7 Sept. 2012
Crm 1300 E
Batman and Villains who symbolize our darkest desires- the psychology of the dark knight.
By end of 20 century, batman took darker, greedier, more real tone. Understanding fear is
crucial to understand batman. In the movie Bruce wane fears bats. Fear is one of the fundamental
psych of childhood. We will be afraid but we will go to do things despite our fears. Batman
beings- glimpse into his childhood. Center of the mythology is choice, altercation between good
and evil, life and death. Bruce is relatable character. He feels guilty coz his fear caused them to
go into this dark alley and they died because of this. Kid who learnt early on that security was
fragile. Raises question- can we trust anyone who won’t be taken away? Will we ever be safe?
Ultimate batman moment when his parents murder is being trialed and Bruce has gun in his
hand. It is a moment of characters growth. When people experience trauma, they question their
fundamental believes. Batman avenges, not revenges. Terry Roosevelt’s similarity to Bruce
Wane- Terry goes to deep tragedy, reforges himself and comes back and becomes an insane
police officer working in the night to keep the city safe. It is the kind of psyc that plays out in
Bruce wane. Bruce choses bat because it was one of his biggest fears and he overcame it.
Exposure to his fear helped him over come it. He stays with the fear until he calms down and
sees he is ok. It is a great example of how people overcome their fear (the movie- returns).
Who is the real person? Bruce Wane or Batman?
Batman embodies the shadow side. There are two sides of subcons- the socially accepted and the
shadow side. Batman is perfect mesh of both?
Bruce’s choice to take identity of bat also taps into fear of himself and other people as well. He
takes the image of evil- i.e the Bat. You can also say that choice of bat implies his aspirational
purpose to sole above society. Also note the fight between what is good for Bruce Wane and right
for Batman to do? Is batman persona the true persona and Bruce just a mask? Which is the true
man? The core of his identity always remains Bruce as Bruce’s experience gives birth to Batman.
Batman is just his weapon. But one person’s hero is another person’s vigilantly. He takes the law
in his hand- how good is it for the society? What batman does is really outside the law but as a
citizen of Gotham’s corrupt law, he did not have any choice. He never kills, his ability to
discipline himself and his impulses makes him batman. He has stronger capacity for self-control
than anyone else. Batman is accused of hero complex. Sounds true. He has obsession with
keeping the law but this obsession makes him take the law in his own hands. He can- not stop
being batman. It is easier for him to stop being Bruce Wane. What makes him a hero is the
consequence of his life on his life, the kind of life he must lead. Batman’s enemies are most psychologically disturbed. Batman’s arch images are often twisted
mirror images of batman. The villains suffer tragedy too but they choose to take revenge instead
of avenge. What batman uses as his strength, the villains use it as weakness.
Two face starts as a hero and ends up as a villain after a tragedy. Two face has problem with
duality, so he tosses his coin to do either evil or good. He has two personalities, truly. He has a
true alter ego and he has given up on making his own choices. The Riddler is a narcissist; he
can’t commit crime without leaving behind a calling card.
Scarecrow- he is sadist in the position of power, doctor in an asylum. He uses the place to
experiment with chemicals and drugs. He enjoys watching peoples mind snap completely for the
use of it. He uses fear to use as a tool to get what he wants. He is my psychotic but very intense
in need to self grandize.
All batman villains, however shortly end up in asylum.
Cat woman-she has on again off again relation with Batman. She is as dangerous as he is but she
is a villain. They have a lot in common but they stand on two different parts of the spectrum.
Batman’s deadliest enemy- Joker :D
None is more explosive or unpredictable like the homicidal character of joker. The joker initially
had no backstory. But since there have been many back story. “Some men just want to watch the
world burn” (Dark Knight)
In case of joker, his motivation is not a normal one, like in case of mentally ill criminals. Joker
has an agenda of chaos; no one knows what he is after. Joker is another character like Batman
who will not compromise; he is the logical response to a character like Batman.
How far is batman prepared to bend the law?
Batman and joker are dark reflection of each other. Batman says we have to step out of social
norm at times but it does not mean social norms have no use. Joker says existence of random
injustice means that there is no justice at all. Note the philosophical difference between the two.
Joker wants to show that everyone has a price and they can be compromised, even batman. Joker
shows the capacity of human mind to do evil. The notion of choice, choosing to do what is right
or wrong is the fundamental basis of human existence. Batman is a great power who chooses to
do right, the champion good.
Batman’s internal struggle gives insight to our own fears. Shows the ways in which an ordinary
person can become a hero. Batman is in the realm of attainable, he is just a human. His
superpower is his capacity of self-discipline. He is what we aspire to be. Batman reflects full
spectrum of angst, joy and sorrow we experience in life. Batman is sometimes seen as a damaged individual- a person still playing out his childhood
traumas and fears. He faced his tragedy and used it to improve himself and the world and rose
over his traumas. Batman shows how good humans can be, if only we choose to do the right
Batman symbolises that just because you have been victimised does not mean you have to
The more rare the crime, the more media attention it will get. The less rare the crime, the less
attention it gets.
