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Posts Tagged ‘crime’

Three More GCSE Sociology Revision Guides

Saturday, May 12th, 2018

These revision guides were created for the WJEC exam board so if you don’t follow this Specification you need to be careful about the areas that might be included in your Specification that are not covered in these guides.

And vice versa, of course. There’s not a great deal of point revising material from these guides if it doesn’t appear on the Specification you’re following. Even though education – like travel – may well broaden the mind, if you’re looking around the Internet for a GCSE sociology revision guide there’s a fair bet you’re not actually looking to do a great deal more than you actually have to…

Keeping this very important caveat in mind, these resources hail from Corby Technical School and while there’s no named author they are dated 2017. This, somewhat unusually, makes them bang up-to-date at the time of posting.

Even if you don’t teach WJEC there’s plenty of information here that you’ll probably find useful, whatever GCSE Specification you follow:

Crime and deviance
Family Life
Society and the Individual

Sociology and You: A Free Textbook

Monday, April 30th, 2018

This American High School textbook just scrapes into the “published in the 21st century” criterion I set myself for finding free, out-of-print sociology texts, but I’ve included it because although it’s obviously a little dated – at least in terms of content if not necessarily design – Sociology and You (2001) was probably one of the first to push at the boundaries of textbook design for “Grades 9 – 12”. This, by my calculations, means 15-18 year olds and if you’re wondering, as we probably all are, how this fits into the UK grading system I’d say the text equates to “high GCSE” / AS-level. But this is only a rough guess – there are bits that could fit into A2 – so if you want to use it with your students it’s probably a case of suck-it-and-see before you let them have copies.

The book itself exhibits most of the features we now take for granted in contemporary textbooks: short bursts of text, lots of big colourful pictures, key terms identified and defined, tables, boxouts, short readings, simple assessments and white space.

Lots and lots of white space.

In other words, anyone familiar with UK A-level texts over the past few years will see this as very familiar territory.

Except, of course, most of the examples and illustrations are drawn from North America. Which is okay if you’re North American (or are really into comparative sociology / North Americana) but not quite so brilliant if you live and study elsewhere.

Keeping this in mind, if you decide to have a look at the text I’ve made it available it as either a complete textbook or by chapter. I’ve provided the latter option because there are some chapters, such as those on “Sport” or “Political and Economic Institutions”, you may not need or want: put bluntly, you’re probably not going to teach stuff that’s not on the A-level Spec.

You can also use the chapter option to see if or how the text might fit with your teaching because, as I’ve noted, judging the level is a little problematic given differences in both the US and UK grade system and the skill levels each requires of its students at different ages.

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An Open-Source Sociology Textbook

Sunday, April 22nd, 2018

A free (open-source) Sociology textbook (plus resources) that could be used to supplement your existing textbooks and classroom resources.

While the idea of “open-source software” – programs created, modified and freely distributed to users who also contribute in various ways to their subsequent development – has long-been a feature of digital technology, it seems a little odd the concept hasn’t been applied to other areas, such as textbook publishing, given how easy it is to collaborate, design, publish and distribute books largely indistinguishable from those produced by professional publishers.

Whatever the reason, the free textbook “Introduction to Sociology” – created and distributed by the OpenStax College and now in its 2nd edition – is the first sociology textbook I’ve come across organised around open-source principles (as opposed to simply being freely distributed by its author).

What this means is that not only can you use the text as you would any other textbook (giving students individual digital or paper copies, for example, or integrating it into Canvas if you use this free LMS) you also have a wide range of format options, most of which (reading online, downloading to desktop, viewing on mobile devices) are free. If you really must have a properly bound copy this can be purchased for around £16 / $30.

Once you get past the various viewing options you’ll find a textbook created by a number of different authors (all, I assume, employed by Rice University?) designed primarily as a primer for American undergraduates taking an introductory module in Sociology (“Sociology 101”). This level, from what I’ve read of the text, seems perfectly acceptable for A-level Sociology (which probably says something about either the American or the British education system).

While you need to take into account both its target audience (most of the text, illustrations, examples and so forth reference American society – it is, in other words, pretty ethnocentric) and some of the preoccupations of American Sociology (a focus on areas like race and ethnicity, for example, that isn’t given such a central focus by A-level Sociology) the textbook covers areas that will be very familiar and useful to a-level sociologists. These include:

• Culture and Socialisation
• Family
• Education
• Health
• Inequality
• Religion
• Deviance
• Media

Although most of these aren’t covered in any great depth – and you’ll find significant parts of UK Sociology Specifications aren’t addressed – there’s plenty of useful material here for a-level students and teachers. While it’s probably not going to replace your main sociology textbook it could be worth considering as an additional text to supplement the existing resources you use – particularly because of its portability across different devices.

In addition, there are a number of Instructor and Student resources you can sign-up for. To access some – such as PowerPoint Presentations and the Test Bank – you need to register with a school / college email account, but the resources are free once you’ve registered.

It’s also possible, even if you don’t want to contribute suggestions for future updates, to add “community resources” to support the text. While there’s not much available at the moment, one example of these resources is a series of short video lectures you may or may not find helpful.

More Criminal Pages

Sunday, March 25th, 2018

If you’ve been following the saga of the crime resources put together by the University of Portsmouth you’ll know that when I first started posting these I had to link directly to each page in a set of resources because the menu that bound everything neatly together was “missing” (in the sense that “I couldn’t initially work out where it was hiding” rather than the sense of it having disappeared, never to be seen again). This, as you’ve probably discovered, was a bit of a pain.

• For those of a non-technical disposition, or who couldn’t care less about such things, skip the next paragraph.

• For those of a technical disposition, the site used a Frames set-up where a menu in one window used javascript to change the appearance of a second, related, window. Because each window has its own unique Url, this meant it was possible to address each page individually outside of the menu system. What should have been coded into the pages was an instruction that if the frameset was “broken” (i.e. an individual window within the frameset was directly addressed) this page should have been forced back into the original frameset. For some reason, the pages weren’t coded this way, hence the problems I encountered.

Since I knew there must be a menu system somewhere it was just a matter of being able to find it and, after a bit of detective work, I did – at least for some of the individual chapters. I’m still convinced that “somewhere” there is a main menu that details all the materials in the complete resource and that, if I could find it, it would just mean posting a single link. However, since I haven’t found it I can’t, so if you want to review the following crime resources you’ll have to use the individual links.

This is not as bad as it might sound, however, because each of the following categories includes a number of pages that a-level students should find useful. Although the resources don’t seem to have been designed for a-level, per se, they seem broadly fine for a-level sociology students.

You may find some duplication with these resources and some of the other resources in this series that I’ve posted.

