Week 07, Introduction to Criminology

Assignments for Week 7:

1.  Read Chapter 6, “Social Structure Theories.” We will have Quiz #6 on this chapter and on last week’s lecture.  

2. Lecture: Social Process Theories: Socialization and Society

3. Critical Thinking Questions for Class Discussion:

a. Is there a “transition” area in your town or city? Does the crime rate remain constant in this neighborhood regardless of the racial, ethnic, or cultural composition of its residents?

b. Do you believe a distinct lower-class culture exists? Do you know anyone who has the focal concerns Miller talks about (page 206 in your book––trouble, toughness, smartness, excitement, fate, and autonomy)? Did you experience elements of these focal concerns while you were in high school? Will forms of communication such as the Internet reduce cultural differences and create a more homogeneous society, or are subcultures resistant to such influences?

c. Do you agree with Agnew that there is more than one cause of strain? If so, are there other sources of strain that he did not consider? (Note: the sources he considered are 1) Failure to achieve positively valued goals, 2) Removal of positively valued stimuli, and 3) Presentation of negative stimuli––page 201 and 202.)

d. How would a structural theorist explain the presence of middle-class crime?

e. How would biosocial theories explain the high levels of violent crime in lower-class areas?

© Karen Donahue 2017