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SOC355: Sociology of Law and Order Question.1  Read the key findings from the following article that examines getting vaccinated against COVID-19 as part of a social contract. Korn, L., Böhm, R., Meier, N. W., & Betsch, C. (2020, June 30). Vaccination is a social contract. Retrieved from https://www.pnas.

SOC355: Sociology of Law and Order

Question.1 

Read the key findings from the following article that examines getting vaccinated against COVID-19 as part of a social contract.

Korn, L., Böhm, R., Meier, N. W., & Betsch, C. (2020, June 30). Vaccination is a social contract. Retrieved from https://www.pnas.org/content/117/26/14890 The practical implications of the study seemed to suggest that for strategic communications by the state, it was good to frame the appeal to get vaccinated as a moral/social obligation in which one who gets vaccinated is helping vulnerable members of society and the whole of society gets protected.

Furthermore, making such a social contract explicit might increase vaccine uptake rates. However, globally there is a rising ‘anti-vaxxer’ movement opposing the use of such vaccines. See:

Chotiner, I., Sorkin, A. D., & Khullar, D. (2020, December 18). The Influence of the AntiVaccine Movement. Retrieved June 6, 2021, from https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-anda/the-influence-of-the-anti-vaccine-movement Germani, F., & Biller-Andorno, N. (2021, March 3). The anti-vaccination infodemic on social media: A behavioral analysis. Retrieved June 6, 2021, from https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article  id=10.1371/journal.pone.0247642#references

a. Applying the social contract perspectives of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau, and Durkheim’s view on the function of crime, explain how wilfully refusing to be vaccinated gets socially constructed as a crime and how those who oppose the taking of COVID-19 vaccines might respond to their opponent being construed as an act of deviance.

The study also mentions how individuals tend to accept social contracts if others do so as well. However, alternate media reports that hint at the growing prevalence of those refusing to take it and potential dangers from taking it might undermine any public appeal for vaccinations. Some alternative media reporting also cite selective statistics to prove their point and pitch the move towards vaccination as almost criminal. Any attempts to stifle their reporting is viewed as an attack on free speech.

Question.2

Read the following article about how those with behaviour deemed strange and unacceptable get labelled as potentially suffering from mental illness. A number of such individuals also ended up violating laws stemming from their disruptive behaviours and interactions in public.

Yeoh, G. (2021, May 28). Commentary: When we call people with strange behaviour mentally ill, we reinforce mental health stigma. Retrieved June 6, 2021, from

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/commentary/lady-wearing-mask-people-withstrange-behaviour-mentally-ill-14882128

The debate has revolved around the complex relationship between criminality and mental illness and when the latter should be used as a legal defence. More importantly, those with personality traits that do not conform with societal norms of behaviour easily get labelled as “crazy” or “suffering from mental illness”. Also, read the following article about depictions of criminality in superhero cartoons:

Kort-Butler, Lisa A., “Rotten, Vile, and Depraved! Depictions of Criminality in Superhero Cartoons” (2012). Sociology Department, Faculty Publications. 188.
https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/sociologyfacpub/188 According to the article, the depiction of crime in popular media aligns with the dominant ideology of how society and state attribute the causes of crime and the nature of criminality.

Criminals are portrayed despite any personality flaws, as rational actors who are aware of what is right and wrong but nonetheless pursue criminal actions as they are greedy self-serving actors who “purposefully engage in antisocial behaviour”.

a. Applying classical notions of criminality and positivist theories around personality disorders, evaluate based on credible studies and reports how much of such disruptive behaviours by individuals described in the CNA report can be attributed to inherent deficiencies.

b. How these individuals subsequently get treated by the criminal system is another cause

for concern. Critically analyse the effects of punitive measures and public shaming of such behaviours.

Question.3

Read the following article that discusses the application of environmental criminology to urban planning.

Cozens, P. M. (2011). Urban Planning and Environmental Criminology: Towards a New Perspective for Safer Cities. Planning Practice and Research, 26(4), 481-508. Retrieved June 6, 2021, from

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02697459.2011.582357.

There have been several studies on crime prevention through urban planning. Such an approach to urban planning would require a proper and nuanced understanding of crime patterns and criminogenic factors. However, according to the article most urban planning proceeds with little or no proper knowledge about crime patterns, criminogenic factors and how certain designs actually facilitate crime.

‘New Urbanism’ advocate’s high residential densities, mixed land uses accessibility, connectedness and permeability, legibility, attractiveness, inclusiveness, maintenance, safety and character. Unfortunately, the ‘New
Urbanism’ approach may at times come into conflict with the promotion of crime prevention.

Read the following article on ‘Narratives in Urban Theory’ which also highlights how priorities over the economy and capital accumulation can take precedence over other conditions such as lack of social integration, societal tensions and mental stressors that come about as urban residents gradually live in a denser and more heterogeneous environment. Kugkhapan, Napong Tao (2014). “Narrative in Urban Theory,” Agora Journal of Urban Planning and Design, 120-129. Retrieved June 6, 2021, from

https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/120397/Rugkhapan_NarrativesInUr banTheory.pdf?sequence=1

a. Applying key perspectives from environmental criminology, control and conflict theories, critically analyse how much of urban design in Singapore takes into account criminogenic influences and sources of societal tension, or if economic considerations and public order control mechanisms take priority in urban planning.

b. Evaluate how much of crime prevention can actually be influenced by urban design and primary crime prevention, or if the greater emphasis should be given to secondary and tertiary crime prevention

Question.4

Read the following article that discusses the application of environmental criminology to urban planning.

Cozens, P. M. (2011). Urban Planning and Environmental Criminology: Towards a New Perspective for Safer Cities. Planning Practice and Research, 26(4), 481-508. Retrieved June 6, 2021, from

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02697459.2011.582357.

There have been several studies on crime prevention through urban planning. Such an approach to urban planning would require a proper and nuanced understanding of crime patterns and criminogenic factors. However, according to the article most urban planning proceeds with little or no proper knowledge about crime patterns, criminogenic factors and how certain designs actually facilitate crime.

‘New Urbanism’ advocate’s high residential densities, mixed land uses accessibility, connectedness and permeability, legibility, attractiveness, inclusiveness, maintenance, safety and character. Unfortunately, the ‘New Urbanism’ approach may at times come into conflict with the promotion of crime prevention.

Read the following article on ‘Narratives in Urban Theory’ which also highlights how priorities over the economy and capital accumulation can take precedence over other conditions such as lack of social integration, societal tensions and mental stressors that come about as urban residents gradually live in a denser and more heterogeneous environment.

Kugkhapan, Napong Tao (2014). “Narrative in Urban Theory,” Agora Journal of Urban Planning and Design, 120-129. Retrieved June 6, 2021, from https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/120397/Rugkhapan_NarrativesInUr banTheory.pdf?sequence=1

a. Applying key perspectives from environmental criminology, control and conflict theories, critically analyse how much of urban design in Singapore takes into account criminogenic influences and sources of societal tension, or if economic considerations and public order control mechanisms take priority in urban planning.

b. Evaluate how much crime prevention can actually be influenced by urban design and primary crime prevention, or if the greater emphasis should be given to secondary and tertiary crime prevention

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