This mean I either thought it might be useful to have all the related material in one place or I can’t remember what I’ve previously posted and can’t be bothered to check.

How you interpret this probably says a lot more about you than it does about me…

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Sociology Revision Booklets: 4. Crime and Deviance

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

As you might expect, given its status as one of the most-popular a-level sociology options, when it comes to revision resources for crime and deviance both teachers and students are rather spoilt for choice.

I’ve decided, therefore, to split this post into two parts (probably – there may be more): the first (this one) has a range of Word / Pdf resources aimed at students, while the second focuses on PowerPoint resources teachers are more-likely to find useful for delivering revision lessons.

As ever, if you decide to use these resources you need to check:

• the Specification: is it the one you’re following?
• the date: has the Spec. you’re using been updated since these resources were created?
• the content: even if you’re following a different Spec., there may well be a fair bit of information crossover which means revision material produced for one Spec. may still be useful in the context of another.

Once you’re happy with this, I’ve found what I think are a number of useful revision resources:

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The Extent of Crime and How It’s Measured

Monday, March 19th, 2018

Another trawl through the Crime and Deviance pages from the University of Portsmouth reveals this set covering, in the main, the measurement of crime through official statistics.

The information in the pages is generally short (or, if you prefer, to-the-point) and gives the impression that either they’d run out of money, couldn’t really be bothered or just couldn’t find that much interesting and / or useful to say on the topic.

Having said that, some of the pages may be a useful starting-point for a-level students. (more…)

Why Don’t More People Commit Crimes?

Sunday, March 18th, 2018

In a world where most theoretical approaches to crime either focus on the socio-psychological backgrounds of criminals (most conventional criminology), the social contexts in which crime plays-out (labelling theory) or a combination of the two (radical criminology), one particular strand of criminology stands-out because it focuses less on trying to understand and explain why a minority of people commit crime and more on understanding and explaining why most people do not.

Control theories are, in this respect, a little different to most conventional forms of criminology and this set of pages from the University of Portsmouth looks at different aspects of this general perspective on crime through the work of different writers working in this tradition. In this respect it’s worth noting two things:

1. Control theories have a relatively long and persistent tradition – going back to the 19th century at least – in the explanation of crime and deviance.

2. The broad theoretical sweep of the general theory – explaining why most people obey laws and rules – means it has been interpreted in different ways by different writers, a diversity of opinion reflected in the following pages:  (more…)

Knowledge Organiser Updates

Monday, March 5th, 2018

For those of you who just can’t get enough of free Knowledge Organisers, Learning Tables or Activity Mats, here’s a quick update on new materials.

The Hectic Teacher has added 30 new Beliefs in Society “Topic Summary Sheets” to the existing KO’s on Education, Family and Crime. This is for the AQA Specification, but a lot of the information can be applied to OCR, Eduqas or CIE (but this will obviously involve a bit of work on your part…).

These are all in pdf format but if you contact her and ask nicely they should be available as PowerPoint slides that can be edited to your particular lesson requirements.

Miss C Sociology on the other hand has been busy producing a new range of Organisers for both

A-level (Socialisation, culture and identity, Research Methods, Researching inequality, Globalisation and the digital world, Crime and deviance – all aimed at the OCR Specification but, once again, there is a degree of information cross-over with other Specs.) and GCSE (Key Concepts, Families and Households added thus far, with many more promised).

These are all available as PowerPoint Slides should you want to edit them in any way.

More GCSE Sociology Revision Stuff

Sunday, March 4th, 2018

While it’s possible to put-together a very reasonable – and reasonably comprehensive – set of revision resources from stuff that teachers have put on the web, there are a couple of things you should do before committing yourself to using these materials:

1. Check they are for your Specification – you don’t want to be revising the wrong Spec.

2. Check the Specification year / series to which they refer, particularly if it’s changed recently (over the past year or so). In other words, check the resources cover the newer required material and exclude older, newly-irrelevant material, from your revision.

Guides

These comprehensive resources combine things like notes, activities and advice and generally cover a number of different areas of the GCSE Specification. Three I’ve found are worth a look:

1. Whole Course Revision 2018: This is a serious, 100-page, GCSE Revision Guide, put together by Ian Goddard, that covers:

• Introducing Sociology
• Research Methods
• Family
• Education
• Crime and Deviance
• Social Inequality
• Power and Politics

Unlike a lot of the previous GCSE resources I’ve posted [link] this is primarily a revision schedule rather than a simple list of revision notes (although these are also included). In this respect the Guide covers:

• How to revise
• Revision schedule
• Personal Learning Checklist [link]
• Basic study notes to supplement other reading (the Guide refers to “Collins Revision GCSE Sociology” but if you don’t use this text substituting your usual textbook will be fine)
• Keywords
• How to answer questions
• Past question practice

2. Sociology Revision Guide: Although not as ambitious or comprehensive as the above – the focus is on key terms and Notes covering Methods, Family and Education, plus a short section in exam advice – this Guide by Debbie McGowan is nicely designed and makes a welcome addition to your revision armoury. Presupposing you have one. If not, you can start one with this.

3. Revision Guide for Students: A nicely-designed and cleanly laid-out hyperlinked pdf by Jonathan Tridgell that covers:

• Research Methods
• Socialisation, Culture and Identity
• Family
• Education
• Mass Media

While the focus is on brief revision notes the Guide also includes information on:

• Course structure
• Exam technique
• Revision Tips.

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Learning Mats

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

Learning mats – originally laminated sheets containing simple questions, learning prompts and drawing spaces – have been around for some time at the lower (particularly primary) levels of our education system, but with the increasing interest in Knowledge Organisers, which in many respects they resemble, they’re starting to gain some traction at both GCSE and A-level.

Having said that, I’ve only managed to find a couple of examples of their use in A-level Sociology and none at all in Psychology. This may reflect a lack of knowledge about Learning Mats, a lack of interest in their application to A-level study or, more-likely perhaps, a lack of time to create them.

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Yet More Sociology Knowledge Organisers

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

The Learning Tables and Knowledge Organisers we’ve recently posted were all for the AQA Specification and while there’s a good deal of crossover between this Specification and OCR I thought it would be helpful to those following the latter if they had some KO’s to call their own.

These Organisers, all produced by Lucy Cluley, are, however, slightly different in that while some – mainly those for Research Methods – are complete, the remainder are blank templates. That is, while the author has designed various categories in areas like Crime Reduction Techniques or Research Methods, the actual content is up to you – and / or your students – to create.

While this has an obvious downside (someone else hasn’t done the work…) it does open-up interesting possibilities for revision work with your students, either individually or as a whole class.

