criminology unit 4 theories

what is the social definition of crime?
it is a wrong against the community, if society has said the act is a crime it then becomes one
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what is the legal definition of crime?
the legal definition of crime must include mens Rea and acts reus and must be in the legal system
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what are some example of formal sanctions against crime?
cautions - administered by the police for minor crimes. conditional cautions - you have to agree to certain rules and restrictions. penalty notices - given for offences such as shoplifting only can recieve one if over 18
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give examples of criminal acts
fatal offences against the person - non fatal offences against the person - offences against property - sexual offences
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what is the definition of deviance/
behaviour that goes against the social norms of a specific culture which causes a critical action or disaproval
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what is the definition of norms?
social expectations that guide behaviour and explains why people act the way they do norms keep in check deviant behaviour
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what is the definition of moral codes?
they are morals or good ways of behaving breaking a moral code could be seen as serious e.g. committing a murder
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what is the definition of values?
they are rules shared by most in a culture what people feel should happen for example we should respect the elderly
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wha are examples of informal sanctions against deviance?
frowning upon behaviour, name calling, ignoring, labelling
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what are formal sanctions against deviance?
fines, imprisonment
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what are the three forms of deviance
admired behaviour, odd behaviour and bad behaviour
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what is the biological theory the XYY theory
suggests that males can have a chromosome abnormality which males them have XYY genes some researchers e.g. JACOB ET AL said that men with XYY are more aggressive and they take up most of the population in prisons
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a real life example of the XYY theory?
the serial killer John Wayne Gacy is said to have the XYY gene he sexually tortured and killed at least 33 men in the USA
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what is the biological theory of the twin studies?
the twin theory sugeests that identical twins MZ have higher concordance than DZ twins non identical the study was by JOHANNES LANGE and he found MZ twins had higher concordance and 10 of the 13 MZ twins had Both served time in prison
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what does concordance mean?
in agrement or harmony
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what is the adoption theory (biological theory)
if a child is more similar to their biological parents then a genetic basis of criminality is needed but the adoptee is more similar to their adoptive parents then an environmental argument is argued
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what did hatchlings and medick do (adoption theory)
studied 14,000 adopted children found that a high number of boys that had criminal convictions also had biological parents with criminal backgrounds which suggests a genetic link between aggression
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what is Lombrosos theory? (physiological theory)
argued that criminal was a separate species argued that a born criminal could be determined by the shape of the face he said that criminality was heritable
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examples fo lombrosos activistic features
large or forward jaw, high cheekbones, flattened or upturned nose, low, sloping forehead
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what research did Lombroso carry out?
examined the facial features of 383 dead criminals and 3,839 living criminals and according to lombroso you can tell what kind of crime. person is going to commit
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what is William Sheldon's theory (physiological)
behaviour is linked to a persons form he put forward three fundamental body types or somatotypes ENDOMORPHIC, fat and soft tend to be sociable and relaxed ECTOMORPHIC, thinned fragile introverted and restrained MESOMORPHIC, muscular and hard
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what study did Sheldon use?
he used a correlation study and found that many criminals that committed violent or aggressive crimes were mesomorphic
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what somatotype was the least likely to commit crime?
ectomorphic, introverted and restrained
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what is a somatotype?
the body shape of a individual
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what is the theory of brain abnormality?
research has suggested that damaged to the prefrontal cortex of the Brian may cause individuals to have a altered behaviour pattern becoming more immature and having an increased loss of control
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what is a real life example of brain abnormality?
PHINIEAS GAGE was a railroad worker suffered an injury and iron rod went through his brain destroying much of the left frontal lobe his personality and behaviour changed he became extravagant anti social used bad language and manners
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what is the theory of neurochemicals?
then brains chemistry can be influenced by diet. some studies show that low levels of serotonin are linked with higher aggression serotonin is said to control a persons mood SCERBO AND RAINE conducted a meta analysis on 29 studies
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what did scerbo and Raines studies find?
they found low levels of serotonin in all of the anit social individuals
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what is a real life example of the neurochemical theory?
people who take large amounts of steroids can become violent Horace Williams beat a man to death because he took 2,000 times th recommended dosage of steroids
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what is Bandura's theory? (LEARNING THEORY)
he believes that people learn by watching and if children see adults gaining pleasure or ebbing pushed for an action they will either accept of reject the action
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what did Bandura's study consist of?
the study had two conditions the violent and the non violent the children ing the violent situation saw adults being violent towards the bobo doll and asa result hit the doll and even cam up with new ways to torture the doll
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how does Bandura's theories relate to criminality
criminality can be learned by observation some people learn criminal behaviour from those around them
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what was Sigmund Freuds theory? (psychodynamic)
believed the its way to understand behaviour is to examine early childhood and that criminality was linked to guilt It is also are uncontious mind that controls our behaviour
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what is the ID?
the id the part of the brain which controls our selfish and anima anlistic urges the id wants instant gratification and represents out basic needs
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what is the EGO?
the ego seeks rational and sensible control it is practical and realistic
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what is the SUPEREGO?
the superego is our moral conscience it is basically our conscience concerned with social rules and morals
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what happens according to freud when there is a unresolved conflict in the mind?
