Theories of Crime Study Guide Final

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Exam #1 Review 1. Conflict vs. Consensus Models of Criminal Justice Consensus Model a. This model of criminology views criminal law as reflecting the interest of the public b. Incorporates a utilitarian perspective Conflict Model c. According to this model of criminology, criminal law serves the interests of the elite and powerful at the expense of the majority of society. d. Rooted in traditional Marxism Consensus Perspective e. A product of social values and needs f. Emile Durkheim suggested that crime is functional to society by providing clear boundaries of socially acceptable behavior. Conflict Perspective g. Law is considered to be a reflection of the interests of the powerful and elite groups.

2. Define criminology- “The study of the processes of making laws, breaking laws, and reacting towards the breaking of laws” 3. Define paradigm-competing theoretical perspectives 4. The scientific methods incorporates both theory and observation. Definitions of Crime (and who proposed each) a. Legalistic  Tappan Defines crime as “an intentional act in violation of the criminal law (statutory and case law), committed without defense or excuse, and penalized by the state as a felony or misdemeanor” (Tappan, 1947:100).  Excludes any behaviors that are not punished by law enforcement including behavior that is not criminalized, detected or reported.

b. modified legalistic   Sutherland Definition is similar to Tappan’s legalistic definition, but suggests that crime is a behavior that causes injury to the State. Sutherland suggested that “an unlawful act is not defined as criminal by the fact that it is punished, but by the fact that it is punishable” c. normative   Mannheim & Sellin Defined crime broadly as a violation of conduct norms. Recognizes that not all antisocial behaviors are going to be prohibited by legal code at all places, at all times.

d. new/critical Herman & Julia Schwendinger  Broadest criminological conceptualization of crime and deviance  Definition of crime is primarily humanistic and founded on the notion of human rights and includes both individuals and institutions as offenders. 5. Paradigms in criminology Paradigms are much broader than theories. a. Theoretical orientation b. “school of thought” Included in paradigms are specific assumptions about a phenomenon and the theoretical premise on which theories within a paradigm are based Theoretical integration  Suggests that no one particular set of assumptions or theory can fully explain a phenomenon.  Rests on the premise that by integrating two or more theoretical approaches, crime can be more fully understood.  Life-Course Criminology Critical Criminology  Rooted in new, radical, and Marxist perspectives.

 Rejects official (State) definitions of crime.  Provides insight into the cause of crime by questioning why most criminal offenders are lower in the social hierarchy and have little power.  Examines why the powerful and elite are rarely punished for wrongdoing. Interactionism  Suggests that crime is a product of interaction between the offender and society.  Focuses on the actions and reactions of individuals and groups and how they affect behavior.  Provides the theoretical framework for studying victimless crimes.  Labeling theories are at the forefront of this paradigm. Postivism  Assumes that forces beyond an individual’s control are responsible for crime.  Crime is said to be caused by biological, social, or other pathological forces, not by individual choice.  Includes theories that examine genetic predisposition to crime as well as social causes of crime. Rational Choice  Assumes that individuals are rational beings and can weigh the costs and benefits of their actions.  Deterrence Doctrine  Routine Activity Theory

6. Criminal vs. Civil law – differences in violations, harm done to whom? Does not provide for penal sanctions, but can award monetary compensation Violations are called torts. Can be...
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