In relation to the latter you’ll note that most of the blank templates are in PowerPoint (PP) format but if you want to use them with individual students simply use the PowerPoint Export function to save them as pdf files.

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Managing Crime: Situational Crime Prevention

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

More Crime and Deviance pages from the University of Portsmouth, where this time the focus is on situational crime prevention. These pages are mainly based around the work of Hough, Clarke and Mayhew (1980) and Clarke (1992) that situated the idea of crime prevention around three broad strategies:

• Increase the effort
• Increase the risks
• Reduce the rewards

While there are some observations about the theoretical basis of Situational Crime Prevention – including a short section on Routine Activities Theory that we’ve previously mapped visually – most of the pages are devoted to examples of the practical implementation of the various crime prevention strategies identified by Clarke (1992). If you want a visual representation of these strategies that complements the following pages, this PowerPoint is one we posted earlier. You’ll notice a slight mismatch between the PowerPoint and the Strategies listed below that comes about because the PowerPoint, by Cornish and Clarke (2003), has updated the “broad strategies” by adding two more: “Reduce stimulus” and “Remove excuses”.

Techniques

1. Target Hardening

2. Access Control

3. Deflecting offenders 

4. Controlling Facilitators

5. Entry/Exit Screens

6. Formal surveillance

7. Private Security

8. Citizen Patrols 

9. Citizen surveillance

10. CCTV

11. Surveillance by employees

12. Natural surveillance  

Update

I’ve managed to find a link to the Menu System used by these pages which means you can access them all relatively easily without having to go to each individual page.

If the page gives you an access error, simply refresh it and all should be well.

 

Shortcuts to Crime and Deviance Vol. 2: Social Theory and Crime

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

Three new films for teachers of Crime and Deviance.

Availability:
On Demand (either 48-hour rental or to Buy)
On DVD

Back in the day we released Shortcuts to Crime and Deviance Vol. 1 with the intention of following it with a second volume (provisionally – and somewhat disarmingly – titled “Shortcuts to Crime and Deviance Vol. 2“).

While the intention always stood – hence this current post on the long-delayed second volume – we got a bit side-tracked out of Sociology and into Psychology for a few years, mainly because even though we’re firmly based in the UK, much of our distribution and sales occur in North America. And our main American distributor was crying-out (not literally) for content.

As someone with a Sociology background who’s never studied anything more than “Social Psychology” (and then only at the level of “Is Goffman a sociologist or psychologist?”) it was actually a pleasant surprise to discover a “new subject” but the intention was always to make further volumes of Crime and Deviance. And so it has come to pass.

Although we’re still making Psychology films we decided the time was finally right to write some scripts and film some film in order to produce Vol. 2.

So that’s what we did.

We’ve put together three films to introduce some major sociological theories of crime – Strain; Labelling; Space, Place and (Broken) Windows (Right Realism) – with the aim being to:

1. Introduce and explain key theoretical ideas.
2. Identify key strengths and weaknesses.
3. Provide contemporary illustrations, examples and applications.

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Models of Policing

Sunday, January 28th, 2018

A second dip into the online world of the University of Portsmouth reveals these Pages on Policing that, as with their previous offering, consists of a range (6 in all) of unlinked pages covering different models of policing, mainly in a “text-plus-a-few-picture” style.

While the style leans toward the short-and-sweet, that’s no bad thing in the sense that the notes provided are well-focused on the topic at hand.

The level is best described as “good A2”: the language used and understanding demanded should be fine for most a-level sociology students, even though this is probably some sort of online University module.

Introduction: The ‘force-service’ dichotomy in UK policing

Policing Models: Short introduction to notion of different models of policing

Community Policing

Zero tolerance (including links to Broken Windows, mainly in America but with some reference to Britain)

Problem-Orientated Policing (POP)

Intelligence-Led Policing (ILP)

Accounting for Crime: Individual and Social Theories

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

I can’t remember how or why I stumbled across this series of online Crime and Deviance modules from the University of Portsmouth but I do recall it took a bit of digging to find and pull-together the various elements because there was no obvious way to link each page in the module.

First World problems, eh?

I’m guessing the reason for this is that there’s a navigation system controlling how the pages display hidden away somewhere behind a University VLE and, for some reason, these pages have not been individually password-protected.

I could, of course, be wrong but, let’s face it, the chances of that are literally infinitesimal.

However, if I am wrong, another explanation is that the materials are dated 2013 so it’s always possible they represent some experimental pages for a course or module that never actually saw the light of day. Although some pages seem to have had a lot of care and attention lavished on them (i.e. they combine text with pictures and, in some instances, short “Test Your Understanding” multiple-choice questions), other pages consist of blocks of text with nary a picture in sight…

Either way, this all looks to me like it was all designed for something like a law course, or at least a course that’s not directly sociological or criminological: although the material seems intended for an undergraduate course it’s not a million miles away from A2 Sociology. There’s not much here, for example, that an A2 Sociology student would find overly-difficult to understand.

In the course of my rummaging I managed to find quite a few (by which I mean “more than a couple”) modules of varying length, complexity and, to be honest, interest, the first of which looks at a variety of individualistic and sociological explanations for crime:

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Crime Displacement PowerPoint

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

Over the past 50 years it’s probably fair to say that a great deal of the sociology of crime and deviance in both America and, to a lesser extent, the UK, has been orientated towards situational crime prevention techniques and strategies in terms of both practical strategies and theoretical explanations (such as Routine Activities Theory).

Part of the reason for this preoccupation with both building better – and trying to strengthen existing – mouse-traps is that there’s quite a bit of evidence to demonstrate the efficacy of various crime prevention strategies in reducing crime. Painter and Farringdon’s Stoke-on-Trent Street Lighting study, for example, is a case in point if you want to illustrate this idea.

However – and you probably knew there would be a but – when you’re looking at situational crime prevention in a-level sociology it’s always useful to have something up your sleeve for evaluation purposes and, in this instance, there are a couple of different types of “Yes, but…” evaluation you might want to consider.

T6: Types of Crime Displacement

The first focuses on six practical criticisms of SCP put-forward by Reppetto (1976) and Barr and Pease (1990) that describe various ways crime may be displaced by crime prevention techniques; that is, although a crime may be “prevented” it’s possible the offence is simply committed elsewhere, at a different time or by different people. In other words, while SCP strategies may give the appearance of “preventing crime” they may not be successful in every instance.

An obvious example here might be the presence of a burglar alarm on a property. This may deter an offender but if they simply move to burgle another, unprotected, property in the next street has a crime actually been prevented?

