Week 3 – Assignment
Myths and Reality of Crime
As we learn in the video, Crimes of the Powerful (https://secure.films.com/OnDemandEmbed.aspx?
Token=47476&aid=18596&loid=137445&Plt=FOD&w=320&h=240) , 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
• 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.
• Describe how society defines crime. Do not provide a definition – instead, explain how the
definition is reached.
• Discuss how society decides what to define as a crime.
• Present a clear statement about a particular crime, something we know to be absolutely true.
Illustrate how we know that this is an accurate statement.
• Present an example of a widely held myth or misconception about crime and society.
Determine how we know that this is a myth. Explain why this myth is so difficult to abandon.
The paper must be three to four pages in length and formatted according to APA style. You must use at
least two scholarly resources other than the textbook to support your claims and sub-claims. Cite your
resources in text and on the reference page. For information regarding APA samples and tutorials, visit
the Ashford Writing Center, within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar, in your
Carefully review the Grading Rubric
(http://ashford.waypointoutcomes.com/assessment/20339/preview) for the criteria that will be used to
evaluate your assignment.