14th Sept, 2012.
Differences between crime and deviance.
Nothing codified about deviances, but it is just against the norm.
laws are codifed and breaking the law is criminal.
How has passing of laws changed
Flinstones- oral histories of each family, societiey etc
Bambam steals something- how do we punish them?
Do we take something from them? Make them give back what they steal? Punishment carried
out by the family/chief of tribe.
The law is thus extreamly malliable as it changes from person to person.
System based on vengence and not so much upon justice.
Crime is anything declared "wrong" by the person in charge.
Simpsons- set of codified laws, written laws. Laws of the state. Crime is violation of laws of the
System is more based on the idea of justice than vengence.
What should be a crime? Harrasment towards men from women-extreme femenism?
Adultery- marriage, a form of legal contract.
What should not be a crime?
yes to all evidence (no matter its source)
Gay marriages (legal in canada)
freedom of speech should not over rule a person's privacy
19th sept, 2012
READ THE OUTLINE!
Some concepts about society
Crime:Any form f human behaviour that is designated by law as criminal and subject to penal
Law: a rule with consequences
Rule of Law: we accept that laws are rules of society and when transgressed will have
repercussions. No other orbituary forces applied to people. Rule of law is applied equally and
evenly to all people. No one is above the law.
1. Deviant behaviour- to step out of norm.
-violates social normas -is subject to social control
-not all crime is deviant. eg. marijuana use.
-not all deviance is criminal.
eg. bystander apathy-when we see people in need but we walk on by them.
Q- dependent on time and situation??
John Hagan's Typology of Deviance and Crime
1. The evaluation of harm
* very harmful
-eg. sexual abuse of children
* somewhat harmful
-eg. illegal gambling
Perfect crime- give HIV/AIDS
2. AgreementAbout the Norm
-eg. abortion *Confusion or apathy
-eg. copyright violation
3. Severity of Societal Response
-life imprisonment, torture
-short jail term, community service
Legalistic Definition of Crime
*Acrime is any intentional act or omission in violation of the criminal law, committed without
defense or justification and sanctioned by the state.
Problems with this definition-
it does not take into account that the state could commit crime
defense- hard to know a person's intent
*Not the qualuty of act but the label that other attach to the act.
-who applies the label and who is labeled?
Excercise *criminal act+conviction=criminal
*no criminl act+ conviction=?victim/escape goat-but you get labled as a criminal
*criminal act+ no conviction=?example-OJ Simpson, M.Jackson, people in position of power
Chambliss the saints and roughnecks (1973)
*same levels of delinquency
*different treatment by society
saints- went to uni bla bla bla
Three sociological view points of crime
1. Consensus (Legalistic)
*Criminal law reflects agreed upon values of society.
*The law is fair.
* People are treated fairly under the law, i.e. enforcement practices are fair.
*consensus viewpoint is prefominant in NorthAmerican criminology.
*Focuses on the traditional conceprions of crime. e.g. murder, property offenses etc.
*Laws reflect the power and economic structure of society.
-Laws protect vested interests.
-Law enforcement is directed at the underdog, not the powerful.
*Focus should be on the crimes of the rich and powerful. E.G. environmental crime, treatment of workers, consumer fraud, crimes against humanity.
* Laws are constantly changing.
-Laws result from interaction among indiciaduals and groups.
-Moral entrepreneurs try to get their values enacted in law.
*Being labeled deviant may promote further deviance.
*Focus is on the process of deviance and changing definitions.
youtube-man runs into a bear
Crime is a violation of societal rules of behaviour as interpreted by legal criminal code created
by people holding social and political power. Individuals who violate these laws are subkect to
sanctions by state authority, social stigma, and loss of status.
*Crime is function of political and economic inequalities produced by a capitalist mode of
-Human rights violations
-crimes of the powerful
-ISM"s : Sexism, racism, agism, abelism
26th September, 2012
* It is qualitative method, to get better understanding of a culture- observing the natural
"habitat". • Participant observational
-join the group you wish to observe for a first-hand look
• Non-participant observational
Difficulties with observational research
• it may be dangerous- you may hurt yourself or the group you join may hurt you.
• Is it ethical??
tea room tree?
• how will you affect the behaviour of the group?
• It is very time consuming.
• -in depth interviews with criminals- eg. serial killers
• very time consuming
• how do you gain trust of the criminal?
• how do you avoid being used by the criminal?
• how may the research affect other people's lives?
• who will be studied?
• what pressure is placed on research by funding agencies and vested interests? September 28, 2012
The State and Crime
• The state influx
• Vagrancy laws
• Narcotics legislation
• Political crimes
State in Influx
• The State is an institution that claims the exclusive right to exercise force in a
territory through the police or armed forces
• Monarchy: transfers power from generation to generation within a single
family. Earlier monarchies were absolute. Modern ones are generally
• Democracy: generally is re