the result is a disturbed personality for example if the ID dominates the personality may be uncontrollable and this is when criminality takes place
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according to freud what transition do children need to make?
they need to progress from the pleasure principle being id dominated and therefore needing instant gratification to the reality principle where the ego is dominant criminals are those who do not make this transitions
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what is Hans Eysenck theory (psychological theory)
he believed that certain personality types are more likely to commit crime because they crave excitement and are slow to learn about the consequences
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what did Hans Eysenck base his results on?
on an analysis of responses to a personality questionnaire he carried the questionnaire out on 700 soldiers
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what were Hans Eysenck's personality types?
EXTRAVERSION/introversion an extrovert is sociable but can become very bored however an introvert are reliable and in control of their emotions NEUROTICISM/ stability nreurotics are very anxious and often irrational however a stable person is calm
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what personality type did Eysenck add?
psychoticism a cols uncaring and aggressive personality this further indicated a tendency towards criminality
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which of EYSNECK'S PERSONALITIES are more likely to commit crime
extroverts, neurotic and psychotic because it is difficult for them to control their immature impulses
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what is the marxist theory (sociological theory)
marxists believe that crime is always their in a capitalist society and is used by the ruling class and the bourgeoisie as a means of social control if someone does not conform they will be punished by institutions such as the police
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what do marxists argue?
white collar crime which is committed by the upper class are ignored however crimes committed by the less powerful are focused on and are seen as more serious
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what is another point that marxists argue?
they say that different classes are policed differently they also say that the governments statistics are false so that crimes committed by the lower class are seen as more of a problem
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what is the functionalist approach (sociological)
EMILE DURKHEIM said not every member of society can abide by the same values and beliefs as others however socialisation and social control help to achieve solidarity in society
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according to EMILE DURKHEIM what is crime considered as?
crime is considered to be functional and only becomes disfunctional when the rate is high or low
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according to EMILE DURKHEIM what does crime do to a society?
strengthens the willingness of society to work to together and maintains boundaries within society and reinforces the commitment to the values
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what is a real life example of Emile durkheims theory?
the abduction of Shannon Mathews 2008 when members of moor side estate united in expressing their views of the crime, organising searches, marches another public displays of boundary maintenance
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what is mertons strain theory (sociological)
he argues that society encourages us to subscribe to the goals of material success but society is unable to provide the legitimate means for everyone to achieve this success as not everyone can gain qualifications of jobs
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according to merton strain what class is more likely to become a victim of marxism?
the working class because their opportunities are blocked and consequently they fell feelings of strain where they Strive for goals of material success but do not have the opportunities to reach the goals
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according to merton strain what do people do if they cannot reach their goals?
conform and accept, innovate by adopting non criminal ways of achieving goals, become ritualistic when sight of goal is lost become retreatists who set alternative goals or become a rebel
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what is interactionism?
this is how people in society interact with one another, Howard Becker used the labelling theory to explain criminality they believe that crime is a social construction
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what argument did Becker put forward?
crime is a subjective concept agents of social control such as the police label certain acts as deviant or criminal and then behaviour will be punished acordingly
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what 2 types of deviance does the sociologist Edwin lemert?
primary deviance which is an act of deviance that has not been socially labelled as deviant SECONDARY DEVIANCE which is an act that has been labelled as deviant
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what happens when a act is labelled as deviant?
the deviant person then views themselves as deviant and then tis becomes their master status and can lead to a self fulfilling prophecy which mean they start acting and behaving in a way that mirrors the behaviour
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how can the media contribute towards interacrionalism?
the media may demonise people who have been socially labelled as deviant which creates a moral panic in society which allientantes the people that have been labelled as deviant this process is referred to deviancy amplification =stereotyping
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what is right realism?
considers crime from the perspective of political conservation with the standpoint of getting tough on crime
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who is the leading right realist?
Charles Murray states that everyone is tempted to commit crime but it is the amount of social bonds that prevents us from doing so
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what point does Murray say?
Murray says the development of the underclass such as single parents where young boy grow up without appropriate role models and crime is a way of proving that they are men
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what do right realists question?
the view that economic factors such as poverty or unemployment are the reason behind rising crime rates instead criminals are more likely to offend when they have weak social constraints so crime is linked to inadequate social control
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what is left realism?
crime lies in the inequalities created by the capitalist society they believe a more caring and equal society is needed
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what is bowlby's theory of criminality?
says that children needs a stable home environment to develop appropriately however it may be argued that separation experianced in childhood had led to affectionate psychopathy where individuals feel no remorse for their victims or guilt
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what is a real life example of bowlby's theory?
Robert napper was convicted of the murder of Rachel nickel during the early years of his life he witnessed his fathers violence against his mother he and his siblings where placed in foster homes his suffered abuse when he was very young
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real life example of the social learning theory?
fred west's mother introduced him to sex at an early age this may account for his brutality of crimes which suggests he was heavily influenced by his mother
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real life example of of freud?
