CRCJ 4002 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Safe Sex, Critical Criminology
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Look at the debate in legislation prior to youth criminal justice act
Look at how youth are now considered more like adults
Difference between youth and adults is blurred
Kitsuse + Ibarra
-no sociology of social problems existed at the time. A lot of studies preoccupied with that is a problem
from a objectivist perspective. Ex: hysteria over vaccination.
-constructivist perspective initiated. They refused to see its role as playing dr with society. Don’t look at
what is a problem, look at how does society constructs what it regards as its own problems.
-what kind of behaviour gets problematized and why?
-social problems: activities of individuals of groups making assertions in terms of grievances and claims
in relation to putative condition.
-the objectivist position will say that some conditions are putative. Constructivist will look at why and
how it is considered putative.
-constructivist suspend judgement about the ontological reference of the problem. Don’t argue about
whether the problem exist or not. Look why it is even considered a problem.
-constructivist will look at how is presenting a social problem, what their argument is, have they
-look at how a problem is constructed. How people moralize problems.
-study discourses. This leads to problems, leads to accusations saying they only look at discourse not
-rhetorical idioms: art of persuasion. Ordinary ways to constitute a problem. Way to moralize an object.
-when the above is well done, it is difficult to disagree without being socially penalized. Ex: VAW. If you
-strategies to construct social problem:
-rhetoric of loss: work against the devaluation of something you are trying to moralize. Ex: work against
devaluation of virginity. So sex ed discussing safe sex practices would be opposed. This is not a
conservative strategy. Environmentalist use this strategy.
-rhetoric of entitlement: appealing to rights, equality by looking at discrimination. Portrays others as
oppressors. Ex: gender, age, race discrimination. Those discussing the problem position themselves as
morally superior since they fight for those being oppressed.
-rhetoric of endangerment: popular in issues relating to crime. Creating problem related to safety and
physical integrity. This strategy relies on science to be objective. Preventative vocabulary.
-rhetoric of unreason: group is being manipulated, targeted and they need to be protected. Ex: video
games are a problem because kids repeat violence in real life. Kids are the targeted group. Some
individuals are not equipped to protect themselves. We need to pass laws to prevent them to be
exposed to dangerous morals.
-rhetoric of calamity: all encompassing social problem. As long as we don’t try to fix the “big” problems
like capitalism, corruption, patriarchy. All other problems won’t be solved.
-counter rhetorical strategies: sympathetic or unsympathetic/dismissive.
-sympathetic: naturalising (Agree that there is a problem but it cannot be stopped. Attempts to portray
those as discussing the problem as naive). Evaluating cost (agree there is a problem but that solving it
would lead to bigger problems. Solution is worse than the problem). Perspectivising (agree to disagree.
One person’s opinion differs from another). Tactical (agree but the solution presented is not viable. Until
a proper solution is given nothing can be done).