James COOK. Criminology


study harm inflicted by crime and study ideas of what harm means

they suggest best way to lower harm

is there  a consensus about what constitutes a crime

If 90% agree does that mean the rest are wrong? The 10% might know better

conflict model says that crime is subjective.

those with power decide what a crime is. The law reflects what the mighty want

the state defines crime and serves certain interests – those with power from a gender model are male

whites hold power

from an economic point of view it is those with wealth and power.

values of the victors.

crack cocaine gets a sentence 20 times higher than powder cocaine

so many crimes are about protection of property. matters most to the affluent

says much about motivations

symbolic inter actionism. is relative

there is no one objective best solution. people come to an understanding

you are who you know

association theory – criminals are those who were surrounded by criminals

labelling – people commit crime due to labelling

individual people gets called a punk in school

people do things to get by. differential association.  Inteactionist way of explaining crime

there are divisions in theories

legalistic definition of crime as determined by a court

those who are observed committing crime, caught and convicted

what about those who never get caught

intelligence or coping tests people who commit crime are subnormal intelligence


edwin sutherland includes criminals who did not get caught – a crime that has the possibility of being penalised if caught. all of a sudden the question becomes wider. some people are punishable but not punished. white collar offenders

banking system

who is going to jail?

billions of dollars lost. measurable harm   – muggers get a long time

speeding is punishable.

police speed.

most speeding harms no one

one needs to get significantly above the speed limit to be punished

marijuana laws. sheriffs around the country who do not enforce the law. small growers should register with us

federally it is a crime as a state level it is not.

crime is not just a violation of law.

more informal version is a norm. social expectation of behaviour

could be a crime. deviance.

deviants who commit legal acts are informally punished

some people smoke. informal punishment’ controversial clothes

variation of criminal activity

upsets normative order

critical criminology. violation of norms. social expectations who set it

some people are in a position set the rules. political filter. who gets to say what is crime? political or economic

response to non criminous acts

there should be a lack of certainty at end of the lecture. we do not know what crime is or what criminologists are talking

some things are a crime because they just are. Not an adequate explanation

look for evidence.

mala in se crimes – always banned. rape and murder. condemned irrespective of culture or economic system

mala prohibita – illegal in some places not others. bad because they are banned. in some cultures or times they are banned. traffic violations. gambling. substances

until 1985 it was not rape to rape one’s spouse in Maine. Until 1975 a man could not rape his wife.

a wife can rape a husband. definition is about penetration of any orifice by any object

people used to be assaulted and that was permissible under the law. Legal slavery.





About Calers

Born Belfast 1971. I read history at Edinburgh. I did a Master's at UCL. I have semi-libertarian right wing opinions. I am married with a daughter and a son. I am allergic to cats. I am the falling hope of the not so stern and somewhat bending Tories. I am a legal beagle rather than and eagle. Big up the Commonwealth of Nations.

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