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41 Cards in this Set

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A condition produced by normlessness. Because of rapidly shifting moral values, the individual has few guides to what is socially acceptable. According to Merton, anomie is a condition that occurs when personal goals cannot be achieved by available means. In Agnew's revision anomie can occur when positive or valued stimuli are removed or negative or painful ones applied.
atavistic anomalies
According to Lombroso, the physical characteristics that distinguish born criminals from the general population and are throwbacks to animals or primitive people.
attitude survey
Surveys that measure the attitudes, beliefs, and values of different groups.
In Marxist theory, the owners of the means of production; the capitalist ruling class.
cartographic school of criminology
This approach made use of social statistics that were being developed in Europe in the early nineteenth century that provided important demographic information on the population, including density, gender, religious affiliations, and wealth. Many of the relationships between crime and social phenomena identified then still serve as a basis for criminology today.
Chicago School
Group of urban sociologists who studied the relationship between environmental conditions and crime.
classical criminology
The theoretical perspective suggesting that (1) people have free will to choose criminal or conventional behaviors; (2) people choose to commit crime for reasons of greed or personal need; and (3) crime can be controlled only by the fear of criminal sanctions.
Code of Hammurabi
The first written criminal code developed in Babylonia about 2000 b.c.
A sample of subjects whose behavior is followed over a period of time.
common law
Early English law, developed by judges, that incorporated Anglo-Saxon tribal custom, feudal rules and practices, and the everyday rules of behavior of local villages. Common law became the standardized law of the land in England and eventually formed the basis of the criminal law in the United States.
conflict view
The view that human behavior is shaped by interpersonal conflict and that those who maintain social power will use it to further their own needs.
consensus view of crime
The belief that the majority of citizens in a society share common ideals and work toward a common good and that crimes are acts that are outlawed because they conflict with the rules of the majority and are harmful to society.
A violation of societal rules of behavior as interpreted and expressed by a criminal legal code created by people holding social and political power. Individuals who violate these rules are subject to sanctions by state authority, social stigma, and loss of status.
crime typology
The study of criminal behavior involving research on the links between different types of crime and criminals. Because people often disagree about types of crimes and criminal motivation, no standard exists within the field. Some typologies focus on the criminal, suggesting the existence of offender groups, such as professional criminals, psychotic criminals, occasional criminals, and so on. Others focus on the crimes, clustering them into categories such as property crimes, sex crimes, and so on.
criminal anthropology
Early efforts to discover a biological basis of crime through measurement of physical and mental processes.
criminological enterprise
The areas of study and research that taken together make up the field of criminology. Criminologists typically specialize in one of the subareas of criminology, such as victimology or the sociology of law.
Researchers who use scientific methods to study the nature, extent, cause, and control of criminal behavior.
The scientific study of the nature, extent, cause, and control of criminal behavior.
cross-sectional research
Uses survey data derived from all age, race, gender, and income segments of the population measured simultaneously. Since people from every age group are represented, age-specific crime rates can be determined. Proponents believe this is a sufficient substitute for the more expensive longitudinal approach that follows a group of subjects over time to measure crime rate changes.
Reducing the penalty for a criminal act but not actually legalizing it.
deviant behavior
Behavior that departs from the social norm.
interactionist view
The view that one's perception of reality is significantly influenced by one's interpretations of the reactions of others to similar events and stimuli.
interdisciplinary science
Involving two or more academic fields.
moral entrepreneurs
Interest groups that attempt to control social life and the legal order in such as way as to promote their own personal set of moral values. People who use their influence to shape the legal process in ways they see fit.
In preliterate societies, common customs and traditions that were the equivalents of law.
Mosaic Code
The laws of the ancient Israelites, found in the Old Testament of the Judeo-Christian Bible.
According to Jack Kevorkian, the practice of helping people take their own lives.
In ancient Rome, the wealthy classes who served as magistrates.
Scientists who studied the shape of the skull and bumps on the head to determine whether these physical attributes were linked to criminal behavior; they believed that external cranial characteristics dictated which areas of the brain control physical activity.
Scientists who studied the facial features of criminals to determine whether the shape of ears, nose, and eyes and the distance between them were associated with antisocial behavior.
In ancient Rome, the name for the lower classes.
All people who share a particular personal characteristic, such as all high school students or all police officers.
The branch of social science that uses the scientific method of the natural sciences and suggests that human behavior is a product of social, biological, psychological, or economic forces.
A term used by Marx to refer to the working class members of society who produce goods and services but who do not own the means of production.
psychopathic personality
A personality characterized by a lack of warmth and feeling, inappropriate behavior responses, and an inability to learn from experience. Some psychologists view psychopathy as a result of childhood trauma; others see it as a result of biological abnormality.
retrospective cohort study
A study that uses an intact cohort of known offenders and looks back into their early life experiences by checking their educational, family, police, and hospital records.
Selecting a limited number of people for study as representative of a larger group.
social harm
A view that behaviors harmful to other people and society in general must be controlled. These acts are usually outlawed, but some acts that cause enormous amounts of social harm are perfectly legal, such as the consumption of tobacco and alcohol.
time-series design
Choosing an event in time (such as passage of a DWI law) and examining specific data prior to and subsequent to this event to determine whether the law can be linked to a change in behavior.
The view that people's behavior is motivated by the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain.
white-collar crime
Illegal acts that capitalize on a person's status in the marketplace. White-collar crimes can involve theft, embezzlement, fraud, market manipulation, restraint of trade, and false advertising.