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SOC 1500 Oct 4 2011 Lecture Notes (F11)

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SOC 1500
Alexander Shvarts

SOC 1500 Tuesday, October 4, 2011 Women’s Issues… Cont. Hackler Ch. 13, Schmalleger and Volk Ch. 10 Test on Thursday, October 13, 2011 Invalidating Women’s Experiences • Kelly and Radford (1996): Women often downplay abusive situations because the alternative of taking action may be seen as even more undesirable. > Women do not report because the aftermath of reporting fears them – questioning of cops, humiliation in trial, children taken away by social service workers (broken families), revenge from man = lots of risks to take, would rather stay where they are Institutional Support for the Sexualization of Female Crime – Radical Feminist Perspective > article about women who commit violent crimes – PAY ATTENTION TO THIS SECTION: • Chesney-Lind (1997) and Johnson (1996): Justice system is used as a means for controlling females > Assumption made by court that no women in her right mind would ever kill her husband/children, therefore if a women were to kill her husband/children, she is mentally ill • Psychiatric institutions: controlling women. Women are placed in the “sick” role - used to “explain” women who kill their children. When accused of crime, females are more likely than males to get a clinical evaluation. Men who commit serious crimes of violence are more likely to be seen by psychiatrists as legally and morally guilty and deserving of lengthy prison terms (Allen 1987). Female offenders, on the other hand, are transformed into victims who lack moral culpability. > Men who kill are sent to jail; women who kill are sent for psychiatric care; assumed all women are nurturing mothers, so if they kill, they are seen as abnormal and must be “fixed” (rehabilitated) • Institutional response by police and other agencies - victimize women: Sexual behavior is still more likely to be noted for females when sentencing or charging is being considered. > Case of sexual assault – women get tested for STDs (denote multiple partners), psychological trauma, how many partners they’ve had • Canada - women receive more lenient treatment for crimes of violence and property offences: Justice system assumes that a woman who committed a crime must be sick. Women in Prison • Federal penitentiary built for women in Kingston, Ontario: Canadian imprisonment rates for women tend to fall between those of the United States and other English-speaking countries. > Aboriginal women most likely to be in prison • While we should acknowledge that these women have committed crimes, we should take into account the fact that they are often victims of abuse, violence, or poverty: Research by Comack (1993) on 727 women imprisoned between 1988 and 1993 in a provincial prison in Manitoba presents a picture of female offenders as victims - 78% had been sexually and/or physically abused. • Margaret Shaw: Recommends more emphasis on dispute resolution, mediation, and group processes, along with treatment and support, rather than on punishment and control for females. Reorienting Thinking about Females and Crime • Parents use agencies of social control to resolve conflicts with daughters: Agents of social control “control” the behavior of girls differently than they do the behavior of boys. > When parents can’t handle their kids, they turn to the criminal justice system (turn them into the police); want to scare them/teach them a lesson; do this more to daughters The Desexualization of Female Crime > Liberal feminist – believes women should be treated just as men in terms of criminal justice system punishments/sentences • Female delinquency tends to parallel male delinquents: the crimes they commit tend to be similar to those of males, but of a lesser volume. • Instead of sexualizing female crime, feminist thinking calls our attention to the needs of marginal people and less powerful groups in a patriarchal and hierarchical society. > Most people convicted of crime = lower class; it is not women, but POOR women who commit crimes Power Control Theory: Hagan, Gillis, and Simpson • Power-Control Theory (Hagan/Simpson/Gillis) (1985): Claims that gender differences in delinquency can be explained by the class position of parents and variations in parental control. > According to Hagan+ there are two types of families: Patriarchal and Egalitarian • Patriarchal family: “cult of domesticity” - females are more controlled, less free to deviate - socialized to focus their futures on domestic labor and consumption activities > Family in which male has all power because he is soul breadwinner while woman stays at home, takes care of children and household; boys are socialized to be like father – aggressive, outgoing, one who makes money for family, take charge of family; girls are socialized by mothers who teach them domestic tasks (cook, clean, take care of children) – encourages daughter to find husband to take care of her and get married; girls much more likely to be supervised intensely (by both parents); boys more likely to commit crime when they are older • Egalitarian family: parents treat sons and daughters more equally > Ex. family from Cosby shower; family in which both husband and wife are working (making relatively same income); both contributing equally (income, taking care of children, home); boys and girl socialized similarly; boys taught that there is equality between men and women; girls were not taught to rely on men when older • Differences in delinquency by gender are greater in patriarchal than egalitarian families. Power Control Theory: Hagan, Gillis, and Simpson • As females become more empowered, their risk-taking and offending should increase. Power control theory is compatible with liberal feminism. • Criticisms: Chesney-Lind (1989) - no evidence that as women’s labor-force participation and female-headed households have increased, girls’ delinquency has increased. Instead, it appears to have declined or remained stable. They make an assumption that if a wo
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