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Posts Tagged ‘crime and deviance’

Broken Windows Revisited | 3: Proactive Policing

Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

The 3rd and final part of our Broken Windows reassessment looks at the latest American research that questions the claim proactive / Zero Tolerance policing prevents minor forms of social disorder developing into major forms.

S-L-O-W-

In two previous posts re-examining Broken Windows we’ve considered both its general theoretical and empirical background and its theoretical origins in ecological theories of crime. In this third and final part we assess one of Broken Windows’ key theoretical components: the claim that minor forms of social disorder, if allowed to go unchecked, result in major forms of disorder. Or, as Wilson and Kelling (1982) originally put it:

If a window in a building is broken and is left unrepaired, all the rest of the windows will soon be broken…one unrepaired broken window is a signal that no one cares, and so breaking more windows costs nothing”.

If, as its proponents claim, relatively minor forms of social disorder lead to larger, more-serious, forms of criminal disorder – as Bratton and Kelling (2015) have more-recently expressed it “A neighbourhood where minor offenses go unchallenged soon becomes a breeding ground for more serious criminal activity and, ultimately, for violence” – the way to control the latter is to prevent the former and one way of doing this, introduced by the New York Police Department (NYPD) in the late 1990s, was through a system of proactive policing.

This broadly involved police officers “on the street” taking a more-active role in either trying to prevent criminal activity before it occurred (through things like dispersing loitering groups of young men, stopping and searching potential offenders and so forth) or by immediately punishing every instance of criminal or misdemeanour activity, through things like spot-fines and arrests, the moment it occurred. This particular form of Order Maintenance Policing (OMP) has come to be known as Zero-Tolerance Policing (ZTP) because the police exhibit no tolerance towards any offender, no-matter how trivial or seemingly inconsequential the offence.

As an aside, it’s important to note that while ZTP is often seen as synonymous with Broken Windows, we shouldn’t conflate the two: Broken Windows doesn’t necessarily involve Zero Tolerance Policing, even though the two are frequently seen to be one and the same thing. There are a number of different ways of preventing the escalation of minor forms of disorder into major forms, of which ZTP is but one – although ZTP has, particularly in America, been increasingly used by forces such as the NYPD as the primary or de facto way of putting Broken Windows into practice.

One of the reasons Broken Windows has come to be influential with politicians, police and public alike is that it has a certain face validity; that is, it seems like a plausible way to both explain how and why crime develops in a particular locality and, by extension, how to prevent criminal behaviour spiralling out of control.

Part of the reason for this is that the idea of major forms of disorder stemming from unchecked minor forms is something that has a certain resonance with our everyday personal experience. If you think, for example, about a work desk that you gradually allow to become cluttered with books and papers, it eventually becomes difficult and time-consuming to find the things you need: “major” disorder, in other words, stemming from untreated minor disorders…

While you could, every once in a while, instigate a “big clean-up” it might be easier to keep things tidy while you work. This takes a bit more effort and willpower but should, all things being equal, save you time and effort in the long run…

The problem here, however, is that societies are not like individuals and “maintaining social order” can be much more difficult than maintaining a tidy desk – particularly if the area that requires maintaining is home to a wide range of poverty-stricken individuals and families who don’t necessarily maintain strong social and moral ties.

This, in terms of Broken Windows, is where proactive policing enters the picture: as a way of imposing some sort of order on a situation that tends towards the disorderly. This, on the face of things, seems to make sense in terms of our general understanding of social order and disorder but the problem we have is how to test this idea. How, for example, can we evaluate the validity of the Broken Windows argument “in the real world” of offenders and control agents?

One obvious way would be to compare an area that had been subject to proactive forms of ZTP with the same area at a later point when ZTP was no-longer in operation – and this is exactly what Sullivan and O’Keeffe (2017) were able to do thanks to an opportunity to conduct a natural experiment in New York in late 2014, early 2015.

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GCSE Sociology Workbooks

Wednesday, July 14th, 2021
Research Methods Workbook

This is a set of Booklets / Workbooks created, according to the metadata, by Jennifer Croft for the Eduqas GCSE Sociology Specification – a slightly-underwhelming introduction that doesn’t do justice to the scope of the resources and the amount of work that must have gone into creating them.

