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childhood neighborhood

childhood neighborhood

Think about your childhood neighborhood. What did it look like? How did everyone get along? Perhaps you lived in a quiet, suburban neighborhood where doors were left unlocked, children could walk from house to house without parental supervision, and parents knew all the children by their first names. Perhaps you lived in an urban neighborhood where drugs were prevalent and the neighbors knew each other although some were welcoming while others were not. A place where sleeping at night was difficult because sounds of police cars were rampant and shootings occurred often. What if you lived in an area without running water and disease was common among members of the community. Where poverty was the way of life and finding food was almost impossible. As you think about your own upbringing, consider how your environment, your social interactions with people in that environment, and other experiences help mold you into the person you are today.
Sociologists often look at these types of circumstances and other social factors when evaluating the causes of crime. This week you focus on the role of sociology in crime and criminal behavior.
Learning Resources
Please read and view (where applicable) the following Learning Resources before you complete this week’s assignments.
Readings
Course Text: Schmalleger, F. (2015). Criminology today: An integrative introduction (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Chapter 7, ” Social Structure Theories”
Chapter 8, “Theories of Social Process and Social Development”
Chapter 9, ” Social Conflict Theories”

Media
DVD: The Prentice Hall ABC News Video Series for Introduction to Criminology

Disc 2: “Life and Death in First Grade” (19:36)

Media
DVD: The Prentice Hall ABC News Video Series for Introduction to Criminology

Disc 1: “The Strange Tale of John Dupont” (6:40)
Disc 1: “Crime and Justice” (43:15)

Application: Sociological Theory and Perspectives on Crime
As you have read, there are two contrasting perspectives on the sources or causes of crime that dominate American society. The social problems perspective suggests that crime and criminal behavior are the result of underlying social problems including the breakdown of the family and social institutions, unequal opportunities, and inadequate socialization.
The social responsibility perspective assigns the cause of crime to the individual, reflecting the belief that individuals are responsible for their own behavior, and that perpetrators choose to commit crimes for a variety of reasons. The text uses the term social responsibility rather than individual responsibility because it considers individuals to be responsible to the social group to which they belong. Sociological theories, like biological and psychological theories, lend support to these perspectives to one degree or another.
To prepare for this assignment:
Review Chapters 6, 7, and 8 in your course text, Criminology Today.
Review the ABC News video “Life and Death in First Grade,” and think about how sociological theories are applied to real-life circumstances and criminal behavior.
Think about which broad category of sociological theory, or which specific theory (or theories), supports the social problem perspective approach to crime and crime causation and which supports the social responsibility perspective.

The assignment (1–2 pages):
Explain one sociological theory (social structure, social process, social development or social conflict) or one of the sub-theories (social disorganization theory, strain theory, etc.) that best supports the social problems approach to crime causation and one theory that best supports the social responsibility approach to crime causation and why. Be specific and use examples to illustrate your points.
Select and briefly describe a crime.
Then, using one sociological theory, outline a program or policy that would address the crime as a social problem or social responsibility issue and explain how your program or policy would reduce crime. Be specific and use examples to illustrate your points.

Support your Application Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list for all resources, including those in the Learning Resources for this course.

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