I. Definition of Crime
* Deviance and crime varies on the type of crime, typically criminal law is what separate’s the two.
Criminal laws will evolve based upon the actions the majority in a given society feels does not conform to the norm; once the society determines a behavior is deviant, it can create laws to punish the behavior. The only way this will change is to change the minds of the citizens who feel one act is deviant and another is not. Until an act labeled deviant is viewed as normal by society, it will continue to prompt the inevitable relationship between crime and deviance.
| Strengths | Weakness | Legal: a crime is an that violatesCriminal law | * Actus rea (guilty act), mens rea (guilty mind) * Subjective Standard: individual had intent * Objective standard: person likes what they are doing | * Neglects harmful behavior not defined by criminal law (white collar crime) * Ignores social, culture and historical relatively of the law (how criminal law changes, ex: drug legislation) * Acts that in the criminal code, but are not believed to be laws. | Consensus: societies norm, values (a crime is an act, which violates public morality, societies rule over law) | * Society is characterized by social and moral consensus * Definition of criminal behavior reflects common social values (regarding seriousness of different crimes | * Neglect of contextual variations (even for most severe acts that should be crimes, special situations that may not be crime-war) * Different people have different values (common moral values) | Constructionist: a crime is a label that is applied by a public audience | * Behavior is not inherently criminal (not inherent to an act) * Whether a specific act is defined as a crime depends on social process (through which activities are defined as problems) | * Overly relativistic: any behavior as a crime. * Neglect of variables such as class, race and gender. Influence on the ability to impose criminal labels. | Conflict: a crime is an act prohibited by those in positions of social power as means of protecting their own values and interests (keeping order, maintaining forms of power) | * Society is characterized by conflict rather than consensus. * Definitions of criminal behavior reflect the interests of the powerful (prohibition) | * Neglect of processes through which behavior is criminalized (how laws get passed, law is sign of struggle) * Law being used to benefit others |
Crime as a social phenomenon is defined as the criminal behavior as the outcome of a social process in which definitions are created, imposed and resisted. * Crime as social phenomenon focuses on the crime and social behavior focuses on the offender. This is significant as it allows constructions of crime and criminal behavior to be informed by a variety of crime myths (ways of looking at crime) * Studying crime as a phenomenon can be defined as studying the issue. Studying crime as its own entity and identifying its patterns and studying behavior means to study the offender.
II. Measurement of Crime
A.Dark figure: total number of offences that are not reported to the police, these offences are not part of the UCR and crime is unreported or unknown. (Methods used to capture incidence are not reported)-makes us question reliability of submitted statistics.
Claims making: process through which activities and people are defined through immediate intervention-new laws)
B.1. Links between definition and measurement: how crime is defined will influence how its measured -Activities that are defined as crimes will not be measured -The broader definition, the greater the amount of crime -The narrower the definition, the smaller the amount of crime. -Although the definition of crime can vary on the measurement of crime, if the definition of crime increases as will the…