In all there are 8 Booklets, covering the Specification in full, although “Research Methods” actually covers two separate Modules (Applied methods of sociological enquiry and Sociological Research Methods) and Crime and Deviance is covered across 3 separate Booklets. Each Booklet is divided into 3 discreate sections:

1. The body of the resource is given-over to a wide variety of notes, tasks, questions and exercises, some of which refer to “the textbook” by page number – such as when students are asked to provide definitions of key terms. Given there aren’t a massive number of Eduqas textbooks available this will probably be a self-evident reference for most teachers.

For those using the resources with another Specification (such as AQA, WJEC or a non-UK Syllabus) or textbook, you will have to edit these references accordingly to fit whatever resources you use. For this reason I’ve left the Booklets in Word format to make them easy to edit. You can also add or remove material that you want to include / exclude.

While, as I’ve been at pains to point-out, these resources have been designed for Eduqas there’s plenty of convergence between this Specification and other Specifications. For teachers of the latter, some judicious editing should bring everything into line with whatever Specification you follow.

2. Retrieval Practice: This is an increasingly standard form of revision practice and each Booklet has space for students to practice their retrieval techniques – even though this just consists of blank pages…

3. Additional Notes: There’s further space at the end of each Booklet for students to add their own additional notes to the materials.

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NES Social Science: Free Resources

Saturday, July 10th, 2021

One of the things about WordPress blogs is their legendary persistence.

Once created they just sit there, regardless of whether you decide to move-on to whatever it is teachers move on to.

PowerPoint Presentations…

And sometimes this is a Good Thing because it means that even if a site is no-longer being updated there may well be stuff left laying around just waiting for someone to come along and find it.

Which seems to be the case with this blog whose active heyday seems to have been a four-year spell between August 2015 and February 2019.

Since when. Nothing.

There’s not much clue as to who made it. And if I’m not mistaken most, if not all, of the resources have been brought together from a variety of different authors and sources. But this shouldn’t detain us overmuch because what’s been left is a load of resources – mainly PowerPoint Presentations, but also some Word documents – that you’re definitely going to find useful and helpful.

The main sets of resources are divided into 5 familiar categories, particularly if you follow the AQA Specification, of varying depth and detail:

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The Real CSI

Thursday, July 8th, 2021

The Centre for Social Investigation – not to be confused with the long-running TV series – was established at Nuffield College in 2014 as an “interdisciplinary research programme” with the aim of addressing “contemporary social issues of public interest”.

To which end, the upshot of all this collaborative enterprise and expertise is a series of Reports, ranging across social inequality, family life and crime, that are a potentially useful resource for Sociology teachers – particularly since each Report runs to just 4 pages and is packed with statistical analysis and insightful commentary.

As an added bonus each Report has a student-friendly bulleted summary of its Key Points – something you can check-out by browsing some or all of the following selection:

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Doing Nothing as Deviance

Tuesday, July 6th, 2021
Doing Nothing…

“What are you doing?”

“Nothing”

“No, really. What are you doing?”

“I’m. Doing. Nothing”.

While breaking social norms is always a fun and interesting way to get students to think sociologically about the world in which they live and generally take-for-granted, it’s not always something that’s easy to do / demonstrate in a safe and secure way.

People, for example, tend to get upset and unpredictable if you mess around with their normative expectations and while this, somewhat perversely, is precisely the effect you want to see and study it’s not always possible or desirable to take the risk.

Unless, of course, you get your students to “Do Nothing”.

While this, in my vast experience, is a suggestion most students are generally open and amenable to doing, there is a catch.

For this sociological experiment your students must actively “Do Nothing” for 10 – 15 minutes…

What You Need To Do…

When you think about it, “doing nothing” in a public place is actually very rare. People in such spaces are usually “doing something” (even if it’s just “hanging around” or “waiting for someone”). So what happens when you literally “Do Nothing” in public?

That’s what your students are going to discover in a simple sociological experiment that requires little or no preparation, costs nothing (except 10 minutes or so of your time) and can be carried-out anywhere there’s a reasonable level of foot traffic (such as a school or college grounds).

