(One paragraph each answering the questions, at least 150 words, 7 in total)

  • Think of a recent feature movie that involved an adult criminal character. Does Sampson and Laub’s explanation (adult social bonds to meaningful work, happy marriage) help to understand the criminal acts of the character in the film? If not, what might according to the portrayal in the film?
  • Think of a friend from High school who exhibited the least or no delinquency. Was the lack of delinquent behavior in this case due to a fear of formal punishment (e.g., arrest, probation, prison) or due to a generalized belief that delinquency was simply wrong or inappropriate? Or something else, specific.
  • According to opportunity theory, target hardening should contribute to less crime. Think of 3 friends who own a dog and three that do not. Is there any difference in the extent that their homes have been burglarized?
  • Pick a movie you have seen with a female offender as a major character. Which theory (ies) of crime might best describe why she offends? How so?
  • At the macro level Shaw and McKay’s theory argues that five structural characterstics of neighborhoods or even whole cities shape the rate of crime. Apply this perspective to the city of Detroit, which has one of the highest violent crime rates in America. Might these five variables as discussed in class/reading have anything to do with the high crime rate in the city of Detroit? Explain. Which of the variables probably does not explain the high crime rate in Detroit? (This question might require a bit more than 150 words)
  • Think of a close friend. Do the elements of social disorganization theory – pertaining to the characteristics of neighborhoods- help to explain why s/he is/is not a chronic offender? If not, what does?
  • Two girls grow up in a high crime area of Chicago. Both are in families living below the poverty line. Both dream of making lots of money as successful physicians. However, years go by and their dreams are crushed. They become high school drop outs. One has been in and out of jail and is currently trying to be successful as a drug dealer. The other has given up on being successful and is resigned to a career flipping burgers at the local McDonalds, working double shifts and saves every penny so that her son might become a physician. They fall into Merton’s categories of innovator and conformist. Which theory might help to explain how they ended up so differently although they faced the same grinding poverty?
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