* What is criminology?
A social science studying crime and related phenomenon such as law making, criminal behavior, victimization and punishment Discipline of criminology is a recent development
Most ideas and concepts we now have about crime and criminals emerged over last 2 or 3 centuries Modern criminology is multi-disciplinary (inter-disciplinary) Influenced by sociology, psychology, and biology
The fascination with crime
Crime is popular topic for newspapers, TV shows , books and movies There is little relationship between crime news and actual amount of crimes Media focus primarily on violent crimes, even though such crimes forms only smart part of all criminal activity Appears as though police solve more crimes and arrest more cirminals than they do in reality The appeal of crime stories and crime news
Crime related stories are often dramatic and lurid
Deal with moral questions of good vs evil
Criminals appear in stories as insane or dangerous psychopaths Stories happen in short time span- between newscasts or newspaper editions Easy for the public to understand
Felson’s 10 fallacies about crime
1. the dramatic Fallacy
to keep ratings high, media seek strange/violent incidents to report/create dramas around murder makes up less than 1% of all crime, yet from watching TV or reading the papers, it seems like a commonplace events seems that most murders are well-planned, grisly affairs, or they happen solely by random chance in fact, most murders start as arguments that escalate into violence most crimes are relatively minor property crimes
2. the cops and courts fallacy
police work made to look more dangerous and challenging than it actually is increased policing found to be of limited value
most crimes are not reported, most of crimes that are reported are not solved by police very few elaborate court trials (charges dropped, plea bargaining, guilty plea) 3. the “not-me” fallacy
most people think they could never (or would never)...
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