Dissertation On Crime And Gender Essay

5663 words - 23 pages

Crime & Gender__________________________________I. Introduction- Why Gender? Why Crime?II. Ground Rules- Laying the Foundation for a Thorough Discussion: Feminism & Sociological MotivationIII. Offenders- Women who Violate the "Norm"IV. Victims- In their "natural" place...V. In the System- The Influence of Dominant Social Structures & ParadigmsVI. Field Perspective- A Short Experimental Inquiry into Current Perceptions about Women & Violent CrimeVII. The Verdict- Moving Forward with Facts... and assumptions__________________________________Appendix A - Research SurveysAppendix B - Annotated SPPS OutputAppendix C - Raw DataWhy Gender? Why Crime?The answer to the question posed above could be any one of the following:1) In the tradition of Sir Edmund Hillary in referring to why he climbed Mt. Everst, simply, "Because it is there".2) In the modern tradition of rhetoric, "Why not?"3) In 'typical' answer one might expect, because both are compelling, engaging topics in which virtually everyone has a vested interest in and both are issues fundamental to the social and political fabric of modern life.The truth is simply "all of the above" with a heavy emphasis on #3. These topics have the fortune of being both broad and "loaded". It is broad in the sense that both subjects, in and of themselves, is the subject of the life's work of numerous notable academians as well as that of many law enforcement, social service and legal professionals. Without question, the subjects, especially gender, is loaded with emotion. While many might believe that feminism is a wasted effort to redirect attention and funds, others pursue the topic with all the righteous vigor of that associated with the abolition of slavery. The topics of gender and crime would be much easier to cover if, like a traditional Venn diagram, there were but a small area of overlap. In contrast, the two subjects seem to only grow when combined.With this in mind, a logical treatise on the subject is yet possible by presentation with a logical stepwise progression through fundamental theoretical perspectives followed by the systematic treatment of each key stakeholder. Following this, original research will be reviewed and discussed in light of the foundations laid. Based on these findings, additional lines of inquiry to tease out further salient differences and issues will be proposed.I. Ground Rules - Laying the Foundation for a Thorough Discussion: Feminism & Sociological MotivationFeminismIt becomes quite apparent with on a cursory review of literature that crime is a man's arena. Unanimously, researchers agree that the overwhelming majority of crime is committed by men and that gender is the strongest predictor of criminality (Messerschmidt 1997, p. 1; Belknap 2001, pp. xii, 5-6; Heidensohn 1997, p. 491). In itself, this begs the question of why this is the case. Though any answer to this question falls short of the answer to the 'whole' question, it is enough to pique...

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