Keep in mind that this probably isn’t something you want to do out in the big wide world – such as a busy shopping mall – because you need to be able to observe and control the behaviour of your students. In this respect, the optimum place to create the experiment is in school or college grounds if you have reasonable access to such a space.

When you’ve chosen the space you’re going to use, get your students to chose somewhere where they can stand completely still. This should preferably be somewhere they don’t cause undue obstruction to people passing by (for reasons you can profitably discuss if you want when you debrief the experimenters).

Ask them to maintain complete stillness for around 10 – 15 minutes. The only exception to this rule is if anyone approaches them and asks them what they’re doing. They should always reply to any question with the phrase “I’m doing nothing” (again, the reason for this standard response is something you might want to discuss later in the context of experimental research methodology in terms of variable control).

For the purpose of the experiment it might be useful, if you can, to split your class into participants and observers. While the former are “doing nothing” it would be helpful for the later to record their observations about how passers-by behave when they see students “doing nothing” (take pictures of their facial expressions, make notes of what they say and so forth).

And if this process isn’t clear, perhaps the easiest way to explain it is to show it being done…

And After You’ve Done it…

Back in the classroom there are numerous opportunities to reference this simple experiment right across the Sociology Specification – from a simple introduction to norms and normative disruption, to the social construction of reality, research methodology (particularly but not exclusively, experiments – including Goffman’s breeching experiments), concepts of crime, deviance, conformity, social order and the like.

In terms of the latter, for example, an obvious question to ask is why might standing still and “doing nothing” be seen as deviant behaviour whereas if the students had been sitting down “doing nothing” it probably wouldn’t?

Reference

Halnon, Karen Bettez (2001) “The Sociology of Doing Nothing: A Model “Adopt a Stigma in a Public Place” Exercise

Essay Planning: Killing The Question

Sunday, July 4th, 2021

This is an idea that I found on an old Rachel Whitfield blog page that I’ve pimped-up a bit but which is essentially her’s – although part of the attraction, for me, was that it fitted quite neatly into my own ideas about Sociology students taking on the role of Sociological Detectives.

PowerPoint Walkthrough

In this particular case the role-playing scenario is an essay-planning exercise that can be run at any point in a course although I guess it would probably be most effective at the end of a Module, such as Crime and Deviance, when your students are likely to have a good familiarity with the content required to answer an essay-type question.

Although the following details how to run the revision sim I’ve put together a short PowerPoint Presentation that walks you through the process if you need it.

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GCSE Sociology Knowledge Organisers

Friday, February 5th, 2021

Over the past couple of years I’ve posted a whole load of Sociology Knowledge Organisers (or Learning Tables as they’re sometimes known) and they continue – along with their Psychology counterparts – to be some of the most-popular posts on the site.

Which must mean something.

The last batch, however, seems to have been posted nearly 2 years ago, which means I either lost interest or, more-probably, exhausted the supply.

In either case – and they’re probably not mutually-exclusive – you’ll be glad to know that while I was at a loose-end I decided to have a look around to see if there was anything new available and was pleasantly surprised to find there was.

It seems schools and colleges have been busy encouraging teachers to create Knowledge Organisers like they were going out of fashion (although, by the time I get around to posting this, they probably will have).

While there’s probably a sociological debate to be had about this, this is not the place and I’m not the person to initiate it. So, whatever your particular take on the question of Knowledge Organisers – as “just-another-tool in the teacher’s toolkit” to “a management tool that will revolutionise learning” – you can rest-assured that all you’re going to get here are a load of links to a variety of different types of Organiser.

The twist, this time, is that these are all for GCSE Sociology (AQA mostly) because, unless I’m very much mistaken (unlikely I know) I haven’t previously posted any Organisers for this level…

Click to see the Organisers

PowerPoint Lessons: Sociology

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021

I chanced upon this series of “PowerPoint Lessons” from Eggbuckland Community College while looking for Knowledge Organisers (as you do) – and while the promised Organiser has either disappeared or was never posted the page contains a load of useful resources for those teaching Crime, Health, Media, and Research Methods (a rare outing for the Oxford Comma, in case you’re interested and, quite coincidentally an opportunity to create a tangential link to one of my favourite tunes…).

