a situation in which there is a visible lack of fit
between the culture's norms about what it means to be
successful in life (goals) and the culture's norms about
the acceptable ways to reach those goals (means).
So basically, what it’s saying is that social structures
within society may pressure citizens to commit a
Large, expensive house
Flashy clothes and jewelry
Vacation homes, condos and cottages
“Toys” such as boats, jet skis, 4 wheelers, RV’s
By working as a legitimate, law-abiding, dedicated and
hardworking citizen. There is no other way around it.
If you try and obtain the goals (large house, nice car,
fancy clothes) by any other means than the acceptable
way (working and being law-abiding) then you are
seen as a deviant.
Adaptation means: a change by which an organism or species
becomes better suited to its environment.
The majority of us adapt our behavior in order to obtain
the things our society deems as normal and successful.
These are the 5 Modes of Adaptation:
Behavior in accordance with socially accepted
conventions or standards
It is the most common reaction: People accept
cultural goals and institutionalized means.
*People who conform are least likely to become
*These are the people who want the conventional
goals of success (large house) and agree to the means
in which to obtain them (work and obey the law).
It is where individuals accept cultural goals but
come up with their own means.
*Innovators are most likely to become criminal.
*The people want what society deems as
successful and normal but does not want to do the
things that society says is normal in order to
obtain these things, therefore, they break the law
in order to obtain the things that will make them
look like they are normal and successful.
Believe that cultural goals are unattainable but
still accept institutional means. They are unlikely
to become criminal but are likely to be seen as
unusual or deviant.
*These people may have blue hair, piercings, wear
second-hand clothes or live off of the land. They
do not conform to what society says is a normal
successful person, however, they do not break the
law to get what they want and still ive their lives as
they see fit.
The rejection of both cultural goals and definition
of success and the conventional accepted means
of obtaining them.
They are likely to become deviant and retreat into
the world of drugs/alcohol.
*These types of people see success as unobtainable and
also reject the means of obtaining the symbols of
success and therefore have no goals and will retreat
into drug/alcohol abuse because they do not care
about the conventional goal of being successful.
It is the rejection of both cultural goals and
acceptable means of obtaining it. Rebels are likely
to be viewed differently from other criminals,
because they are committing acts for the greater
good, rather than for personal. They try to replace
*These people reject what society defines as
successful and creates their own definition and
comes up with their own ways of obtaining, which
often involves breaking the law.
If social bonds are strong, then conformity is more
likely and deviance less likely; if bonds are weak then
deviance is more likely.
Four Main Concepts or Elements of Social
Bonding Theory :
-close, affective ties to others; identification with
others (the more insensitive we are with others the less
we care about their values i.e. psychopaths etc.)
1. Attachment to parents
2. Attachment to peers
3. Attachment to school
staked in conformity; investment in social,
conventional lines of action; careers, education, etc.
participation in conventional "lines of activity"
1. Time - amount taken up with conforming activities
General beliefs in conventional values and roles of
1. General conforming and law-abiding beliefs
2. Conventional morality, values
3. Religious beliefs
Often we look to see if one or more of the following systems is
missing from a criminals social life:
-Family: produces children, teaches them fundamental
values (ex. Belief in merits of hard work, regard for
property, respect for others)
- Schools: provide basic knowledge and work skills and re-
enforce fundamental values
- Religion: supports basic values, provides spiritual avenue
to cope with social and personal problems
- Economy: allows individuals to work, earn and spend
A lack of one or more of these will indicate a predisposition
to criminal behavior.
Predisposition-a tendency to act in a particular way
Behavioral contagion is defined as the spread of a
particular type of behavior through exposure to it.
Example: if a person lacks a conventional role model
and they spend all of their time with their criminal
uncle then they will begin to emulate their uncles
actions and become criminal themselves.
Shared parental resources include: the parents' time,
emotional and physical energy, attention, and ability
to interact with children as individuals.
The parents' material resources include: the ability to
provide shelter, food, clothing, personal living space,
cultural advantages such as travel, specialized
instruction such as music lessons, specialized medical
or dental care, as well as continuous and advanced
*Children from small families can thus extract more
individual attention, resources, and interactions from
Being abused or neglected as a child increases the
likelihood of arrest as a juvenile by 59 percent, as an
adult by 28 percent, and for a violent crime by 30
percent according to one study that looked at more
than 1,500 cases over time .
