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Discussion Questions

Draft a response to each of the bulleted questions below. Each question must have its own response and have a minimum of 75 words.

1.       How do illegitimate opportunity structures assist in explaining delinquency and criminal behavior? How is this associated with different types of subcultures?

2.       What is your initial response to the idea that criminal behavior is learned the same as anything else?  Is it possible for a person to be born bad and be predisposed to have a life of crime?

3.       Explain differences amongst the consensus, pluralistic, and conflict perspectives. Which comes closest to your understanding of society? Why? Does one perspective adequately describe society?

4.       What do sociologists mean by the term social structure? How might the organization and structure of a society contribute to criminality?

5.       What do we mean by the term ecological? Do you believe that ecological approaches have a valid place in contemporary criminological thinking? Why?

6.       What are the central concepts of social development theories? Explain each.

7.       What are the shortcomings of social development perspectives on criminality?

8.       Do you believe that Erving Goffman’s dramaturgical perspective, which sees the world as a stage and individuals as actors on that stage, provides any valuable insights into crime and criminality? If so, what are they?

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