The Situationist

Posts Tagged ‘legitimacy’

Andrew Papachristos at Harvard Law School

Posted by The Situationist Staff on October 4, 2009

SALMS Logo Small 2 for WebsiteOn Monday, October 5, the HLS Student Association for Law and Mind Sciences (SALMS) is hosting a talk by Professor  Andrew Papachristos entitled “Why Do Criminals Obey the Law: The Influence of Law and Social Networks on Active Gun Users.”

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Our findings suggest that while criminals as a whole have negative opinions of the law and legal authority, the sample of gun offenders (just like non-criminals) are more likely to comply with the law when they believe in (a) the substance of the law, and (b) the legitimacy of legal actors, especially the police. Moreover, we find that opinions of compliance to the law are not uniformly distributed across the sample population. In other words, not all criminals are alike in their opinions of the law. Gang members – but especially gang members with social networks saturated with criminal associates – are significantly less likely to view the law and its agents as a legitimate form of authority. However, those individuals (including gang members) with less saturated criminal networks, actually tend to have more positive opinions of the law, albeit these opinions are still overall negative.

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The event will take place in Pound 200 at Harvard Law School, from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.  For more information, e-mail salms@law.harvard.edu.

For a sample of related Situationist posts, see”The Legal Situation of the Underclass,”The Situation of Criminality – Abstract,” “Clarence Darrow on the Situation of Crime and Criminals,” “Why Criminals Obey the Law – Abstract,” and Tom Tyler on “Strategies of Social Control” – Video.”

Posted in Events, Law | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why Criminals Obey the Law – Abstract

Posted by The Situationist Staff on March 14, 2009

Gun Crimes by Andy Saxton 2006 - flickrAndrew Papachristos, Tracey L. Meares, and Jeffrey Fagan, have posted their terrific paper, “Why Do Criminals Obey the Law? The Influence of Legitimacy and Social Networks on Active Gun Offenders” on SSRN.   Here’s the abstract.

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Recent research on procedural justice and legitimacy suggests that compliance with the law is best secured not by mere threat of force, but by fostering beliefs in the fairness of the legal systems and in the legitimacy of legal actors. To date, however, this research has been based on general population surveys and more banal types of law violating behavior (such as unpaid parking tickets, excessive noise, etc.). Thus, while we know why normal people obey the law, we do not have similar knowledge as it pertains to the population most likely to commit serious violent crimes. This study fills this void by using a unique survey of active offenders in Chicago called the Chicago Gun Project (CGP). Part of a larger evaluation effort of the Project Safe Neighborhoods program, the CGP posed a series of individual, neighborhood, legitimacy, and social network questions to a sample of 141 offenders in 52 Chicago neighborhoods. The CGP is designed to understand how the perceptions of the law and social networks of offenders influence their understanding of the law and subsequent law violating behavior. Our findings suggest that while criminals as a whole have negative opinions of the law and legal authority, the sample of gun offenders (just like non-criminals) are more likely to comply with the law when they believe in (a) the substance of the law, and (b) the legitimacy of legal actors, especially the police. Moreover, we find that opinions of compliance to the law are not uniformly distributed across the sample population. In other words, not all criminals are alike in their opinions of the law. Gang members – but especially gang members with social networks saturated with criminal associates – are significantly less likely to view the law and its agents as a legitimate form of authority. However, those individuals (including gang member) with less saturated criminal networks, actually tend to have more positive opinions of the law, albeit these opinions are still overall negative.

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For a related Situationist post see “Tom Tyler on “Strategies of Social Control” – Video.”

Posted in Abstracts, Ideology, Law, Legal Theory, Social Psychology | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Tom Tyler on “Strategies of Social Control” – Video

Posted by The Situationist Staff on January 23, 2009

plms-logo2

At the 2007 Project on Law and Mind Sciences Conference, Tom Tyler’s presentation was titled “Strategies of Social Control: Motivating Rule Adherence in Organizational Settigings.” Here is the abstract for his talk.

Recent examples of abuse of authority have occurred in two types of organizational settings: corporations and the armed forces.  What strategies can be used to bring behavior in such settings into line with rules and policies about appropriate conduct?  Dr.  Tyler will talk about the value of self-regulatory approaches, examining whether they work and how to make them effective.  He will illustrate his arguments using data collected in two contexts: in a multinational corporate bank and among agents of social control (e.g., police officers, federal agents, and infantry soldiers). 

Below you can watch a video of Tyler’s fascinating presentation (in 3 roughly 9-minute videos).

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To watch similar videos, visit the video libraries on the Project on Law and Mind Sciences website (here).

For information on the Third PLMS conference (scheduled for March 7, 2009), click here.

Posted in Ideology, Law, Social Psychology, System Legitimacy, Video | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Situationism in the Blogosphere – October, Part II

Posted by The Situationist Staff on November 21, 2008

Below, we’ve posted titles and a brief quotation from some of our favorite non-Situationist situationist blogging during October 2008. (They are listed in alphabetical order by source.)

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From Experimental Philosophy: “Causal Judgment and Moral Judgment

“It is now widely believed that people’s moral judgments can affect their causal judgments, but a great deal of confusion remains about precisely why this effect arises. . . . Our hypothesis draws on the idea that people’s causal judgments are based on counterfactual reasoning.” Read more . . .

From The Frontal Cortex: “Anchoring and Credit Cards

“New research by the University of Warwick reveals that many credit card customers become fixated on the level of minimum payments given on credit card bills. The mere presence of a minimum payment is enough to reduce the actual amount many people choose to pay on their bills, leading to further interest payments.”  Read more . . .

From Inquisitive Mind: “Social Judgment: Warmth and Competence are Universal Dimensions” 

“How do you make sense of Barack Obama and John McCain? The odds are that you judge them mainly on two dimensions: warm/cold and (in)competence. Depending on your experience of them, you may judge one of them as both warm and competent, evoking your admiration and pride; and perhaps the other as neither warm nor competent, which triggers a sense of contempt and disgust. Or perhaps you view one as warm but not competent, which generates pity and sympathy; or finally, you could judge one of them as cold but competent, leading to feelings of resentment and even envy. All the media hoopla boils down to these two dimensions, which determine the outcomes of Presidential campaigns, but also our ordinary perceptions of other people as individuals or as group members.” Read more . . .

From Legal Theory Blog: “Legal Theory Lexicon: Legitimacy

Legitimacy. It’s a word much bandied about by students of the law. “Bush v. Gore was an illegitimate decision.” “The Supreme Court’s implied fundamental rights jurisprudence lacks legitimacy.” “The invasion of Iraq does not have a legitimate basis in international law.” We’ve all heard words like these uttered countless times, but what do they mean? Can we give an account of “legitimacy” that makes that concept meaningful and distinctive? Is “legitimacy” one idea or is it several different notions, united by family resemblance rather than an underlying conceptual structure.” Read more . . .

From Mind Hacks: “Feeling Out of Control Sparks Magical Thinking

Psychology Today journalist Matthew Hutson covers some fascinating experiments just published in this week’s Science that found that reducing participants’ control increase the tendency for magical thinking and the perception of illusory meaning in random or patternless visual scenes.” Read more . . .

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For previous installments of “Situationism on the Blogosphere,” click on the “Blogroll” category in the right margin.

Posted in Abstracts, Blogroll | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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