- Strain Theory
Merton was one of the first sociologists to look at the relationship between culture and crime. This film provides a clear introduction to Merton’s strain theory, looks at its application to contemporary consumer societies and its continuing influence on modern theories of crime.
- Labelling Theory
Traditionally criminology focused on criminal action and its control. Labelling theory widened the focus to include the social reaction to crime and its consequences. This film documents the rise and fall of labelling theory and illustrates how aspects of it continue to influence contemporary criminology and criminal justice.
- Space, Place & Crime
Spatial criminology asks whether it’s possible to reduce crime by changing social spaces. This film begins with Zimbardo’s influential abandoned cars experiment and the development of Wilson and Kelling’s broken windows theory. It looks at the impact of broken windows policy on the reduction of crime in New York in the 1990s and concludes by looking at recent experiments in the Netherlands by Keizer that demonstrate the effect of environmental change on crime.
- Gender and Crime
One of the most consistent features of modern societies is the gendering of crime and criminality.
Not only is most crime committed by men, there are also marked differences in the types of crime committed by males and females.
In this short Karen Evans looks at a range of explanations for this situation and suggests how ideas about masculinity and femininity can be used to explain this phenomenon.
- Crime and Moral Panics
This film examines the concepts of moral panic and deviancy amplification through both a classic – Stan Cohen talking about the origins and implications of his concept in the context of Mods and Rockers in the early 1960’s – and contemporary lens: Adrian Beck looks at an example of a recent moral panic surrounding young men and hoodies.
- Hate Crime
Hate Crime is being brought into increasingly-sharp relief with the widespread emergence of new social media and in this introductory film Neil Chakraborti, a leading researcher in this area, takes you through the main ideas you need to grasp in order to understand, apply and evaluate the general concept: from definitions, through problems of measurement, to our ability to identify perpetrators of hate crimes.
- The Functions of Crime
The idea crime can have positive consequences for societies may seem counter-intuitive – media discussion of crime, for example, sees it in almost wholly negative terms – but Emile Durkheim begged to differ.
Understanding and explaining the functions of crime was an integral part of Durkheim’s sociological analysis of crime and deviance and in this short film Dr. Steve Taylor explains how crime and deviance can be functional for social order.
As an added bonus he also looks at how this claim has influenced contemporary ideas about crime and social control.
- Crimes of the Powerful
This short film illustrates how crimes committed by powerful social actors differ in terms of both their type – the distinction between white-collar, corporate and state crime for example – and extent; how and why such criminality differs from the criminal behaviour of the relatively powerless. The film also features David Whyte talking about and illustrating some of the problems sociologists face in defining and researching this particular area of social life.
- Crime and the Night-time Economy
The concept of social control is an important one in the sociology of crime and deviance and this short film, featuring contributions from Phil Hadfield and Simon Winlow, co-authors of “”””Bouncers””””, looks at how social control in the Night-Time Economy is increasingly created and maintained by professional Bouncers rather than the police.
Please note: this film contains short sequences with flashing lights.
- Situational Crime Prevention
In this film Cambridge sociologist Kate Painter explains how some forms of crime can be effectively managed through the control of physical space. The film uses Painter and Farrington’s seminal Stoke-on-Trent street-lighting study to demonstrate the relationship between continuities and changes in the built environment and some types of criminal behaviour.
The controversies surrounding abortion involve a clash between two fundamental rights: the right of the unborn child, or foetus, and the rights of the mother. This film begins with the storm created by leading case of Roe vs Wade and then provides students with an unbiased analysis of the ethical issues underlying demands for the criminalisation and the legalisation of abortion.
When Vincent Li murdered and then cannibalised 22 year old Tim McLean on a Greyhound Bus heading for Winnipeg, the shock waves ran through Canadian society. But when Li was found unfit to face trail and later released, shock turned to outrage and triggered a social media moral panic. This film looks at the social reaction to Tim McLean’s murder and how it challenged the conventional sociological model of how moral panics are generated
An area that’s captured the public imagination from tv shows like Mindhunter and Criminal Minds is criminal profiling. But what’s the reality behind the hype? What is criminal profiling? What do profilers do? Does profiling work? In this film we address these questions through contemporary UK profilers and psychologists, look at some famous case studies and examine different approaches to criminal offender profiling.
Over the past 50 years an increasingly-influential school of criminology has argued that finding “the causes of crime” or “solutions to the problem of crime” is not possible. The best we can do, they argue, is manage and limit the extent of crime.
Situational Crime Prevention, in this respect, involves a range of strategies based broadly around the idea that many forms of crime – particularly street crime – can be effectively managed through the control of physical space.
In Britain, Painter and Farrington’s seminal Stoke-on-Trent street-lighting study has been an influential demonstration of the way continuities and changes in the built environment can influence many types of criminal street behaviour and this film draws on exclusive interview data with Painter to both outline the study and explain its implications for our understanding of the management of crime.
The short film is designed to integrate into crime and deviance lessons by providing a simple empirical example of how situational crime prevention can be applied to our understanding of the theory and practice of crime control.”
The most consistent finding in the study of crime is the relationship between crime and gender. In almost every country, over 80% of crime is committed by males. But in recent years, the gender gap has been closing: the male crime rate has been steadily falling while the female crime rate, especially for violent crime, has been increasing. In the US, for example, the number of women in prison has almost doubled in the last 25 years.
This short film looks at explanations for gender differences in crime and why things may be changing.
Hate Crime is high profile now.
But, Professor Neil Chakraborti argues, the cases of violent hate crime we see in the media are just the tip of the iceberg: things like verbal abuse, bullying, threats, and damage to property have become just another part of everyday life for many people.
This film looks at what hate crime is, how it can be measured and why popular media stereotypes of typical hate offenders are so misleading.
It seems obvious to most people that crime and social order are opposites.
But more than a century ago French sociologist, Emile Durkheim, suggested that it wasn’t that simple. This film looks at the introduction of Zero Tolerance Policing in New York, the imprisonment of Dr Jack Kevorkian for assisting terminally-ill patients to die, and the tragic murder in the UK of Jamie Bulger, to illustrate Durkheim’s three key functions of crime.
It concludes by looking at how the legacy of these ideas has been so influential in the development of criminology.