Crime and Criminals


D getting started

In this section you are going to discuss deviance, crime, and types of crime. You will also listen to some news reports about different types of crime.


1 Read the following passage.

In all societies, some behaviors conform to what is expected while other behaviors are thought of as deviant – that is, they are viewed as unacceptable. Some deviant behavior is illegal. A crime is a deviant act that is prohibited by the law.

The U. S. legal system recognizes two main categories of crime. Felonies are serious crimes; misdemeanors are less serious. Crime can be violent or nonviolent. White-collar crime refers to illegal business transactions. Blue-collar crime refers to small crimes such as shoplifting and also to serious crimes such as robbery and murder. There are also

"modem” crimes that have been made possible by technology, such as crimes connected with the Internet.

It is difficult to know how many crimes are committed because most crimes are not reported, and most criminals are not caught.

Answer the following questions according to the information in the passage.

1 What is deviant behavior? Is deviant behavior always a crime?

2 What are two categories of crime?

3 What makes it difficuh to know how many crimes are committed?

З і Read these questions and share your answers with a partner.

1 What different types of crime do you know about?

2 How is crime punished in your community?


1 Work in a small group. Look at the photograph and discuss whether you think the photograph shows deviant behavior. Explain the reasons for your answers.


Read the list of deviant behaviors below. Number them in order of how wrong or unacceptable they are: 1 = most unacceptable;

10 = most acceptable.

Getting into the bus or subway without paying a fare

Paying for one movie ticket in a multiplex theater, and then going into a second movie without paying

Taking paper or office supplies from your school or workplace

Receiving too much change from a cashier for a purchase and not returning it Buying counterfeit goods, such as a homemade CD

Making a copy of a CD and giving it to your friends

Damaging someone’s parked car and not leaving your contact information

Buying something that you know was stolen Keeping an item that was delivered to you by mistake

Asking your doctor to help you get treatment that your insurance doesn’t normally pay for

Discuss with your group whether you would consider any of the behaviors in step 2 to be ciimes.

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