Jan 31 – Theory
when talking about deviance, we are always talking about the other
• These are people who have been authorized to speak about a given
• These authorized knowers have changed and shifted over time. We don't
have the same authorized knowers today as we did back in the day
• Pre 20 century, those who were authorized to speak about crime, had no
specific training in the area of crime
• Those who were rich were the authorized knowers of how we ought to govern
• Those who were authorized to speak about topics up until the 1990s were
• Prior to the 1980s there was no such thing as criminology
• In the 90s, politicians became the authorized knowers on how to govern
• Authorized knowers are from the dominant groups. Very rarely, those who
are marginalized in society were silent when it came to crime and criminality
• Voices of the affluent and authorized were clear and are the ones we hear
about and are granted the status of expert
Who constructs and governs criminalized youth?
• Groups whose claims are heard, who are granted the status of “expert”, and
whose arguments are taken seriously and subsequently acted upon
• Contrasted with..
• Their voices aren’t heard
• While they are being subjected to forms of control and intervention, they
have no say in what that intervention ought to look like • We don't listen to the other when it comes to matters of crime control
• The other is the most marginalized group in society.
• This becomes clear if we look at our local court. We will find that the poorest
in society and most marginalized are the one who are highly overrepresented
in the court system and being tried.
• The fastest growing population in the criminal justice is aboriginal women.
• Overrepresentation means that if aboriginals make up 5% of population and
make up 25% of criminals in prisons, there would be an over representation
• “the other” is the subject of criminological/sociological discourse without at
the same time being its authors
• Disenfranchised, marginalized, individual or group
• Systematically excluded
• Most disadvantaged
• Claims are silenced, not heard, ignored, not taken seriously by authorized
• Theory is often made by authorized knowers
• Help and friendly guidance can help more than just punishment
• Back then, we were trying to guide and help people. The role of the judge
was one of kindness and not legally trained. Former school teachers and
ministers were often judges and employed a holistic approach
• There was not a focus on what the child had done, the focus was on, what
can we do to make the child a conforming member of society. There was
focus on the childs family and surroundings.
• Today, we punish who they are for what they have done. We aren’t
concerned about who they are. Instead the system governs what they have
done and we a punishment model and not so much a guidance model.
• When talking about crime and criminality, we have to understand what
happens in society has implications in how we govern crime • During the 60s and 70s, we were moving away from imprisonment as a way
to deal with crime. We knew institutions were the most costly and ineffective
in dealing with crime
• Today its the exact opposite. In dealing with crime, first thing we wanna do is
throw them in jail to teach them a lesson
• However, these early reformers noted that this doesn’t deal with what lead to
crime in the first place
• Putting a person in prison doesn’t alleviate poverty.
Youth Control Complex
• Social control is different today than it was back in the day