These take the form of the aforementioned PowerPoint Lessons – sets of PowerPoint slides organised into topics that follow the (AQA) Spec. Crime and Deviance, for example, has 15 Lessons covering things like perspectives (Functionalism, Marxism, Interactionist), prevention, corporate and environmental crime, gender, ethnicity and a great deal more.

The Lessons themselves generally consist of slides designed to encourage class discussions / research around specific ideas and topics – there’s a liberal sprinkling of questions and activities within each topic – rather than simple didacticism (although, having said that, some of the slides are explicitly designed to impart specific ideas and information).

In general terms, therefore, I’d tend to see the Lessons as broadly indicative of the kinds of areas and information to cover on a particular topic rather than necessarily providing that information.

This, of course, is No Bad Thing because it allows teachers working in different schools to add their own materials to the Lessons – one of the advantages of using something like PowerPoint is the ease with which it allows this to happen.

Judging by the changing templates used these resources seem to have evolved over a period of years (the earliest seems to date from 2014), with their appearance becoming progressively more professional over time.

The latest lessons on Research Methods, for example, look particularly attractive, even though this section is somewhat incomplete when compared to the Crime, Health and Media sections: currently (2021) there’s only coverage of three areas (Choosing a Method, Experiments and Questionnaires) – although it may, of course, just be the case that no-ones got around to adding further lessons yet.

To round things off there are a few further resources on offer, such as guidance on how to approach different-mark exam questions (very useful) and a Revision Checklist and Health Mind Map that isn’t (not useful).

Sociological Research Articles

Thursday, December 17th, 2020

I found this document lurking on a hard drive and while I’ve absolutely no idea from where it originally came, the metadata says “2008” and since it’s called “Sociological Research articles (since 2000)” it’s a fair bet it contains articles published between those two dates.

As you can see, very little gets past me.

Digging a little deeper – i.e. I read the blurb inside the cover – it’s an old Connect Publications err…publication that seems to have once been part of a CD-Rom (remember them? Me neither).

Anyway, Connect was a company originally created and run by Pete Langley before he moved on to bigger and Even Bigger things so I’m guessing it’s long out of print (if that’s the right way to describe a little piece of shiny plastic filled with digital data?) and no-one’s going to argue the toss.

The involvement of Janis Griffiths, Jonathon Blundell and Steve Chapman (although the latter only rates a “Thanks”, not a “Name on the Door” credit, so I’ve no idea what his involvement was. I’m sure he’ll probably tell me sometime) suggests, to me at least, some sort of ATSS (RiP) involvement, but I could be wrong.

The pack is basically a set of articles, drawn from what looks like an early 2000 AQA Spec. that covered stuff that’s still standard on most UK Sociology Specs (Families and Households, Culture and Identity, Poverty and Welfare, Education, Health, Religion and Beliefs, Mass Media, Crime and Deviance, Stratification and Differentiation), each of which is broken-down into a set of easily-digestible chunks running across no-more – and no-less – than 2 x A4 pages:

  • Context
  • Methods
  • Key Findings
  • Evaluation
  • Links to Key Debates
  • Each section has between 3 and 7 articles and these are roughly representative of the general popularity of the Module in question (crime and deviance has quite a few, poverty and welfare not so many…) and while the articles are around 15 years old there’s still some useful information here.

    Plus, if you’re so inclined, the general thinking behind the project is a neat template for presenting more contemporary articles to your students (or, at least, getting them to think in terms of the categories from which each article is constructed).

    More Podcasts with Pictures: Ms Sugden’s Online Classroom

    Saturday, October 3rd, 2020

    If you’re looking for video resources for online teaching or flipped learning (or possibly even a combination of the two) Alexandra Sugden’s YouTube Channel is worth checking-out if you’re teaching any or all of the following:

  • Crime and Deviance
  • Research Methods
  • Theory
  • Education
  • Religion and Beliefs
  • The Channel’s aimed at the AQA Spec. but some, if not necessarily all, of the films will be useful for other Specs (Research Methods, for example, is fairly uniform across most College / A-level Specifications).