If you want to display the 6 types to your class I’ve put them into a simple Crime Displacement PowerPoint Presentation that should do the job adequately. If you’re not a PowerPoint Person the 6 types of crime displacement are:

1. Temporal: The crime is committed at a different time.

2. Tactical: The crime is committed using a different method.

3. Target: The crime is committed against a different target.

4. Territorial: The crime is committed in a different area.

5. Type (or Functional): A different type of crime is committed.

6. Transgressors (or Perpetrator Displacement): Prevented crimes are committed by different offenders.

While the types are, I trust, fairly self-explanatory you might want to think about examples you could use to illustrate each type (or maybe suggest one example if needed and ask your students to think of others). A relatively simple example of Territorial crime displacement, for example, might be something like prostitution or drug-dealing.

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Restorative Justice: An Educational Dimension

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

You may – or as is probably more likely, may not – recall a post a while back that outlined some ideas on Braithwaite and Restorative Justice  as they relate to crime and criminal behaviour – a fact I mention only because I came across an interesting short video on how a school in Colorado (and no-doubt others in America) have introduced a form of restorative justice as an alternative to the more-traditional forms of punishment generally meted-out in such schools.

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Crime and Deviance: Non-Sociological vs Labelling Approaches

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

I came across this “Approaches to Crime and Deviance” PowerPoint the other day while searching through an old hard drive (the metadata says I created it in 2003 and although that sounds about right in terms of the look-and-feel of the Presentation it may actually have been created a little later, not that this makes much difference to anything) and thought it might be interesting to show it the light of day in case anyone finds it useful.

In this respect it’s basically a 3-screen presentation that looks at:

1. Non-sociological approaches using a “6 things you might need to know” format.

2. Labelling approaches using a similar format.

3. Understanding crime and deviance as relative concepts by asking students to find examples of the same behaviour considered as deviant / non-deviant at different times (historical dimension) and places (cross-cultural dimension).

I’m guessing it was originally intended to be an Introductory presentation of some description, possibly for the old OCR Specification that required students to look at both sociological and non-sociological approaches.

If you don’t need to consider non-sociological approaches you can still use the presentation as both an Introduction to Labelling and as a starter activity designed to get students thinking about crime and deviance as relative concepts through the use of simple comparative examples.

SociologySaviour Blog

Monday, December 25th, 2017

I was looking for pictures of Arron Cicoural for a new film we’re editing on Labelling Theory when I stumbled across the rather interesting SociologySaviour Blog,  that unfortunately now looks as though it hasn’t been updated since mid-2016. This is something of a shame because the material it contains seems well-written and useful – although this isn’t something the navigation system could be accused of being. It’s all a bit minimalist and confusing until you scroll to the bottom of the page where you’ll find links to four categories:

Crime and Deviance: extensive notes on wide range of topics
Beliefs in Society: notes on a smaller range of topics
Sociological Theory: brief notes on a small range of perspectives
Research Methods: doesn’t seem to have ever been developed.

Basically, the site has a lot of notes on Crime, a lesser range on Beliefs and Theory and a short indication of notes that would have appeared under Research Methods but which, for whatever reason, never seem to have been added.

Be that as it may – and we can only guess the reasons for the project’s apparent abandonment – the notes included are really quite good: short, to-the-point and, as far as I’ve read, accurate.

More Crime and Deviance Learning Tables

Friday, December 8th, 2017

A few days ago I did a post on Learning Tables that noted, in passing, that although the numbering system used suggested at least 14 Tables had been created for crime and deviance, I’d only managed to find 10.

After a bit of detective work (which sounds a bit mysterious and a touch glamourous until you realise it merely involved typing different combinations of key words into Google until it eventually came up with something useful) I managed to find two more:

right realism
crime and locality.

In the course of wandering semi-aimlessly around some of the lesser-travelled highways and byways of the web, however, I came across a range of similar-looking Learning Tables that, on closer inspection of the metadata, seemed to be by different authors (although to make matters even more confusing, Miss Elles was credited as the author of some of the newer Tables that looked very similar to the Tables I’d previously posted. The former were, however, unnumbered).

Although I’ve got little idea what might have been going-on here (maybe the Tables were the result of a collaboration between teachers / the outcome of different teachers in the same school producing slightly different Tables / someone seeing the original format and deciding to produce similar-looking Tables?) I think that whoever authored the materials (THeaton, Miss Elles, Miss G Banton and a couple of anons) they’re worth distributing to a wider audience.

If you have a look at the original post you’ll see some of the Tables listed below are duplicated – at least in terms of their title, if not necessarily their content. In this respect, you pays your money (so to speak) and you makes your choice as to whether you want to download and compare both sets where they occur (as with labelling, for example). Otherwise, here’s another Big Bundle of Learning Tables to distribute to your students or inspire them to create their own:

Class
Ethnicity
Functionalism
Gender
Global, green and state crime
Labelling theory
Crime and the Media
Left and right realism
Punishment and prevention
Victimisation.

Sociological Santa

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

For all those teaching and learning crime and deviance, a Sociological Santa joke I found on Twitter (posted by Brad Koch).

Learning Tables: Crime and Deviance

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

We’ve just started filming for a new series of crime and deviance films (the long-awaited follow-up volume to our original Shortcuts to Crime and Deviance films – a welcome change to be creating sociology films after 3 years spent focusing on psychology films – and in the process of searching for Robert Agnew pics (one of the films examines Strain Theory, both Merton’s original formulation and Agnew’s General Strain Theory developments) I came across some interesting examples of “Learning Tables” and decided to spend a bit of time looking into the idea (“research is research”, after all. And also because I can).

I’m assuming they were originally designed to be a form of revision exercise or as a way of condensing notes and observations about a particular topic (the examples I originally found were all for crime and deviance) but since the author information is, at best, sketchy I’ve no real way of knowing – or acknowledging the original authors in any meaningful way.

Be that as it may, the basic idea behind the tables is a relatively simple one: information across a range of themes (basic ideas, evaluation, synoptic links…) is condensed to fit an A4 sized table format.

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Popular Panics and the New Right

Saturday, November 11th, 2017

Following the police shooting of Mark Duggan in Tottenham, widespread rioting broke out during August 2011 in London and many other English cities. If you don’t remember or aren’t familiar with the civil unrest, the BBC has a handy timeline of events.

I recently came across an Economist article, written at the time and addressing the various political responses to the unrest, called “We have been here before: Centuries of nostalgia for a peaceful, law-abiding Britain” that I think teachers and students will find both interesting and useful for Crime and Deviance for a couple of reasons:

1. It documents a range of mainly New Right explanations for – and solutions to – the unrest / rioting that you might find useful as a way of illustrating “popular New Right” ideas about crime: an ever-revolving selection of The Usual Suspects – from teachers, through parents to the detrimental influence of whatever is the Popular Music Du Jour (in this particular instance, Rap takes the…err…biscuit).

