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Posts Tagged ‘deviance’

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

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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.
  • BBC “Analysis” Podcasts

    Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

    Over the past 10 years BBC Radio 4’s Analysis series has created a range of podcasts “examining the ideas and forces which shape public policy in Britain and abroad, presented by distinguished writers, journalists and academics”.

    There are over 200 podcasts to trawl through, many of which won’t be of any interest or use to sociology teachers and students, but a relatively smaller number just might. To save you a lot of time and trouble (there’s no need to thank me, I’m nice like like) I’ve had a quick look through the list to select what I think might be the sociological highlights.

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    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″).

    Plus, Minus, Interesting: A Thinking Hats Tool

    Monday, May 29th, 2017

    If you’ve been following recent posts featuring the work of Dr. Jill Swale you’ll have come across her “Thinking Hats” activity  that’s partly designed to structure classroom discussions.

    If you want an activity that eases your students gently into the whole “6 Hats” process, “Plus, Minus, Interesting“ is a simple evaluation exercise that uses the Yellow (advantages), Black (disadvantages) and Green (creativity) hats to evaluate a specific question or situation.

    In the supplied example there are a range of Crime and Deviance “What If?” questions – from “What if drinking alcohol become illegal in Britain” to “What if there was Saturday prison for children not working hard enough at school?”.

    If you want to use your own questions I’ve added a document with a selection of different types of evaluation table,  although each is based around the “Plus, Minus, Interesting” format. There’s also no reason why you couldn’t use a grid drawn on a Whiteboard if you’re doing this as a whole class exercise.

    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.

    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

    Oriel 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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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