GSU CRJU 2200 - Social Science Study Guide 1 (9 pages)

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Social Science Study Guide 1



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Social Science Study Guide 1

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Pages:
9
School:
Georgia State University
Course:
Crju 2200 - Soc Sci & Am Crime Problem
Soc Sci & Am Crime Problem Documents
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Social Science Week 1 Questions 1 How is crime portrayed in the mass media How do media images of crime compare to the reality of crime a Crime is portrayed horrifically in mass media if it bleeds it will lead Mass media perception of crime causes the public perception of crime to be misled Mass media pays more attention to violent crimes Bad news and tragedy sells b The public s understanding of crime and the criminal justice system is based on the preconception myths stereotypes and media stories that distort reality 1 side of the argument is that people don t understand the nature of criminal activity how the police operate what happens to defendants in court who goes to prison and for how long etc i Most crime control proposals are nonsense based on politicians perpetuate rather than corrects public s view 2 What explains the dramatic drop in crime that began during the mid 1990 s a The Great American Crime Drop This is the dramatic drop of crime since the early 1990 s It is the largest and longest There is no explanation because criminal behavior is extremely complex but some argue with Increased incarceration community policing a decline in the use of crack cocaine a stronger economy no single factor can be invoked as the cause of the crime decline in the 1990 s i Problem oriented crime policy POCP police should quit thinking about crime as a single undifferenced phenomenon and instead break it down into specific components Each one is different with different degrees of seriousness different causes and different impacts on individuals and neighbors So each one requires a different response To fine effective responses we should use the model of scanning analysis response and assessment SARA study the problem scan analyze the data develop an appropriate response and then conduct an assessment 1 Contextual factors include demographic changes a The justice system needs adequate resources to handle its routine workload effectively When it is overloaded serious problems arise 3 What is evidence based policymaking Why is it important a It requires that polices to be based on a solid foundation of evidence based on research that meets the highest of scientific standards This policy has added a refreshing demanding and long overdue element of scientific rigor to policy debates This policy sets a high standard of experimental research which has random subjects randomly assigned to treatment or control groups There is a requirement for replication 4 What makes the study of crime or another phenomenon scientific a It is based on social science research It is a rigorous systematic observation of the social world empirical reality It is the application of the scientific method a set of guidelines for conducting sound research It is the reliance on evidence Finally it is the application of the scientific attitude 5 Why is the New Orleans disaster described as a dramatic example of media distortion What really happened in New Orleans Is there any truth to the rumors of extreme violence How do we know a Why did many residents get trapped in the flooded city Because many residents did not have a way to leave others under estimated the danger These were working poor people Did widespread violence erupt during the disaster No the media reports crime and anarchy This caused delays in rescue because no one wanted to get involved Why would there be rumors Because the major and police chief fled New Orleans and released statements 1 They got caught up in hysteria 2 They were trying to send a smoke signal to the federal government 3 They were providing a rationalization for their lack of organization So contrary to media reports the threat of violence did not dominate New Orleans We know this because of surveys conducted This disaster highlights the importance of communication and releasing accurate information with timely updates and press conferences This was a huge lesson for the new media that journalists cannot simply rely on public officials for information or other news media And the need to prepare for worst case scenarios 6 What are the major sources of media distortion a Media bias is the bias or perceived bias of journalists and news producers within the mass media in the selection of events and stories that are reported and how they are covered i New Orleans murder ii Lack of communication lack of evidence not getting caught up in the hysteria journalist and news media cannot rely on other news media and public officials Week 2 Questions 1 How does the U S murder rate compare to that of other nations a 2 Is the U S more or less punitive than other advanced nations Explain a 3 How do public perceptions of the crime problem including youth violence compare with actual trends in crime a It is impossible to report the total amount of crime in the media i This causes a distorted view of crime It grabs attention as it shows the out of control nature of crime This has consequences as it shapes our view ii This gives us mean world syndrome This is that heavy viewers of crime news believe more in heavy punishment that crime is rising and the feeling of unsafety This affects their perception and behavior b News coverage is highly selective i There is an emphasis on unusual sensational crimes ii Newsworthiness 1 Stranger violence multiple victims or offenders unusual methods 2 White victims children elderly female victims occurrence in an affluent neighborhood c The actual trends in crime is proving that crime is decreasing 4 What is the super predator myth a A new brand of super predator youth criminals A new horde from hell that kills maims and terrorizes merely to become known or for no reason at all John Dilulio i These kids have no conscious so they cannot be rehabilitated b This came about in the 1990 s but it is wrong However it is always in the news 9 out of 10 times the news media only wants dramatic quotes SO criminologists are really reluctant to corporate with the news medias 5 How can we explain in future detail the crime drop a People tend to assume that crime is rising regardless of the facts b When actually crime rates are on the decline c This is not surprising given the media coverage of crime i Media distortion d School shootings are not a representation of the crime problem as a whole i They are rare occurrences 1 Mass murders are rare isolated events 2 They are not represented of the crime problem as a whole SO they do not reflect larger trends in crime a School shootings


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