2. It draws extensively on Geoffrey Pearson’s very wonderful “Hooligan: A History of Respectable Fears” (1983) to show how, over the past 150 -200 years, the same kinds of “popular responses” to all kinds of civil unrest, disorder and downright deviance appear and reappear at regular intervals.

Finally, the article draws on Pearson’s work to provide an interesting comparative overview of a range of popular (and perhaps moral if you’re that way inclined) panics that students should find interesting, illuminative and instructive:

• fears, in the 1840’s, of a rise in working mothers and the detrimental effect this had on the morals of the young (a regular and long-running favourite in the popular press – or Mainstream Media if you prefer – ever since),

• the “spread of child labour” (a problem not, as you might be forgiven for thinking, because Child Labour! but rather because “it put money in the pockets of impressionable youths”, apparently).

• contemporary panics around “Rock’n’Roll in the 1950’s or sexual deviancy in the guise of “Peace’n’Love” in the 1960’s.

14 | Youth: Part 3

Sunday, October 1st, 2017

One area of social life in which the relationship between youth and specific types of behaviour is particularly clear is that of offending behaviour. Young people – principally young, working class, men – are hugely over-represented in the crime statistics and since this series of chapters is linked by ideas about Youth Culture and Subculture it would be useful to explore the relationship between Youth and Deviance in more detail.

In order to do this the chapter is divided into three main sections:

Firstly, an outline of a range of key concepts – the distinction between crime and deviance, how we define youth, how we measure crime, moral panics, deviancy amplification and the like – that can be applied to this area of social life.

Secondly, a section that outlines the evidence, in terms of patterns and trends, about the nature and extent of youth deviance. This section is further subdivided according to social class, gender and ethnicity.

Finally, it looks at how different sociological approaches – in this instance Functionalist, Marxist and Interactionist – explain the patterns and trends in youth deviance outlined in part 2.

While the chapter is specifically aimed at the OCR Youth Culture Unit it’s one that should have general application for any Specification that looks at the nature of crime and deviance in terms of patterns and trends in offending behaviour and how these might be sociologically explained.

Crime and Criminology: Offender Profiling

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

The final WJEC Criminology PowerPoint provides an overview of offender profiling covering things like:

• Evidence and the crime scene

• British and American approaches to profiling

• Examples of profiling successes and failures

• A Scenario that requires students to both apply any psychological theory with which they are familiar to the crime depicted and to assess the usefulness of profiling in this particular case

As with the previous PowerPoints in the series (probably by Janis Griffiths) this is concisely and clearly presented and provides a solid starting point for teachers looking to introduce the concept and practice of offender profiling.

Measuring Crime

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

This large (30-odd slide) PowerPoint Presentation was (I’m guessing) put together by Dave Bown as part of the WJEC textbook project (I think he wrote / co-wrote the online A2 eBook).

It’s an interesting and wide-ranging resource that introduces a number of different topics related to the practice and problem of measuring crime. These include:

• Crime trends
• Different ways to measure crime
• Reported and Recorded crime
• Criminal characteristics
• Dark figure of crime
• Perspectives on crime statistics (Functionalist, Marxist, Interactionist, Realist, Feminist)
• Underreporting and Under-recording crime
• Victim and Self-Report studies
• Risk Society
• Fear of Crime

(more…)

Crime and Criminology PowerPoint 4

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

The fourth WJEC Criminology PowerPoint offering provides an overview of feminist approaches to crime and criminality and, as you might expect, follows the format of the previous Presentations in this series:

• brief Introductory and summary Notes

• discussion questions

• short activities

• suggestions for further personal / independent research

• a “scenario” exercise that requires students apply a social theory of their choice to understand and explain the situation described.

It’s all very nicely, concisely and clearly presented – and while it’s by no-means all students will need the Presentation provides a good starting and jumping-off point for teachers looking to introduce feminist approaches to crime.

Crime and Criminology PowerPoint 3

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

The third WJEC Criminology offering – again I’m thinking it’s by Janis Griffiths – focuses on Sociological theories of criminality and serves as a brief introduction to:

• Marxism,
• Functionalism,
• Interactionism and
• Realism.

The main content here is basically a one-screen summary of key points so it’s probably best seen as a launching-point for further research and discussion than an end in itself.

There are a couple of interactive slides (match the statement to the perspective, for example), class discussion questions, suggestions for personal research and the feature I find most-interesting about all the Presentations I’ve featured, “the scenario situation”.

Here, students are presented with a basic scenario – in this instance an Asian-owned shop under attack by local youths – and students are required to examine and explain the scenario from the viewpoint of one or more different sociological approaches / theories.

I think it’s probably fair to say that I like this idea so much I’m prepared, at some point when I get a bit of time, to create scenarios of my own and then pass the idea off as one I may have invented…

Crime and Criminology PowerPoint 2

Monday, August 21st, 2017

The second WJEC Criminology offering – I’m taking an educated guess that it’s by Janis Griffiths – focuses on Individualistic theories of criminality and, in particular, the assumption that criminal behaviour is related to particular types of criminal personality.

This is illustrated by short Notes on three different theories and their major proponents: 

1.     Eysenck (personality theory).

2.     Sigmund Freud (psychodynamic theory). 

3.     Albert Bandura (social learning theory).

In addition to some simple discussion questions the Presentation also includes a “Scenario” section in which students are presented with a specific situation – in this instance, abusive partners – and asked to apply and evaluate an individualistic theory in this particular context.

If your students need some guidance in this task there’s a further PowerPoint Presentation designed to take them through the basic steps.

Additionally, if you want to develop the question of whether killers are “born or made” Professor Jim Fallon’s neuroscientific research will prove very helpful in this context.

Crime and Criminology PowerPoint 1

Sunday, August 20th, 2017

It’s probably fair to say that over the years attempts by different UK Exam Boards to provide teaching and learning materials for Sociology have, in the main, been somewhat half-hearted. The general position seems to be that while this new Internet-thingy confers a range of opportunities to provide teachers with information and guidance, providing teaching resources is probably best left to publishing companies (particularly those companies with which a Board has an “approved textbook” relationship).

One shining exception to this generally-depressing situation is WJEC (formerly the Welsh Joint Examining Committee) who, to their great credit, have taken the provision of teaching resources seriously (even to the extent of commissioning their own AS Sociology and A2 Sociology textbooks that are distributed freely online).

This generosity of spirit (or, more-probably, economic necessity) extends to the Board’s Criminology Specification and while the resources are by no-means as extensive as those available to Sociology teachers, I’ve managed to dig-out a few examples that might be useful to those teaching Crime and Deviance across different exam boards (either for the Notes they contain or, in some instances, the exercises they suggest).

