Essay Instructions: Criminological Theories
The agents of socialization include the family, educational institutions, peer groups, the media, the workplace, and the government. Let's consider the following scenario related to social control theory.
Max, who is a young boy of 17, belongs to the poorer section of society and has been unable to obtain a job for the last year. He has regular fights with his parents due to which he leaves the house. Instead of associating himself with peers who could guide him down a better path, he associates himself with drugs and alcohol. In relation to this scenario, discuss the following:
?Propose two ideas to either control or improve upon the problem of homelessness in America. How will your ideas improve the situation?
According to rational theories, crime is a calculated action. Criminals conduct a cost/benefit analysis of a crime as to whether it would prove beneficial for them and evaluate the risks involved in it. On the basis of this evaluation they make a decision as to how to go about committing the crime. Provide a list of at least six crimes that you think only someone who lacks reason is capable of committing. If there are indeed crimes that are committed by individuals who are unable to reason, then, should these criminals be convicted or should no action be taken against them by the criminal justice system. Why? Justify your answer with well-corroborated reasons.
In looking at crime rates between men and women, Otto Pollak (1950) has offered an explanation of chivalry hypothesis (also known as the paternalism hypothesis). The chivalry hypothesis basically says that the low crime rates are a reflection of the leniency of male police officers or other criminal justice system professionals when they deal with female offenders. For example, females are more likely to receive "discretion" and therefore screened out of the criminal justice system at the point of arrest. In direct opposition to the chivalry theory is the convergence hypothesis. The convergence hypothesis suggests that females may in some ways be "catching up" to their male counterparts in the criminal justice system as offenders.
?Since my last name begins with L, argue that the Chivalry Hypothesis is a reason why the crime rate is different for males than it is for females (especially juvenile girls).
?Explain the particular crimes/delinquent acts where this is the case.
?Provide at least two suggestions on ways to reduce the likelihood of this occurring.
Social control theorists try to answer the question of why people conform instead of why people deviate.
According to Hirschi (1969), there are 4 bonds in social control theory. These include:
?Attachment to parents, peers, or school
?Commitment to conventional lines of action
?Involvement in conventional activities
?Belief in a common value
If you are asked why people join gangs, how would you answer this using social control theory? What other theories could help explain gang membership? How can the social control theory or any other theories help us to reduce gang membership? Provide a rationale and examples for your answer by justifying your answer with scholarly resources.
According to the social learning theory, you need to teach juveniles about long-term rewards and delayed gratification to reduce crime. Without this socialization, juveniles will tend to achieve short-term rewards that are beneficial in the short term but harmful in the long run. To achieve these awards, the juveniles might take to crime.
According to Williams and McShane (2003), learning theories tell us that behavior will be based on immediate rewards and punishments unless discriminative stimuli are developed to reinforce the presence of future rewards. These discriminative stimuli act as cues or signals which help determine the appropriateness of a particular behavior. Our environment and social circle play a major role in developing these discriminative behaviors.
How does one develop discriminative stimuli? Why? Justify your answer with scholarly reasons. Describe at least three things that schools, families, sports teams, etc. can/should do to help develop these stimuli? Why? Provide real-life examples to explain your answer.
Hirschi, T. (1969). Causes of delinquency. Berkeley, CA: University of California
Pollak, O. (1950). The criminality of women. Philadelphia, PA: University of
Williams, F. P., & McShane, M. D. (2003). Criminological theory. (4th ed.). Upper
Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
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Essay Instructions: While all criminological theories are designed to explain the causes and realities of criminal activity, new theory development often results from dissatisfaction with existing theoretical explanations. For example, social structure theories attributing crime to social factors were created in part as a response to biological theories that focused on an individual's biology as an explanation for criminal involvement. Therefore, a criminological theory must properly be understood both as a distinct entity as well as in concert with the ideas expressed in other theories.
For your Final Project, choose four of the specific criminological theories (rational choice, labeling , etc.) discussed during this course that come from four distinct fields on criminology inquiry (social structure theories, biological theories, etc.). While showing a basic working knowledge of each of your chosen four theories, write a paper tracing how the theories build upon and challenge one another. Where do they speak to similar or divergent issues? Where do they affirm or contradict one another in terms of crime causation? How might they have been created to fill gaps in one another's approaches and findings?
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Essay Instructions: Address the effect that criminological theory and research have had on contemporary and historical crime control policies in your chosen city.
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Essay Instructions: Task Description:
The research paper requires a reasonable amount of background research into a criminological topic. It is designed to encourage you to develop analytic skills in the application and interpretation of criminological theory. The paper provides an opportunity to think critically about how data may support or not support theoretical explanations.
Your paper will involve a reasonable amount of library research. As such, you should familiarise yourself with the SS&H library as soon as possible. Given that your assignment will be informed by theories as well as empirical research, you should also familiarise yourself with the periodical listings and databases. You must rely only on academically relevant sources, such as monographs or peer reviewed journal articles. Avoid magazines, unofficial websites and textbooks.
You need to select two theoretical perspectives to inform your paper. You can choose one theory which takes a developmental approach (e.g. Moffitt’s dual taxonomy of anti-social behaviour or Gottfredson and Hirschi’s theory of self-control) and one theory which takes a social learning (e.g. Sutherland’s differential association theory, or Aker’s social learning theory) or a social control approach (e.g. Hirschi’s social bonds theory or Matza’s delinquency and drift). This will allow you to compare the merits of a developmental explanation for deviance with a theory that considers social processes as central to norm violations.
You need to talk to three individuals over the age of 18 years about a "misadventure in their youth" (i.e. their involvement in some kind of deviant behaviour). The behaviour should not be criminal, but merely something anti-social or non-normative (e.g. skipping school, smoking at school). You need to pre-plan your interviews: think about the key concepts of your two chosen perspectives to guide the types of questions that you ask. For example, in your discussions, you might obtain information on how the behaviour started, how frequently it occurred, whether it was done with others, and the social circumstances of the interviewee at the time. The interview should be no longer than 30 minutes per person. (Please make sure that you explain to each person that you are gathering information for a class assignment, and that no information will be identifiable.) Based on these discussions, students should write up 100-150 word summary or case study for each person's experiences, ensuring that they remain anonymous. These summaries should be attached as an appendix to your paper.
In your paper, you should provide an analysis of the interview findings by comparing and contrasting the explanations of your two chosen theoretical perspectives. Your paper should include a brief summary of each perspective, and come to a supported conclusion about which theoretical perspective works best. Questions to think about in writing up your paper include: What are the common themes across the case studies? What are the differences? Do the selected theories apply equally well to all case studies? Why might it not be as useful in some cases? What else may limit your conclusions? Make sure that you refer to examples from the case studies to support your arguments.
The paper is not meant to be a literature review on the chosen theoretical approaches; however, you should refer to sources, where relevant and appropriate (e.g. summary of the theory; if a particular relationship is important--like peers--you should refer to findings in academic research literature). Where used, your paper must include proper citation and reference of appropriate sources using an APA forma.Appropriate sources include monographs, journal articles, and government reports. Newspaper and magazine articles and internet webpages will not be considered appropriate sources.
Your paper should be 1,200-1,500 words (plus 300-450 word appendix), double-spaced and typed (in 12 pt font), and must include a list of references (using APA format).
There are faxes for this order.
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