could be argued that Fred was unable to progress from the pleasure seeking ID to the reality principle where the EGO is dominant he continued to need instant gratification from his sexual acts
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real life example brain damage?
fred west may have suffered from an altered behaviour due to the Brian damage he received from a motorcycle accident
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what are the positives of Bandura's theory?
showed the model did haven effect on the Childs behaviour so it showed cause and effect the experiment and variables such as the gender and actions of the model were controlled the study has been replicated with changes and the same results found
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what are the negatives of Bandura?
it is a lab study which has low ecological validity the experiment has ethical issues such as exposing the children to aggression there was a novelty element for children who have never played with it before so they are more likely to follow
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what are the positives of freud (psychodynamic)
it has been contributed to research about crime and behaviour in particular childhood experiences the id ego and superego relate to different parts of the brain and their functions of development
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what are the negatives of Freuds theory?
psychodynamic theories of offending are no longer accredited by psychologists theses theories are unscientific and lack objective interpretation there is a lack of quantitive data
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what are the positives of Eysenck's theory? (psychological)
the research on soldiers supported his theory if this theory is correct and tendencies towards criminal behaviour are detectable I'm in childhood his personality testing has formed the basis of many modern personality tests
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what are the negatives of Eysenck's theory?
there is a lack of reliability as people may not respond exactly the same to the same questions research in this area relies on self report measures about a persons view of their personality the theory suggests that personality is genetic
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what are the positives of Lombroso's theory (psychological)
was the first person to give criminology a scientific credibility CHARLES GORING did find a low order intelligence which suggests a genetic base of criminality
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what are the negatives of Lombroso's theory?
lack of a control group so no comparison is made lack of accuracy due to possible disfigurements not everyone with activistic features is a criminal
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what are the positives of Sheldon's theory?
a number of other studies have confirmed that there is a small association between body build a god sized sample (200) was used and importantly Sheldon had a control condition of non offenders
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what are the negatives of Sheldon's theory?
could not explain how ectomorphs and endomorphs can also be criminals does not take into account that peoples somatotypes is not fixed
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what are the positives of the XYY theory?
ALDER ET AL indicated that it is possible that aggressive and violent behaviour is at least partly determined by genetic factors
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what are the negatives of the XYY theory?
focusses to much on genetics ignores the behaviourists approach , studies have found that genetics abnormalities are widespread throughout the general population and there does not explain aggression
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what are the positives of twin studies?
they are natural experiments as the biological relationships between the twins is a naturally occurring variables the results of twin studies have helped win prevention of vulnerable disorders
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what are the negatives of twin studies?
the small sample involved in twin studies may not be representative of the general population if twins are brought up in the same environment criminality could just as easily e related to nurture as to genetics
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what are the positives of adoption studies?
adopted children are exposed to different environments to their biological family it is easier to separate genetic and environmental factors
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what are the negatives of adoption studies?
the age of adoption may mean the adopted children have already been influenced by either their natural parents or foster environment
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what are the positives of marxism?
it does provide an explanation for crime that covers all social classes and a variety of offences highlights the impact of selective law enforcement and how white collar crime is under policed
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what are the negatives of marxism?
largely ignores other non class inaqualities such as gender or ethnicity
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what are the positives of interactionism?
shows how law is often enforced in a discriminatory way it highlights the consequences of labelling highlights weaknesses in official statistics which allows bias in law enforcement
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what are the negatives of interactionism?
fails to explain why deviant behaviour happens in the first place there is no acceptance that some people may choose deviance ignores the victim of crime ad focuses on the criminal
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what are the positives of right realism?
it has helped produce and shape the governments research into crime for example it has stimulated range of victim surveys and practical measures to combat crime
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what are the negatives of right realism?
ignores wider structural cues of crime such as poverty
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what are the positives of left realism?
explores the role of the victim of crime especially the poor to vulnerable in much more depth than any other criminological theory, recognises multiple causes of crime
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what are the negatives of left realism?
does not explain why everyone in relative deprivation fails to turn to crime, arguably made up of a mixture of other theories pulled together
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what is the multi agency approach?
the multi agency approach cooperation between agencies working in the judicial system is important in order to increase the risk of detecting crimes for example issues with safeguarding or domestic abuse
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what forms can the multi agency approach take?
involving the police working with the security industry authority trading standards and environmental health specialist police officers working with resettlement workers, cooperation between the prison service, police law enforcement agencies
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what are mores?
these are morals or good ways of behaving
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what is an example of mores?
smoking was seen as cool but now it is seen as a
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what is the legal definition of crime?


the legal definition of crime must include mens Rea and acts reus and must be in the legal system

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what are some example of formal sanctions against crime?


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give examples of criminal acts


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what is the definition of deviance/


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