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Secondary deviance
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Sociological perspectives of crime
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Social structure-institutional arrangements (anomie, relative depravation) Social conflict Social process-how people are socialized (differential association, labeling)
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Two types of shaming
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stigmatic shaming-billboard reintegrating shaming-community service, restitution
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Idea that criminal behavior is learned
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Differential association
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What results from having greater social capital?
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less crime
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Social conflict
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Consensus-there are values and morals we all agree on, law engineers society Pluralistic-we are a diverse society, conflict is inevitable Conflict/control-law is used for control
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Life course theories
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Desistance- cessation of criminal activity Trajectory- the path one’s life takes Transistion- significant life events that shape a person
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Two most important events that aid with desistance according to life course theory
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Marriage Employment
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Social bond theory
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The stronger the social bonds a person has, the less likely they are to commit crime
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What theory says social controls help individuals resist pressure and desist in criminal activity
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Social bond theory
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Jeffrey Reiman
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The Rich Get Richer and The Poor Get Prison The criminal justice system is biased against the poor from start to finish and well-to-do members of society control the criminal justice system from the definition of crime through the process of arrest, trial, and sentencing.
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Elijah Anderson
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Code of the Street Subcultural ethnography of the social mores operating in some American inner cities today. Aspects of street code that stress a hyperinflated notion of manhood resting squarely on the idea of respect.
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William Julius Wilson said to understand the subculture of poverty, you must understand two things
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Ghetto-specific cultural conditions Social and economic opportunities (these people are \”truly disadvantaged\”)
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According to social process, criminal behavior is
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a learned interaction with otherss
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Labeling tends to reduce crime
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False
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Social structure theories see economic disenfranchisement as a prime cause of crime
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True
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According to hot spot research, crime is geographically concentrated
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True
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According to David Matza, delinquents drift in and out of delinquent behavior and in and out of free will and determinism
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True
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Techniques of neutralization
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Culturally available justification that can provide criminal offenders with the means to disavow responsibility for their behavior Deny responsibility Deny injury Deny victim Condemn the condemners Appeal to a higher authority
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Sociological theory
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Focuses on the nature of the power relationships that exists between social groups and on the influences that various social phenomena bring to bear on the types of behaviors that tend to characterize groups of people. Sociological explanations-social structure, social processes and conflict theory.
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Social structure theory
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Crime is the result of an individual’s location within the structure of society The pattern of social organization and the interrelationships among institutions characteristic of a society Types-social disorganization (ecological approach), strain theory, culture conflict theory (cultural deviance theory)
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Social process theory
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Crime is the end product of various social processes The interaction between and among social institutions, groups, and individuals. A theory that asserts that criminal behavior is learned in interaction with others and that socialization processes that occur as the result of group membership are the primary route through which learning occurs; also called interactionist theory
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Conflict theory
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Crime is the product of class struggle There are core values and morals that we all agree on. Law is a tool to control society.
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Social disorganization theory
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Associated with the ecological school of criminology (social ecology and the Chicago School of Criminology) Society is a kind of organism and crime and deviance are a kind of disease, or social pathology.
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The Chicago School of Criminology
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An ecological approach to explaining crime that examines how social disorganization contributes to social pathology. Criminal activity is associated with urban transition zones.
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Strain theory
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The pressure that individuals feel to reach socially determined goals. A sociological approach that posits a disjunction between socially and subculturally sanctioned means and goals as the cause of criminal behavior.
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Anomie
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A social condition in which norms are uncertain or lacking \”normlessness\”
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Merton’s use of anomie
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A disjunction between socially approved means to success and legitimate goals Crime results from attempts to achieve legitimate goals through illegitimate means
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Disjuncture in goals and means according to Merton’s strain theory
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Conformity Innovation Ritualism Retreatism Rebellion
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Conformity
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Believes in goals and means to achieve goals
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Innovation
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Believes in goals, doesn’t agree with the means Looks for illegitimate means (Cognitive indolence)
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Ritualism
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Doesn’t accept goals, but does accept means Works hard, goes through the motions
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Retreatism
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Doesn’t accept goals or means Addicts, alcoholics-dropped out of society
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Rebellion
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Doesn’t accept goals or means and wants to change them
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Relative depravation
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The economic and social gap that exists between rich and poor who live in close proximity Sense of inequality experienced by those who are unable to achieve legitimate success withing the surrounding society
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Distributive justice
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The rightful, equitable and just distrubution of rewards within society
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Culture conflict theory
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Crime results from clashes between two or more cultures A sociological perspective on crime that suggests that the root cause of criminality can be found in a clash of values between variously socialized groups over what is acceptable or proper behavior; also called cultural deviance theory
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Subcultural theory
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A sociological theory that emphasized the contribution made by variously socialized cultural groups to the phenomenon of crime
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Violent subcultures
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Violence is a learned form of adaptation to certain problematic life circumstances
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Two types of socially structured opportunities for success
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Legitimate Illegitimate
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Illegitimate opportunity structure
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Pre-existing subcultural pathway to success not approved by the wider culture
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Delinquent behavior results from:
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Ready availability of illegitimate opportunities Replacement of cultural norms with expedient subcultural rules
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Reaction formation
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The process by which a person openly rejects that which he or she wants or aspires to but cannot obtain or achieve-Albert Cohen
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Street gang
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A group of individuals, segregated by geographic location, identity with a name and certain symbols and whose behavior often includes criminal activity
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Types of social process approaches
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Social learning theory Social control theory Labeling theory Reintegrative shaming Dramaturgical perspective
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Dramaturgical perspective
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The ways we project our self image in social environments How we manage out image in a social environment and how others perceive us Theoretical point of view that depicts human behavior as centered around the purposeful management of interpersonal impression
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Chicago Area Project
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A program that originated at the Univ of Chicago during the 1930’s that focused on urban ecology and that attempted to reduce delinquency, crime, and social disorganization in transitional neighborhoods
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Differential association
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Crime is learned through a process of differential associations with others who communicate criminal values and advocate the commission of crimes. Suggests crime is not substantially different from other forms of behavior. (Edwin Sutherland)
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Social learning theory
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A perspective that places primary emphasis on the role of communication and socialization in the acquisition of learned patterns of criminal behavior and the values that support that behavior; also called learning theory
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Differential associations vary in:
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Frequency, Duration, Priority, Intensity Learning depends on these factors
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Differential identification theory
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An explanation for crime and deviance that holds that people pursue criminal or deviant behavior to the extent that they identify themselves with real or imaginary people from whose perspective their criminal or deviant behavior seems acceptable
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Social control theory
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A perspective that predicts that when social constraints on antisocial behavior are weakened or absent, delinquent behavior emerges. Rather that stressing causative factors in criminal behavior, social control theory asks why people actually obey rules instead of breaking them.
