Nadine Acevedo, Ashley Pederson,
Leah Anderson… +23 more
SOC305: Crime & Society (BLE1914A)
WEEK THREE ASSIGNMENT
This week we have an essay assignment. It is based on Myths and
The reality of Crime.
You will watch the video, Crimes of the Powerful (click on the link to
the external site.) and write your paper based on the video, our
course readings, and outside related scholarly sources.
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 often
people with wealth and high status fall into a different category of
Please elaborate on the following points in your essay:
1. Imagine asking 100 strangers to describe a criminal. Predict
whether those descriptions would be likely to focus on street
criminals, or the variety of topics covered in this video.
2. Describe how society defines crime. Do not provide a definition –
instead, explain how the definition is reached.
3. Discuss how society decides what to define as a crime.