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Lecture 11

SOC 1500 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Argot, Social Rejection, Social Control Theory

Course Code
SOC 1500
Michelle Dumas

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Ritzer, 1993
The way we structure society mimics the way McDonalds does business
McDonalds functions well so society would also
oEfficiency – optimum means to an end, getting from point A to B, prison
is effective to get people to stop committing crimes, deterrence, give max
oCalculability – quantitative aspects for quality, numbers used to express
quality, 99 billion served at McDonalds so it shows they’re methods are
working, more in prison, more in the system for longer periods of time
oPredictability – know what to expect, no matter the city or province or
country you know what food will be offered and how much it’ll
approximately cost, everyone gets the same punishment
oControl – replace humans with non human technology for better control,
surveillance, check employees and customers, same applies to corrections
where there’s better surveillance in prison, use of electronic monitoring
for house arrest
Consequences - cause inefficiency
McDonalds is supposed to be fast but it may be slow, you get cold or too hot food
People go to prison for long periods of time for non violence offences like drug
use, causes overflowing prisons and clogged court systems
New resources – calculate possible risk, minimize these risks
New objectives - want efficiency, new way of punishment like electronic
3 strike rule - three strikes and you get mandatory life
Differs by state
Introduces at plea bargain stage
Court and trials increased by over 500% and backlogged the system
Controversy, in California the rule is the first two strikes are serious offences but
third strike is any crime (someone’s third strike was for stealing a slice of pizza,
should you go to jail for that?)
Historically people would be put to death
Absolute discharge – offender found guilty and not charged and set free with no
record, time served in detention, met conditions like going through drug
rehabilitation, record kept and can be used against you for another charge but
since its off your record cant affect things like getting jobs

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Conditional discharge - released upon agreeing to meet certain conditions or else
you go back to court and face original charges or prison, once completed you
have absolute discharge
Fine - any amount of money, can face a fine and another punishment, common
Restitution - payment to the victim to cover expresses like property loss, damage,
Probation - placed under supervision in community under probation officer (max
time is three years and juvenile max is two years), may be combined with fine or
community service hours, may have probation upon prison release
Conditional sentence - meant to replace prison sentence up to 2 years where you
do it in the community, strict conditions placed on you, electronic
surveillance/monitoring (EM) like bracelet which sets off alarm if your
somewhere you shouldn’t be, monitor people
Prison - confined to that prison and can be provincial (up to 2 years) or federal
(2+ years)
Employing more punishments causes net widening effect which bring more
people into the system
Probation - you must keep the peace and be of good behavior (don’t get into
trouble and be in good behavior), you must appear in court when requested, you
must notify court of any changes to your life like name, address, school, work…
case by case basis
Some additional conditions - reporting to probation officer, may need to abstain
from drugs or alcohol or go to treatment programs for drugs or alcohol (most
difficult to enforce), abstain from owning possessing or carrying a weapon,
provide support and care to dependents like support children, community service
(max 240 hours and cant exceed 18 months), cut with certain associations,
restitution (pay victim), restriction on travel, confinement to your home (usually
for conditional sentences, related to juveniles a lot for parental supervision)
Referred to as tagging
Seen as a less violation of human rights than being sent to prison
Public approval that it can and does work
High success rate since few people break their conditions and has low rate of
If technology fails then person cant be monitored, but these glitches have been
worked out
Rely on family members to do things for them
Alternative to prison
Supposed to save money (not housing people in prison) yet no research proves
Few evaluations of how well they work and how effective
High in US as a result of increasing prison population, fiscal prices (state didn’t
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