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Social control theory
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Seek identifying factors that keep people from committing crimes Focus on the process through which integration with positive institutions and individuals develops
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Containment theory
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Crime is the consequence of social pressures to involve oneself in violations of the law, as well as of failure to resist such pressures
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Social bond
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The link, created through socialization, between individuals and the society of which they are a part. Components-attachment, commitment, involvement and belief
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What spawned diversion?
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Labeling Radical non intervention, it is better to do nothing than to do something-Edward Schull
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Transitions
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Periods or occurrences that make a difference in a person’s life Usually age appropriate
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Reintegrative shaming
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A form of shaming, imposed as a sanction by the criminal justice system, that is thought to strengthen the moral bond between the offender and the community
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Stigmatic shaming
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A form of shaming, imposed as a sanction by the criminal justice system, that is thought to destroy the moral bond between the offender and the community.
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Life course perspective
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A perspective that draws attention to the fact that criminal behavior tends to follow a distinct pattern across the life cycle; also called life course criminology
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Life course
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The different pathways through the age-differentiated life span; the course of a person’s life over time
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Concepts of the life course perspective
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Activation-delinquency begins Aggravation-sequence by which crime intensifies Desistance-reduction in criminal activity
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Phenomenological school
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the study of the way we perceive and construe reality
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Criminal career
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The longitudinal sequence of crimes committed by an individual offender
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4 concepts important to criminal career
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Participation Frequency Duration Seriousness
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Trajectory
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Pathway one’s life takes
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Persistence
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A person’s continuity in crime or continual involvement in offending
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Social capital
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The degree of positive relationships with others and with social institutions that individuals build up over the course of their lives
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Cohort analysis
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A social scientific technique that studies a population with common characteristics over time.
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Taxonomic theory
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life course persistent offender-starts early, many offenses through life course adolescent limited offender-commits minor offenses in youth, stops as they grow older (Moffitt)
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Developmental pathways to delinquency
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Authority conflict-trouble dealing with authority Covert-begins with minor delinquency Overt-characterized by aggression, bullying, escalating physical violence Not mutually exclusive
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Desistance
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Discontinuation of crime over life course of lessening of crime over life course. Aided-due to outside intervention Unaided-person decides to stop on their own (spontaneous remission)
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Birth cohort study
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3 major findings: Small group of offenders More contact with justice agencies=greater liklihood of reoffending More deeply involved=greater liklihood of repeat offending
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Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods
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Longitudinal evaluation to examine the changing circumstances of people’s lives in an effort to identify personal characteristics leading toward or away from antisocial behavior. Felton-Earl study \”the major criminologic investigation of the century\”
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Law and social order perspectives-conflict theorists
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Consensus perspective Pluralist perspective Conflict perspective
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Consensus perspective
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We are all alike and can all agree on right and wrong. The various elements of society work together toward a common and shared vision of the greater good. Rosoe Pound-law is a tool to engineer society The purpose of law is to meet society’s needs
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Pluralist perspective
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Society is diverse and law is a useful means of dispute resolution. conflict is inevitable and law is used to resolve conflict between groups
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Conflict perspective
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Conflict is a fundamental aspect of social life and can never be fully resolved. Government institutions are tools of social control. Laws are tools of the powerful, made to maintain class struggle and those not in power from wresting control of important social institutions The powerful keep lower classes under control
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Bourgeoisie
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The \”haves,\” or the class of people who own the means of production in Marxist theory.
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Proletariat
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The \”have-nots,\” or the working class in Marxist theory
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Social class
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A distinction made between individuals based on important social characteristics
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Radical criminology
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A perspective that holds that the causes of crime are rooted in social conditions empowering the wealthy and the politically well organized, but disenfranchising the less fortunate

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