This first PowerPoint presentation outlines Biological / Physiological theories of crime using a mix of Notes, questions and simple interactive tasks / activities.

The Notes take a fairly basic, no-frills approach, to describing the main ideas underpinning biological theories of criminality (or, if you prefer, they’re refreshingly “to-the-point”) and this material is complemented and extended by identifying a range of general criticisms of these types of approach.

The presentation is completed by a sample of standard “discussion questions” and a rather more interesting “scenario” exercise. Here, students are presented with a simple scenario – in this instance youths menacing elderly residents – and are then required to apply their knowledge of biological approaches – and their criticisms – to assess and explain the situation.

Situational Crime Prevention: The (New Right) Theory

Monday, July 10th, 2017

In two previous posts (Categorising Situational Crime Prevention Strategies  and Categorising Situational Crime Prevention: Techniques and Exampleswe looked at some examples of situational crime prevention strategies and techniques and this third post examines the theoretical background to situational crime prevention in a couple of ways:

Firstly, by looking at the broad background in terms of a general “environmental discourse” that encompasses both cultural and physical environments.

Secondly by looking at a couple of specific New Right approaches – Control Theory and Routine Activities Theory – that flow from this general discourse.

 

SCP and the Craving for Hot Products

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

An important dimension of Routine Activities Theory is the element of target suitability and selection. Even in situations where a motivated offender is somewhere that lacks active guardians, how and why they select one target rather than another is an important question in relation to situational crime prevention.

This was directly addressed by Felson and Cohen (1979), for example, in their “VIVA” mnemonic (Value, Inertia, Visibility, Accessibility) but Clarke (1999) has taken these general ideas further by arguing that some potential targets have what he calls “choice structuring properties”.

That is, rather than thinking about crime conventionally in terms of an offender setting out to commit a criminal act, arriving in a place where the act can be committed and then selecting a suitable target some targets – what Clarke terms “Hot Products” – have characteristics that may:

  • Suggest the idea of theft to potential offenders and
  • Encourage them to seek out settings where desired products may be found.

  • In other words, the existence of “hot products” contributes to various forms of both opportunistic and carefully-planned crime and if we understand the characteristics of these products – the things that make them desirable objects (in both the manifest sense of their value and the latent sense of motivating individuals to possess them) – this will contribute towards an understanding of the situational controls that need to be developed around such targets.

    Clarke, in this respect, developed the mnemonic CRAVED to define the characteristics of hot products and I’ve developed two PowerPoint Presentations identifying each element in the mnemonic.

    This version simply displays the mnemonic as a self-running presentation – you can use this version if you simply want to present these ideas to students.

    This version offers the same information but can be used if you want to involve your students a little more. The presentation displays the CRAVED mnemonic but in order to display the meaning of each letter it has to be clicked. If you wanted to see if your students could work-out the characteristics of a hot product (such as a mobile / cell phone) this is the version to use.

    If you want to look in more detail at either the CRAVED mnemonic or Clarke’s ideas about hot products you can download his 1999 chapter “Hot Products: understanding, anticipating and reducing demand for stolen goods”.

    Visualising Routine Activities Theory

    Friday, July 7th, 2017

    Routine Activities Theory has been described (by me, just now) as one of the key theoretical contributions to the development of Situational Crime Prevention strategies and techniques. In broad terms it sees crime as the outcome of both “opportunity” (Mayhew, 1976; Clarke, 1988) and “routine activities” (Cohen and Felson 1979) and represents, for Felson and Boba (2010), “A theory of how crime changes in response to larger shifts in society”.

    While the general theory can appear quite complex to students – and contains numerous developments and qualifications – at root it offers a fairly simple outline of the relationship between, on the one hand, potential offenders and, on the other, the social controls that may exist to deter offending.

    The objective of this PowerPoint Presentation, therefore, is to provide a visual representation of the factors that contribute to both offending and crime prevention, within the context of routine activities theory.

    Patterns of Crime and the Social Characteristics of Offenders: Gender and Ethnicity

    Monday, July 3rd, 2017

    After a brief hiatus, we’re back to business with a fifth example of Jill Swale’s ATSS work, this one focusing on patterns of offending and how differences based on gender and ethnicity (you can easily add further variables, such as age, to the exercise if you want) can be identified and explained.

    The exercise itself is a simple one to organise and run, although you’ll need to update the “Websites and Other Sources” section of the instructions because the suggested web data no-longer works and you’ll need to use texts that reference more contemporary crime statistics. That aside, the exercise is generally straightforward and is designed to encourage students to apply a range of skills to sociological data and research in terms of: 

  • Researching patterns of offending.
  • Identifying major trends.
  • Developing explanations / hypotheses for gender, ethnic and age differences in offending.
  • Testing explanations against sociological research and data.
  • Evaluating sociological research.
  • What’s in the Envelope?

    Friday, June 16th, 2017

    This activity from Sharon Martin is relatively simple to set-up and run and, as an added bonus, can be used with any area of the Specification (both Psychology and Sociology): this example is based on the Sociology of Crime and Deviance.

    The activity is mainly for revision / recap sessions, although there’s probably no reason why it couldn’t be adapted to areas of the course the students are about to study as a form of exploratory activity.

    Instead of asking students to display knowledge and understanding of concepts and theories with which they are already familiar they can be encouraged to research and report on these in some way.

    The instructions for the activity are straightforward and self-explanatory, but the activity does leave teachers a lot of scope to introduce their own variations.

    Making the Sociology of Crime and Deviance 10 Years Younger: Steve Taylor

    Thursday, June 8th, 2017

    Let’s face it the A2 Crime and Deviance syllabus is looking old. The years of blocked aspiration, anomie, unjust labelling and misplaced radicalism have taken their toll. A recent shopping mall poll put most the major theories at pensionable age, and even the dynamic ‘young’ radical ones were seen as ‘pushing 40’!

    But we have to teach them no matter how old and run down they look and so we should because underneath those theoretical wrinkles and conceptual decay, there’s a good body of ideas that still have some life in them.

    So what these ageing theories need is a make-over to see if we can make them look at least ten years younger. One of the best ways of doing this is to import some newer developments that reduce some of those wrinkles and surplus bulges. Examiners will also appreciate students trying to link the old with new, or at least with the newer.

    A useful class exercise, therefore, is to help students give these “classic explanations” a new coat of paint through the use of contemporary connections and examples – here’s a few to get you started:

    Ecological theory may date back to the Chicago School and the 1930’s, but the idea of socially disorganised areas, where formal and informal social control has broken down, was a key idea in Wilson and Kelling’s famous ‘Broken Windows’ theory which was the basis for more recent environmental control theory and a number of policy initiatives, including zero tolerance policing. So don’t leave ecological theory in the 1930s.