    The format is a familiar “podcasts with pictures” one with Ms. Sugden narrating a series of static slides in a lecture-style format, with individual films ranging from 3 – 30 minutes, depending on the topic and what’s being discussed.

    This covers everything from general topic teaching to applying the PERVERT method to Research Methods exam questions or constructing example paragraphs when answering essay-type questions (although, personally, I’m not convinced by the claim students can apply strain theory to white collar crime using the concept of relative deprivation. It’s an innovative argument, perhaps, but one that stretches things just a little too far…).

    Takeaway Homework Menus: The Basics

    Monday, September 21st, 2020

    Takeaway Homework Menus are based on an original idea by “Twitter phenomenon and outstanding teacher” Ross Morrison McGill (100 Ideas for Secondary Teachers) – webmaster of the inspirational Teacher Toolkit site – and if you’re not familiar with the idea, the basic premise is a simple one:

    Starters and Mains…

    Instead of giving all your students a single “Homework Task” (an essay, a set of questions or whatever is appropriate to the course you’re teaching) you give them a menu of possible choices from which they can choose the homework they want to do.

    This could be as simple as a choice of doing one from a selection of 5 or 6 different essays or, as in the majority of Takeaway Homework Menus, students are required to select from different types of task. This usually involves the Menu being:

    1. Organised into sections, such as Starters, Mains and Desserts to maintain the Menu theme. Students may, for example, be required to do homework tasks selected from each part of the menu in the following ways (examples taken from this Express Crime and Deviance Takeaway homework menu, created by Miss Coleman to “Deliver fresh, hot and delicious homework tasks straight to your doorstep!”).

  • Starters may involve small and simple tasks (Write a tweet or no more than 256 characters explaining a Sociological key term covered in the Crime and Deviance unit).
  • Mains are usually more-involved and take longer to complete (Create a ten-question quiz for your classmates based on one area of the Crime and Deviance unit).
  • Desserts are again relatively straightforward tasks but can be used to test different skills to those included in Starters (Choose one piece of marked work in your book and re-do it, ensuring that you are responding to feedback and making improvements where necessary).
  • Desserts and Specials.

    What to include in each section is, of course, something for you to decide – Starters could include simple small-mark questions, while Mains could be a selection of essays – and the format’s flexible enough to incorporate a wide mix of practical and theoretical activities. If you want a further (sociological) example, the eponymous Miss Coleman has created a similar Takeaway Homework menu for social inequality.

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    ShortCuts to Sociology: free film collection

    Tuesday, July 28th, 2020

    For reasons that need not detain us here I was looking at the various free films we’ve published over the past few years and thought it might be useful to gather them all together in a single post.

    Strain Theory

    This would enable anyone who’s interested in using them with their students – particularly, but not exclusively, for online viewing / work – to both see what’s available in different areas (from crime through religion to media) and have them easily accessible in a single place rather than being dotted randomly around the blog.

    And so, when I was at a loose-end awaiting delivery of some voice-over files for a couple of new films currently being edited (or not, as is currently the the case), I thought that’s what I’d do.

    So I did.

    And here they all are, in a handy single-post list.

    The films vary in length, most coming-in at between 3 or 4 minutes, with a couple of exceptions – the “1-minute” films are, unsurprisingly, all around 1-minute long (give or take) and there are a couple of longer films that last around 8 – 10 minutes. The films are broadly-designed around major sociological ideas, concepts and perspectives (such as Risk Theory, labelling theory or green crime) and can be used to introduce these ideas, prompt discussion and so forth.

    click to see list of films

    Five Things To Know About…

    Wednesday, February 19th, 2020

    I’ve long been a fan / proponent of the “5 Things I Know” approach to teaching sociological perspectives – the idea that if a student can grasp 5 significant things about a perspective they can apply that knowledge to answer just about any “theory / perspective” question they may encounter in an exam.

