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CRM302: Week 12 - (April 8th) “Critical Cultural Criminology”.docx

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CRM 302
Stephen Muzzatti

CRM302-011: Week 12 – April 8 , 2013 “Critical Cultural Criminology” - Introduction - Intellectual History - Crime & News (Youth/Sub/Culture) - Verstehen (early works) - Overview (future directions) INTRODUCTION - most recent development, approaching about 20 years old now - deeply rooted in Jeff Ferrell and Clinton Saunders - orientation falls broadly under the critical criminology umbrella following the fact that conservative criminology has largely died out and Marxist criminology has spawned feminist, left-realism, anarchist, and critical criminology - involved with cultural criminology is crime & control, mass media, factors in agency & control - looks specifically at how culture and criminology intersect on the continuum of culture and control - heavily influenced by critical criminologists in America, but also the UK in 1970’s and interactionist work on crime and deviant behaviour - at the first level, critical criminology is a response to Stanley Cohen’s work in the late 1980s when he called upon criminology for a structural version of labelling theory, and to embrace the radicalness that produced labelling theory - it was a politically informed development but, when watered down, societal reaction became labelling theory, which was in fact pretty radical and critical (Howard Becker’s essay “Whose Side Are We On?” is a very clear example of the theory was and what it called for, and was a big driving force) - more generally, cultural criminology was a reaction to the frustration/boredom of an orthodox criminology (State criminology) - critiques of this mainstream criminology are not new, but never really took off until the 1920s and 1930s - Keith Hayward: thought that cultural criminology was meant to break away - criminal and transgressive behaviour are highly contested terrain that exist, but do not exist in a vacuum: they are linked to a whole host of complex issues (cultural/political matters, governance, etc.) - this hyper-real process that behaviours are demonized or criminalized is what critical criminology is interested in (looking at complex interplay of images, style, meanings, crime + culture) - Roots in labelling theory: labelling theory is significant in the development of critical criminology because it reminds us of the importance of how behaviours become criminalized; critical criminology borrowed Tannenbaum’s “Dramatization of Evil” theory - Tannenbaum, Lemert and Becker were very influential - Deviance Actualization: the way in which neighbourhood youth & the agents of authority with the level of affirmation produced this thing called “delinquent gangs” - it was not as a result of their behaviour, but the label attached to the meaning of their behaviour - a struggle to name/assign the behaviour (parents wanted to attach different signs like “play” or “leisure” rather than “truancy” or “trouble-maker” like other agents of authority labelled them - Radical work by Tannenbaum agreed upon by Becker but with Commission by time of reading it, and it was depoliticized and watered down by processes within the academy - significant contribution to development by critical criminologists in news coverage of crime - Example: Stanley Cohen and his contribution of “moral panics” in which he looked at the way media and actors contributed to moral panic, and how media constructed deviant behaviour with certain kinds of news - “Crime news is not about the reality of crime, but just acts as a buffer to social behaviour” - news media pretended subcultural tensions with dominant youth subcultures of time (Mods and Rockers) were present in Britain mind 1960s, but really it was just the working class youth that styled themselves differently - Mods: worked to distance themselves from the working class, dressed up, short hair, modern music - Rockers: embraced identity differences in fashion, rock & roll music - media port
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