    Robert Merton’s Strain Theory may be pre-war but its key idea of rising crime and relative deprivation was not only incorporated into radical crime theory, but was also one of the pillars of ‘left realism’. It also continues to be the key finding of contemporary comparative studies of crime in affluent societies – the greater the inequalities in the distribution of wealth the higher the crime rate. 

    Labelling theory dates back to the 1960’s but we don’t have to stay in the 60’s with Jazz musicians, Mods and Rockers and Notting Hill bohemians to illustrate it. Many of its key concepts, such as stigma, secondary deviance and deviant careers are fundamental to more recent work, such as John Braithwaite’s study of crime and reintegration and the pioneering of restorative justice. So you can get interactionism out of those dated 60’s fashions.

    So there’s life in the old theories yet and with this kind of make-over they can be applied to the more recent, rather than the distant, past and made to look at least 10 years younger.

    Situational Crime Prevention Video

    Thursday, June 8th, 2017

    This is a video version of the Cornish and Clarke Situational Crime Prevention PowerPoint presentation.

    The film runs for around 3 minutes.

    Categorising Situational Crime Prevention Strategies

    Thursday, June 1st, 2017

    Situational crime prevention is an area that has grown in significance over the past 30 years, both in terms of social policies towards crime and sociological / criminological solutions to “the problem of crime”; it involves, according to Clarke (1997), a range of measures designed to reduce or eliminate “opportunities for crime” in three main ways:

    • The measures are “directed at highly specific forms of crime”.
    • They involve “the management, design or manipulation of the immediate environment in a systematic and permanent way”.
    • They “make crime more difficult and risky, or less rewarding and excusable”.

    One potential difficulty for a-level students new to the concept, however, is the number and variety of different examples of situational crime prevention – from spatial and environmental controls (Designing Out Crime), through different forms of target hardening, to various types of formal and informal population surveillance and beyond.

    To help students organize and make sense of this material, therefore, it can be useful to categorise it in terms of different situational crime prevention:

    • Strategies – the primary level of organisation.
    • Techniques associated with these strategies – the secondary level of organisation.

    In this respect the work of Cornish and Clarke (2003) is instructive here because they identity 5 strategies that can be used as a primary level of organisation for ideas about situational crime prevention:

    1. Increase the effort required to commit a crime: This deters a wide range of opportunistic crimes if the time and effort to commit them is increased.
    1. Increase the risks associated with the crime: Increasing the likelihood of apprehension lowers the likelihood of a crime being committed.
    1. Reduce the rewards of crime: If the value gained from offending can be lowered there is less incentive for crime.
    1. Reduce stimulus that provokes crime: Careful management of the social and physical environment reduces incentives for criminal behaviour
    1. Remove excuses: Clearly signposting behavioural rules and laws removes the argument that people did not know they were behaving deviantly or illegally.

    The secondary level of organisation identified by Cornish and Clarke involves 25 different crime prevention techniques (5 associated with each strategy) that can be introduced to students if you want them to dig deeper into situational crime prevention. These ideas will be introduced and explained in a subsequent post (probably, but not necessarily, called “Part 2″).

    Crime and Gender: Critical Thinking and Essay Writing

    Sunday, May 21st, 2017

    A third example of Jill Swale’s work, once more culled from the ATSS archive lurking in my expansive filing cabinet, is an essay-writing exercise constructed around the question:

    “Assess the view that the women’s crime rate, according to official statistics, is lower than men’s because of differential enforcement of the low.”

    The activity has three main objectives:

  • To examine some important studies attempting to explain gender differences in crime rates.
  • To encourage critical thinking about the methods sociologists use, and whether data can always be taken at face value.
  • To help select material for a logically planned and balanced essay.

  • The exercise combines small group and individual work as students are required to examine ways to structure and answer the question.

    Although the resource materials provided are fairly comprehensive they’re now quite a few years old and probably need to be updated with some new material.

    You will need to check the suggested web links are still working and you may need to substitute some of your own.

    NotAFactsheet: More Deviance

    Thursday, May 18th, 2017

    Three new NotAFactsheets to add to your growing collection covering:

    1. Interactionism (labelling theory, personal and social identities, master labels)
    2. Deviancy Amplification (an outline of the model plus the role of the media)
    3. Critical Theory (Instrumental and Hegemonic Marxism, Critical Subcultures)

    Each NotaFactsheet is available in two flavours: with and without short (1 or 2 minute) embedded video clips:

    D4. Interactionism | Interactionism with short video clip 

    D5. Deviancy Amplification | Deviancy Amplification with short video clip 

    D6. Critical Theory | Critical Theory with short video clip

    Why is Gaz in Court for Mugging?

    Monday, May 15th, 2017

    A second example of Jill Swale’s work, lovingly-culled from the ATSS archive, is based around the requirement for students to “solve a mystery by selecting and ordering relevant material through group discussion”.

    In terms of game mechanics, this is a relatively simple sift-sort-match exercise: students work in small groups to link case study material to different sociological approaches to understanding and explaining crime and deviance.

    Once completed the relationships between the evidence and theory can be opened-up for class discussion and there is further scope to set extension work, such as an essay, on the basis of the work done in the classroom. 

    The exercise is designed to encourage students to interpret data and apply theories to a specific instance and while the supplied materials cover a variety of situations and theories, you can easily add or subtract material of your own – such as different forms of evidence and newer theories – by using a word processor to create new cards. This facility means you can tailor the level of work to the requirements of both the whole class and specific students within the class if necessary (by using a group-work format teachers can, if necessary, spend more of their time with students who need a bit more focused help).

    If you find this type of exercise works well for you and your students you should be able to use it as a template to create and explore other scenarios across different Units / Modules – basically any area of the course that requires students to link evidence to theories.

    Deviancy Amplification PowerPoint

    Thursday, May 4th, 2017

    Deviancy Amplification has become something of a classic example of an Interactionist approach to deviance, predominantly, but not exclusively, because of Jock Young’s seminal analysis (1971) of “The role of the police as amplifiers of deviance, negotiators of reality and translators of fantasy”.

    This is a little ironic given that Leslie Wilkins’ original formulation of an Amplification Spiral (1964) has much more positivistic overtones: for Wilkins, the Spiral (or “Positive Feedback Loop”) both described a particular social process – how control agencies unwittingly create crime through their unwitting actions – and, most importantly, was intended to predict how such behaviour would develop.

    While the predictive element is perhaps long-gone (if it actually ever really existed) deviancy amplification remains an important sociological model based on Lemert’s (1951) distinction between primary and secondary deviation.

