As we learn in the video, Crimes of the Powerful, (link below) our justice system tends to focus on street crime, often ignoring much more significant problems such as white-collar, corporate, and state crime. The video also discusses euthanasia, although the point of this reference is to illustrate how the law can be used as a tool for social change. The video also discusses moral values with a focus on media coverage of harm to children. Laws have changed in direct response to these incidents and the resulting media coverage. In effect, this coverage becomes an engine for social change. The video ends with a discussion of crime theory, reminding us that many criminological theories fall short when applied to people with wealth and high status.
Write a paper discussing the myths and realities of crime. Please elaborate on the following points in your essay:
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- Imagine asking 100 strangers to describe a “criminal.” Are these descriptions likely to focus on street criminals, or the variety of topics covered in this video?
- How does society define “crime?” Do not provide a definition – instead, describe how the definition is reached.
- How does society decide what to define as a “crime?”
- Provide a clear statement about a particular crime – something we know to be absolutely true. How do we know this is an accurate statement?
- Provide an example of a widely held myth or misconception about crime and society. How do we know this is a myth? Why is this myth so difficult to abandon?