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Criminological theoriesTypical explanations to criminal behave.- neighborhoods- parents- poverty- peers- cultureDominant criminological theories- social disorganization- social bonding- social learning* all have to do with society and individual Social factors as explanation for human behavior…why?-sociology discipline-behavior is changeable can be shaped by society -not your fault society or parents blame-bio/ genetics is considered “dangerous” Study of crime and criminals is ideology and disciplinary allegiances but criminology is supposed to be interdisciplinary, but not always true Social explanations crime continued to dominate discipline of criminology- social bonding theory (Hirsch’s theory) Sociological theories aren’t wrong, but are incomplete example: diabetes; is it only due to social factors? Watch tv all day, etc. To understand causes of behavior we need o explore and examine a range of different factors including:-bio/ genetics-environment * bio. factors interact with environmental factors Equation of understanding:genes/bio + environment= phenotype (trait or outcome)Most criminologist ignore ½ of equationMuch of the variance in criminal behav. is left unexplained when using sociological theories Human Behaviorbiogenetic factors do not relate to criminality or human behav. in general, however,- ADHD/ Depressionmost effective treatment w/e drugs (biochemistry)- brain injurieschange behavior/ personality drasticallyExamine bio. and genetics compared to behaviorWord of caution: no such thing as ‘crime gene”how environment and genetic factors act in combination to create behaviors (biosocial criminology) Track an offenders life course from conception to adulthoodMost criminology theories only examine antisocial behav. in adolescence and young adulthood…why?- offending peaks during this time - easy sample to obtain and measure (methodological issues) * data exists primarily at this age groupDiscuss risk factors during fetal development (exposure to drugs), early childhood and late adulthood- some example of how “environment” effects behav. Probabilistic approachrare to have a 1 to 1 relationships between variables; doesn’t exist in terms of behav.“risk factors” not “determinate factors”speak in terms of probabilities based on analyses of groups of individuals- statistical probabilities/ likelihoods and not certainties Aggression and Crime spatially and temporally relevant example: gay; same behave. will be punished throughout time Aggressiontendency to exploit or bring harm to others (often) in a way that counters common social rulesTwo types: -Direct Agressionovert and typically physicalexample: punching, hitting, inflicting pain-Indirect Aggression covert and typically verbalAggression doesn’t not equal Crimeaggressive. tendencies can increase the likelihood of engaging in antisocial behave. “stability” is a general pattern of behav. that persists over time strong linkage among childhood behavioral problems, juv. Delinquent and adult criminal behav.Two types of stability:-Absolute stability no difference overtime example: person 1 3 felonies at age 18 3 felonies at age 35 3 felonies at age 50* can assume it’s a man but constancy is not entire story - Relative stability rank ordering of individualon some trait or behav.example: age 18 age 25 age 33A 5 12 4B 4 10 2C 1 5 0*despite change in behav., tendencies remain stable to commit crime or ASB (antisocial behav.)Is behav. stable? YES!Meta-analyses (studies of studies) illustrate that behav. Has a high degree of stabilityour behav. Becomes patterned and routine- “creatures of habit” not a cliché- environment reinforces behav.Stability of behave.What we know (empirically)Individual differences in antisocial behave. emerge early in life course These differences are stable across the life course However, antisocial (A.S.) kids do not grow up to be antisocial adults; but antisocial adults could have been antisocial kidsWhat predicts stability?-Variety of A.S. acts example: hitting, lying, stealing-Extremity of actsexample: killing animals, inflicting serious pain-Early age of onset - earlier the onset, the worse the condition -Misbehavior that occurs across contextsexample: home, church, and school Outliers are most stable…why?Two general perspectives:1. Stable dependenceStability is result of social consequences that emanate from engaging in AS/Criminal behav. - interactive process between individual committing crime and society Social consequences of being convicted of a felony- legal punishment- criminal record- loss of social capital- mating opportunities Crime tends to have a damaging “snowball” effectCumulative disadvantage that leads to more crime, eventually, offender is immersed in criminal lifestyle that’s difficult to leave example: criminal behave. becomes normative Crime Consequences More CrimeStability is more likely to occur, however, behave. change is possibleexample: desistence Transition points (turning points)military- both decrease desistence process- reduce time and opportunity in criminal behave. - more to lose from engaging in crime marriage-with prosocial partner are more likely to desist-entering marriage increases social capital and promotes desistance-it cuts off influence of delinquent peers and desistance results employment Social life circumstances appear to be the key factors influencing stability or change Do bio./genetic factors contribute to behave. stability/ change?- yes, but not incorporated into state dependence perspective Testosterone- related to competitive behave. - marriage decrease in men- increase during divorce in menCan be testosterone levels that drives relationships between marriage and desistance Neurotransmittersfluctuate over life courseexample: serotonin, dopamine (not taken into social development perspective) Assorative matingnonrandom mating- systematic factorsantisocial people tend to marry other antisocial indiv.- increase likelihood of antisocial offspring who socialize with other antisocial youth (due to social homophile)Bio. render the associate between social factors and desistence as spurious- a constant cannot explain a variableif all kids are exposed to same social factors, how can seminal exposure explain phenotype differences? 2. Population Heterogeneity (people are different in

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FSU CCJ 4601 - Criminological theories

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