    (more…)

    NotAFactsheet: Crime and Deviance

    Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

    I thought it would make a change from research methods to put together a few NotAFactsheets on crime and deviance, so here are the first products of what no-one’s calling a “radical new departure in NotAFactsheet production”.

    These three efforts focus on and around Functionalist-type approaches to crime:

    D1. Functionalist Approaches | D1. Functionalist Approaches (includes short video) Functionalism and Crime includes Durkheim on the functions of crime, Strain theory and General Strain Theory.

     D2. Administrative Criminology | D2. Administrative Criminology (includes short video) Administrative Criminology focuses on New Right ideas about crime prevention and management and outlines some general social policies associated with this approach.

    D3. Right Realism Right Realism outlines the Broken Windows thesis – and it’s critics – in addition to noting a range of social policies that have stemmed from a right realist approach to crime.

     

     

    Connecting Walls Collection

    Monday, April 24th, 2017

    CBSC Sociology has been busy creating and posting a huge number of revision Connecting Walls on Twitter and, in the spirit of “pinching other people’s stuff and sharing it with a wider audience”, I’ve pulled all their tweets together into one handy blog post for your – and your students’ – greater convenience.

    So, if you’re looking for a fun way to spice-up classroom revision with a bit of competitive tension, try some or all of the following:

    Education

    Education Wall 1

    Education Wall 2

    Education Wall 3

    Education Wall 4  

    Education Wall 5

    (more…)

    Connecting Revision Too

    Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

    If you’ve seen the previous post on Connecting Revision  you may have tried the Family Connecting Wall created by Steve Bishop (and maybe even been inspired to think about creating and sharing your own?).

    He’s now created a new Wall to add to your revising pleasure and this time it’s on Crime and Deviance.

    As ever the format’s a simple one: find 4 groups of 4 related ideas within the 3 minute time limit and then explain what connects each group.

    Visualising Strain Theory

    Monday, March 27th, 2017

    Although examples of Merton’s “Responses to Strain” are fairly straightforward I always think it helps students if they can visualise the basic idea involved – something this simple image I came across on Twitter (apologies, but I don’t know who created it) does very well, I think.

    So, on the basis you can take a good thing and make it even better (probably) by adding a bit of movement I thought it would be helpful to create a PowerPoint Presentation based around the graphic (and also to add some “ends / means” text into the mix; mainly because I can, but also because it’s helpful to associate different forms of response with different combinations of cultural goals and structural conduits).

    The PowerPoint has both click-to-advance and auto-advance versions and its main use, as I see it, is as a visual teaching aid when introducing and discussing response to strain. There’s also, if you prefer, a video version of the Presentation.

    (more…)

    Left Realism

    Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

    A relatively easy way for students to get a handle on Left Realism is through three simple visualisations that can then be used to build-up a picture of this general approach to both explaining crime and deviance and suggesting solutions to the problem of crime. These visualisations involve:

  • A three-cornered approach to deviance
  • The criminogenic triangle
  • The square of crime.
  •  

    A PowerPoint version of the above is also available for download.

    We can explore these ideas in more detail in a number of ways.

    (more…)

    Updating Crime & Deviance

    Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

    Day Workshop with renowned sociologist and film-maker, Dr Steve Taylor

    Strain, Labelling, Realism etc. are still important because they underpin a lot of research in the contemporary study of Crime and Deviance. But supposing your students could demonstrate this with new concepts & 21st. Century research examples?

    This Workshop consolidates the key theories and concepts and then illustrates their application with clear, easy to understand up to date research.  For example, students read about moral panics, but how much more impressive could an answer be if they were able to bring in the recent concept of ‘amoral panics’?

    Content: 

    • Crime, Deviance, Order and Control: clarifying sociological approaches.
    • Globalisation & Crime: filling the gaps by linking to familiar sociological approaches
    • Researching Crime: methods clarified, evaluated & illustrated with new ideas & interactive Q & A practice.
    • Theory & Method: this challenging topic laid bare, simplified and illustrated.

    Free Crime and Deviance films provided!

    Additional Sessions on Family, Youth Culture & Research Methods, if required.

    What Teachers say 

    “Delivered with a real affection for the subject with pace and professionalism   Partly as a consequence of working with Steve we had an excellent set of results”: Stephen Base Verulam College

    “Excellent day. He brings in contemporary evidence and great links to exam skills”: Ann-Marie Taylor Coleg Cambria

    “Brilliant exam focused training”: Mandy Gordon, Highfield School

    “Our students loved it, Steve got them to think outside the box”: Pauline Kendal, Bedford Sixth Form

    What Students Say

    ‘He was even better than in the videos. Loved it.’

    ‘Makes the theories come alive by linking them to the studies’.

    ‘Liked learning about the new studies, especially the gang ones.’

    ‘I feel so much more confident after Steve’s class.’

    ‘I could never understand theory and methods and now I do.’

    Cost: inclusive & regardless of number of schools attending

    Day: £500

    Half day: £300

    For more information, contact:

    Email: steve@shortcutstv.com

    Tel: 07771-561521

    ShortCuts to Sociology: Organised Crime

    Thursday, February 9th, 2017

    A few years ago we did some interviews for a film on organised crime that, for one reason or another (money, probably), didn’t get made – if memory serves we were going to include a version on ShortCuts to Crime and Deviance Vol. 1 but it didn’t make the final selection.

    Anyway, I was searching through an old hard disk recently and came across an interview we shot with Dr James Treadwell – who’s something of an expert on organised crime – and decided it might be worthwhile to edit the interview and put it out as part of our occasional, free, Shortcuts to Sociology series. So that’s what I did.

    The film covers some basic introductory stuff (such as defining organised crime) and illustrates a number of different models of organised crime (from clan models to network structure models).

    It’s the kind of material that can be used to introduce a broad range of ideas (and misconceptions) about organised crime – both inside and outside the classroom for flipped teaching: students are introduced to a topic overview that can be considered in greater depth and detail inside the classroom.

    (more…)

    Deviancy Amplification Spiral: Legal Highs

    Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

    Wilkins’ (1964) concept of a deviancy amplification spiral (or ‘Positive Feedback Loop’ as he called it) has been a staple of the crime and deviance Specification for many years and there’s a range of ways to present the feedback process, both statically and a bit more dynamically.

    Examples of a “successful” feedback loop are, however, a bit thinner on the ground: while “mods and rockers” in the early 1960s and “dangerous dogs” in the early 1990’s are good historical examples, a more-contemporaneous example is the banning of “legal highs” in 2016 – the consequences of which are just starting to work their way through the criminal justice system, thereby providing an interesting application of the amplification spiral