    Theory Take 5 Pdf version - click to download.
    Theory Take 5 Cards

    Vicki Woolven has taken this idea a creative step further with her brilliant-looking Theory Take 5 cards. These identify 5 key points associated with a sociological theorist that students can apply in their answers to 8 – 15 mark exam questions – although there’s nothing to say this level of knowledge couldn’t equally be applied to essay-type answers.

    The cards cover 30 theorists distributed across areas like Family, Education and Crime and are available in both pdf and PowerPoint formats.

    The latter is useful if you want to add your own cards to the deck because you can use it as an editable template (and it’s easy enough to save the cards in pdf format from PowerPoint).

    These are slightly-edited versions of the originals to remove a reference to Weber as a “Marxist”.

    Defining and Measuring Crime: The Cyber Dimension

    Wednesday, June 5th, 2019
    Cybercrime…

    One of the most interesting developments in criminology over the past 25 years is the extent to which crime has moved online, something that has important ramifications for the sociology of crime and deviance, both in terms of how it’s theorised and how it’s taught.

    When thinking about the different ways crime can be defined and measured, for example, there’s still a general preoccupation at a-level with what we might call face-to-face / bricks-and-mortar types of crime – from interpersonal violence, through burglary to fraud: crime that, by-and-large, takes place in real, as opposed to cyber, space.

    While it’s not to say these forms of crime are suddenly unimportant or unworthy of our interest, it’s important for students to recognise and understand changes to criminal behaviour and activity reflected by developments in cybercrime.

    Continue reading

    Visual Notes

    Tuesday, April 30th, 2019
    Family
    Families and Households

    The Sociology Guy has been busy putting together what he calls “quick glance revision notes” for his web site (which, apropos of nothing, is well worth a visit because it contains lots of good stuff) – what might be described as visual notes or mini learning tables / knowledge organisers tied to a specific idea, topic or theme.

    And if this sounds like I’m struggling to do them justice, it’s probably easier just to look at the accompanying pictures because they’ll give you a much better idea about what’s involved.

    And this, in a roundabout way, is probably as it should be, given the claim that “Research suggests that notes that are vibrant, colourful and have pictures or illustrations are 40% more likely to be recalled by students”.

    While I’m not sure what this research might be, the idea does have an initial face validity, in that the combination of text and relevant graphics should help students make evocative connections.

    Anyway, be that as it may, the Notes look attractive and deliver just the right gobbets (that’s actually a word) of information for revision purposes across 6 current areas:

    There’s a Lot more to Follow…

    Sociology Flipbooks

    Saturday, April 20th, 2019

    A Flipbook is a way of displaying a pdf document online so that it has the look-and-feel of a paper-based magazine, one whose pages you can turn using a mouse (desktop) or finger (mobile).


    A Flipbook.
    Not Actual Size.
    Unless you’re using a mobile.
    Then it might be.

    That’s it, really.

    I could talk about stuff like whether this creates a greater sense of engagement among students than the bog-standard static pages of a pdf file, but since I’ve got no idea (and I don’t know of anyone who’s bothered to try to find out) that would just be me trying to find a deceptively- plausible way to encourage you to try them.

    So, if this Big Build-Up has piqued your curiosity and / or whetted your appetite for Flipbooks you’ll be pleased to know I’ll be adding a variety of the little blighters to this page on what might be charitably termed an ad-hoc basis (translation: whenever I can be bothered or can find the time).

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    Rational Choice Theory | 2

    Wednesday, November 28th, 2018

    This second (of two) posts evaluates Rational Choice Theory and, by extension, any New Right / Right Realist theories based on the notion of rational cost-benefit analyses of criminal motivation.

    Digested Read

    A list of all the relevant bits to save you having to read through the rest of the post…

    • Rational Choice Theory (RCT) reminds us that an understanding of social action – how and why people make certain choices – is important for an understanding of criminal behaviour. It also focuses our attention on crime as a rational process.

    • A cost-benefit analysis of offending fits neatly with a common sense understanding of criminal behaviour. It also underpins a range of contemporary crime theories – such as RCT, Broken Windows and Routine Activities – that can be generally characterised as Right Realist. It has, however, serious limitations related to how offenders receive and process information, particularly in time-limited situations.

