The twelfth lecture in our undergraduate criminology course at the University of Maine at Augusta is now available.
This week follows a focus on violent crime last week and asks you to read Chapter 12 regarding property crime. Being the victim of a murder, an assault, a burglary or a car theft is a possibility that generates significant fear in some people, but which does not appear to bother others. Our lecture focuses on what factors might explain these differences in fear of crime. An additional walkthrough video demonstrates how to use the Maine State Legislature website to research current bills under deliberation. Finally, we move to your second reading for the week, Scott Wolfe and George Higgins’ “Explaining Deviant Peer Associations…,” an article listed in your course syllabus that considers how people come to be socially connected to online pirates. Despite the online nature of this activity, real-world networks lie beneath. I’d like you to talk about the definitions favorable and unfavorable to delinquency that Wolfe and Higgins discuss… and apply them to yourself.
As sometimes happens when public events intervene, the subject matter of this lecture has shifted. As I was preparing to send out this lecture, two bombs exploded in Boston, bringing sharply into relevance the question of terrorism. In the choice of the word to describe this kind of act, “terrorism” explains the goal — not to directly damage a society but to indirectly damage it by creating terror (a sharp fear), that then leads a society to harm itself.
It turns out that criminologists have a lot to say about fear, and I think it’s important for us to consider that subject this week as our thoughts turn to Boston (and not, noticeably, to other American cities). For that reason, I’m devoting a major section of the lecture to a review of the literature on fear of crime and social connection to jarring events.
This leaves little room, unfortunately, for the answering of your questions — and your questions remain important, both to you and to me. What I’ll do instead of creating an inappropriately long lecture for the week is incorporate my answers to your questions in next week’s lecture.
Finally, please note the nature of the discussion task this week. Because I am asking you sensitive questions (the answers to which will not be associated with your name), please send me your discussion answers by e-mail, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To access Lecture 12, click here.