Example: a mother who was manic depressive and
abused alcohol and drugs while pregnant.
The early years of a child’s life is crucial for
development and negative experiences during this
period, such as prolonged maltreatment, physical
abuse or neglect, can over activate the stress response
system, causing neurological deficits that predispose
an individual to criminal behavior.
Media such as violent books, TV shows, video games,
movies, news stories etc.
Home life: may be in foster care, adopted, live with a
single parent, or have a high number of siblings that
contribute to resource dilution
Having a low socioeconomic status
Premeditated: or first degree murder is when
somebody will make a plan to kill somebody and carry
out that plan all the while knowing that it is against
Crime of Passion: or second degree murder is when
somebody loses their temper and kills somebody in
the heat of the moment
Which one do you think is more dangerous?
Although manslaughter and third degree murder has
different definitions in different states, it is often
defined as murder occurring without the intent to
An example of that would be reckless driving.
Aggravating factors: factors that increases the severity
or fault of a criminal act.
Heinousness of the crime
Lack of remorse
Prior conviction of another crime.
Mitigating Factors: any information or evidence presented
to the court regarding the defendant or the circumstances
of the crime that might result in reduced charges or a lesser
The defendant’s age
The defendant’s mental capacity
The crime was an accident
Provocation or "heat of passion"
The defendant repented from his actions
Latin for: Method of operation
the actions used by the individual(s) to execute the
crime, prevent its detection and/or facilitate escape,
and the weapons used
When determining the M.O. ask yourself:
What did they do to plan ahead? What procedures did
they follow to make sure they didn’t get caught? How
did they plan to escape? What weapons were used?
Accessory: a person who helps out in the commission
of a crime but didn’t actually partake physically.
Example: a person mentioning to the criminal that so-
and-so carries around a lot of money
Accomplice: a person who is present and participates
in some way.
Examples: helped hide the body, helped break into the
house or was the get-away driver.
A primary victim is a person who is injured as a direct
result of an act of violence being committed against
A secondary victim of an act of violence can be a
parent secondary victim or a witness secondary victim
The Precipitation Theory
The Lifestyle Theory
The Deviant Place Theory
The Routine Activities Theory
suggests that some people cause or initiate a particular
confrontation that may eventually lead to that person
becoming victimized by injury or death.
Active precipitation exists when the victim knowingly
acts in a provocative manner, uses fighting words or
threats, or simply attacks first.
Passive precipitation however, occurs when the victim
contains characteristics that unknowingly motivates or
threatens the attacker. (female, elderly, young,
mentally ill, physically disabled etc.)
those whose lifestyle increases criminal exposure are
more likely to become victims of crime. Behaviors such
as going out late at night, associating with younger
men, and residing in cities increases the chances of
falling victim to crime. Therefore, one can reduce their
chance of becoming a victim by staying home at night,
living in a suburban area, avoiding public areas,
getting married, and making more money. Therefore,
the lifestyle theory holds that crime is not random but
instead is a function of an individual's chosen lifestyle
Those who choose high-risk lifestyles which include
taking drugs, drinking, and participating in criminal
activities run a much higher risk of becoming victims.
Also, the more time someone is exposed to street life,
the greater their chance of becoming victims. Young
men in particular have a very high risk of
victimization. College students who tend to spend
several nights partying each week are also more likely
to be at risk than those who avoid such unstable
lifestyles. Those who commit crimes increase their
chances of becoming victim of crimes as well.
This theory holds that victims do not motivate crime
but rather are prone to becoming victims simply
because they live in social areas that are disorganized
and contain high-crime rates and therefore have the
highest risk of coming into contact with criminals
regardless of their lifestyle or behavior. The more
someone visits a high-crime area, the more chances
they will have at becoming a victim. Such places are
poor and highly populated.
This theory is closely linked to three variable interactions
that present the typical 'routine activities' executed in an
American traditional lifestyle:
(1) available and suitable targets such as unlocked homes
that contain salable goods, (2) the lack of proper
guardians such as police, homeowners, and neighbors,
and (3) the existence of encouraged offenders such as
addicts, teenage boys, and those who are unemployed.
The presence of such components increases the
probability that predatory crime will occur. Therefore,
targets are more likely to become victim to crime if they
are engaging in dangerous behaviors, lack guidance, and
are frequently exposed to a large population of motivated