    • An alternative and, according to Simon (1956), more realistic way to understand the behaviour of offenders, is to see it in terms of a bounded rationality. Interview evidence, for example, suggests burglars evaluate alternative forms of behaviour within what Walters (2015) calls “the limits of their knowledge and abilities”. Offenders, in this respect, seem to make “rational enough” decisions based on a range of “rule-of-thumb” beliefs and experiences.

    • If a cost-benefit model of criminal decision-making is invalid, this has important ramifications for both crime-control theories and situational crime prevention techniques and strategies. More specifically it suggests that if offenders do not rationally weigh likely benefits against potential costs any attempt to lower the former and raise the latter will have only a limited long-term effect on crime.

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    Left Realism

    Friday, August 31st, 2018

    In an earlier post I supplemented a PowerPoint visualisation of Left Realism’s “three-cornered approach” to understanding crime and deviance with a more-detailed explanation of how the approach generally works and revisiting this post to see if I could scavenge anything worth adding to the Crime and Deviance Channel made me think that displaying the text online probably wasn’t the most user-friendly thing to do.

    Being a generally helpful kind of a guy, therefore, I thought it might be useful to reformat the Left Realism text as a pdf document.

    So I did.

    As you’ll see if you download the file, I haven’t changed any of the text – just reformatted it to make it a bit more-legible – but it may be that you and your students will find this format a little more flexible.

    Or not.

    As the case may be.

    Sociology Revision Days with Dr Steve Taylor

    Wednesday, March 7th, 2018

    Crime & Deviance: updated to 21st Century

    Dr Steve Taylor, University of London & ShortCutstv

    Examiners reward students for writing about contemporary society but there are very few examples of contemporary theory & research on crime in the textbooks. This Workshop aims to fill that gap by linking the ‘familiar’ with the new.

    Approaches to Crime & Deviance: Key theories & concepts, consolidated, compared & evaluated.

    New Research: clear, easy to understand, up to date research examples to illustrate approaches.

    Globalisation & Crime: green, organised & state crime made accessible & illustrated with up to date examples.

    Theory & Method: simplified & illustrated.

    Handouts: include concise summarises of research examples used.

    Exam technique guidance, including introducing newer material into exam questions.

    Brand new free video “Sociological Theories of Crime” included.

    What Teachers say
    Our students came away inspired and were talking about the session for the rest of the year
    David Gunn, Camden School
    Excellent Day. He brings in contemporary evidence and great links to exam skills
    Ann-Marie Taylor, Coleg Cambria
    The students loved it. I’d recommend Steve to any teacher wanting to organise a revision day.
    Ian Luckhurst, Bridgewater College

    Cost (inclusive & regardless of no. of students):
    Day: £500
    Half Day £300

    For more information:
    Email: steve@shortcutstv.com
    Call: 07771-561521

    GCSE Sociology Notes

    Friday, December 1st, 2017

    Although this site describes itself as the UK’s leading educational website for GCSE and A-level it’s a little odd because it looks unfinished – loads of placeholder ”awaiting image” graphics, a Facebook page not updated for a year and the same with its Twitter feed.

    However, if you and your students can live with this you’ll find a range of Notes here that are relatively short, to-the-point and cover a number of different Specification areas and topics:

    • Introduction to Sociology
    • Families
    • Education
    • Media
    • Power
    • Social Inequality
    • Crime and Deviance
    • Sampling techniques

    While the material isn’t going to replace your textbooks, it’s a handy resource for students that complements, rather than detracts from, whatever sources you use.

    Sociological Theories And Frameworks

    Monday, November 13th, 2017

    This is a web page where you can find a bite-sized run-down of a range of:

    a. Sociological frameworks – from those fairly central to a-level, such as Functionalism, Feminism. Conflict theory, Critical theory and those (symbolic interaction, phenomenology) that tend to be a little more optional.

    b. Sociological theories – some fairly central ones, such as labelling and strain theory and some that are more-specialised, such as disengagement theory.

    Labelling Theory

    The information included for each framework or theory varies – some, such as Functionalism, are just given a brief introduction and general overview while others are covered in much greater detail. Labelling theory, for example, is given:

    1. A short general introduction.
    2. A brief outline of its origins.
    3. A more-detailed overview of its content
    4. A selection of key texts
    5. A short evaluation.

