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CRM302 (Criminological Theories)- Lecture 4

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CRM 302
Stephen Muzzatti

CRM302 – Week 4: “Chicago School” Monday, February 4 , 2013 - Intellectual Heritage – Toennies, Simmel - Cultural Context – Chicago in the 1920s - Contributors – William I. Thomas, Park & Bergers, Snow & McKay - Contemporary – Sampson et. al --- INTELLECTUAL HERITAGE Teonnies - part of the first wave of German sociologists/social scientists (Durkheim’s equivalent in Germany at the time along with Simmel) - he lived in a time where he was able to see significant social transformation, where as a society we were changing from very rural and technologically simple into a more complex, industrialized society (which has significant impact on how we relate/ interact with each other - came up with two concepts in understanding transformations in living, known as two kinds of social organization: “Gemeinshaft” and “Gesselshaft” - “Gemeinshaft” (“gemein” comes from the word “community” which invokes thoughts of togetherness, unity, protection, and bonding) - communities were smaller, less populous, and homogenous in terms of race/religion/ethnicity. They also shared very similar beliefs/attitude/values/morals and were technologically simple - Why did people come/stay together in his “gemein”? - survival, common interest, simple division of labour - mostly because they simple felt they belonged due to similarity above all else - Significant change resulted in transformation of how we lived - single biggest force of this was industrialization and the urbanization that came with it - transition from rural to urban was, according to Toennies, moving from “gemein” to “gessel” - “Gesselshaft”(“gessel” comes from the word “association” which invokes thoughts of distance, professional/impersonal/indirect relationships, a weaker sense of togetherness) - more urban, communities were larger, more populous and increasingly heterogenous/diverse in terms of ethnicity/race. They were also technologically more sophisticated - Why did people come/stay together in this “gessel”? - produce more, stability - mostly because it was instrumental – it was based on self-interest and need for the people around them ; the division of labour was more elaborate and complex, and people depended on one another for their unique trade such as clothes-making, shelter-making, food-producing, etc. - We today are a “gesselshaft” George Simmel - German sociologist who was among the first of social scientists to study urban life (which was a th relatively new phenomenon in the outset of 20 century (previous life had been growing central cities, but nothing like the big cities that were a product of the late 19 /early 20 century) - wrote “The Metropolis and Mental Life” (1907): the impact of urban living not only on individuals but on human communities as well - came up with the notion of spatial boundary: very relevant if not openly acknowledged by other social scientists - Spatial boundary is the way in which we think about urban space (such as dangerous safe VS safe space). It is a sociological fact that was formed spatially in which we then physically map and determine how that space is built and reported. (Examples: homeless shelters represent different forms of inequality) - we often think of “space” as “place” – a physical location with sociological thought which is very near-sighted CULTURAL CONTEXT - Chicago in 1920s: embodiment of urban North American metropolis - Chicago was a city that was growing rapidly, and possibly one of the largest cities and was a hallmark of urbanization/modernization very early (thought of as an icon for changes happening in society 1910 – 1930) - During this time, many were living in metropolitan centres and Chicago saw an amazing spike in its population due to industrialization – people were being pulled by the promise of jobs especially in factories) - Also becoming far more ethnically diverse (the single largest group outside European Whites were African Americans migrating from the South - thought of as an [intellectual] hotspot mostly due to the University of Chicago with its well- known/ high profile; the university was growing because there
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