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CRM312 (Representing Crime) UNIT 1 - Sept 9th: Cultural Criminology Introduction (PART 1).docx

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CRM 312
Stephen Muzzatti

CRM312 – UNIT ONE th Week 2: September 9 , 2013 UNIT ONE: - Cultural Criminology: Introduction - History & Genealogy - Labelling Theory - Frank Tannenbaum - Edwin Lemert - Howard Becker - Crime and Media - Stanley Cohen & “moral panic”(influenced by Edwin Sutherland & Joseph Gusfield) - Actors & Characteristics - Criminology as News-Breaking - Youth Culture - Methodology - Major Studies --- CULTURAL CRIMINOLOGY: INTRODUCTION - Newer orientation of criminology with its origins from the mid to late 1990’s - Attributed to the work of Jeff Ferrell and his work with Clinton Saunders; they edited “Cultural Criminology” which examines the complex interplay between crime, crime control, media, and modern culture (“late-modernity”) - “Late-modernity” society refers to the society in which we currently live in (Canada, 2013) - The most prominent characteristic of late-modernity is consumerism (we can be labelled as consumption-driven, almost everything we buy is made elsewhere), among a whole host of disjunctures/contradictions - example: we are becoming increasingly isolated in terms of intimacy, and our list of “strangers” grows larger, yet we publicly announce deeply personal information on social media sites, or talking loudly on the phone - example: we are horrified by crime, yet we are enthralled by it through glorified crime such as Criminal Minds, CSI, etc. - Cultural criminology recognizes intersection of criminal and cultural practices along variety of places along a spectrum (“multiplicity of axes”) - Cultural criminology draws heavily on interactionist traditional practices as well as critical criminology and borrows from film theory, post-modern sociology, media studies, American & British cultural theories, media and discourse analysis, and field work among other practices, making it very cumulative, and is still an ongoing practice HISTORY & GENEALOGY: LABELLING THEORY Although Howard Becker is usually thought of as the “founder” of Labelling theory, we will take a look at a few other significant contributors: FRANK TANNENNBAUM - Work done in 1920’s, influential scholar & politically active (was an anarchist) - he was jailed for a year in 1920 due to involvement in a protest movement for homeless peoples’ rights and fined heavily for it - still retired as a distinguished professor - In 1938 he wrote “Crime and the Community” where he introduced the concept of “tagging” and the dramatization of evil - This study focused on young boys and how they engaged in leisure pursuits (some approved of, some discouraged) and found that sometimes, when these boys were caught in acts of deviance, even if they were minor acts, by someone of more authority (teacher, parent, storeowner, etc.), the young boys were punished excessively so (very punitive) - Found that it was only mild forms of transgression like skipping school, gambling amongst themselves, drinking under-aged, etc. but authorities responded so punitively, it made the kids look extremely bad, like hard criminals - These kids then had “tags” like “truant”, “gambler”, “underage drinker” and treated accordingly by the rest of the audience EDWIN LEMERT - Works done in early 1950’s – 1960’s - He theorized that deviance should be seen as behaviour effectively disapproved of in social interaction - Came up with Primary and Secondary Deviance as part of his Deviancy Amplification Spiral - Primary Deviance: deviance that is not particularly serious, and engaged in very rarely (bend/break the rules every once in a while) - This can in fact spiral into secondary if there is a punitive response before agencies of social control (setting off a deviancy amplification spiral, into secondary deviance) - Secondary Deviance: only an escalation, does not occur independently of primary deviance where we see a more frequent indulgence in more serious crimes - this heavier deviance becomes a response to the response
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