    You might find that some frameworks, such as critical theory,  probably go quite a bit beyond a-level so it’s probably best to review each of the frameworks / theories before you let your students loose on them (as I’ve demonstrated you can link directly to any of the frameworks / theories you think might be useful for your students).

    In addition, the hosting website carries an interesting range of other sociological topics – from general stuff such as What is Sociology, through key concepts such as gender, to Units such as Crime and Deviance.

    Categorising SCP: Techniques and Examples

    Saturday, June 3rd, 2017

    The first post in this short series outlined what Cornish and Clarke (2003) called 5 Situational Crime Prevention strategies and this PowerPoint Presentation develops this to include what they argued were “25 crime prevention techniques” associated with these strategies. In the presentation each technique is both briefly explained and illustrated.

    This material is presented as a PowerPoint because this format allows you to control how much – or how little – information to give your students.

    It may be that for some purposes it’s enough for students just to understand that grouping Situational Crime Prevention into 5 broad strategy categories (from Increasing the Effort to Reducing the Reward) will help them organise their thoughts about this general area.

    For others it might be helpful to illustrate each strategy with 5 crime prevention techniques and, if necessary, further illustrate each technique with examples.

    Global Crime Lesson Resource

    Sunday, May 14th, 2017

    If you’re not familiar with the work of Dr. Jill Swale the easiest way to describe it is that she brings a creative dimension to sociology teaching and learning through the application of critical thinking. This fusion has, over the years, produced some very interesting and innovative ways to teach a-level sociology, particularly the sociology of crime and deviance.

    As luck would have it I’ve come across some of the stuff Jill produced for the ATSS journal Social Science Teacher (and yes, it was in the filing cabinet, in case you were wondering). Once I’ve discovered a way of turning the scanner up to 11, I should be able to crank some of it out for your greater delectation. And teaching.

    Anyway, the first example is a resource that provides a series of ways to explore and investigate different types of crime – state, green, corporate, etc. – related to globalisation.

    The stimulus material was created around 2007 with a stated rationale of “updating the teaching of crime and deviance by incorporating examples from recent news”, so if you decide to use the resource you’ll need to add some more up-to-date material to the stuff supplied. Having said this, the supplied materials have both historical and contemporary relevance and probably just require a little tweaking rather than a radical reappraisal.

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    Sociology ShortCuts: Primary and Secondary Green Crime

    Monday, August 22nd, 2016

    ShortCuts to Sociology is a new series of free films designed to clearly and concisely illustrate key ideas and concepts across a range of topics – from family, through deviance to sociological methods and theory. The films are:

    • short: between 30 seconds and a couple of minutes
    • focused on definitions, explanations and analysis
    • framed around expert sociologists in their field.

     

    In this film Dr Gary Potter outlines the difference between Primary and Secondary Green Crime.

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    Crime as Postmodern Spectacle: Fear, Fascination and Murder as Video Game

    Friday, August 28th, 2015

    A significant feature of what we might call “crime in postmodernity” is the idea that the media, in all its many forms, plays a central role in the construction of criminogenic discourses, where the role of the media is twofold.

    First, media are important because they propagate and, in some senses, control organise, criticise, promote and demote (marginalise) a variety of competing narratives.

    Second, none of these is especially important in itself (teachers and students, for example, probably do most of these things); they become important, however, in the context of power and the ability to represent the interests of powerful voices in society.

    In a situation where knowledge, as Sarup (1989) argues, is ‘fragmented, partial and contingent’ (‘relative’ or dependent on your particular viewpoint), and Milovanovic (1997) contends ‘there are many truths and no over-encompassing Truth is possible’, the role of the media assumes crucial significance in relation to perceptions of crime and deviance in contemporary societies. In this respect, media organisation takes two forms:

    1. Media discourses (generalised characterisations such as crime as ‘a social problem’) and
    2. Media narratives – particular ‘supporting stories’ that contribute to the overall construction of a ‘deviance discourse’ – instances, for example, where deviance is portrayed in terms of how it represents a ‘social problem’.

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