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Lecture 4

Week 4 - October 3.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Nicole Myers

SOC305 Cultural and Critical Theory October 3, 2012 Quinney Class, State and Crime Criminal behaviour being against the state interest and that is what state defines as being criminal, those acts are against the interest The laws are made in the interests of the powerful people Critical criminologist and implicates them in this process Critical of social scientists argues that the ideas that they come up with are about maintaining the way things already exist, and rationales about why things are this way and why they should stay this way Its all done to maintain oppression doing this in a way to subjugate the lower class, keep them in their place Quinney Typology Crimes of domination o Sees this as the crimes of the ruling class o are done to further exploit their capitalist interests o Rarely punished o Argues that these are more harmful than the crimes of accommodation o And also argues that they are often ignored b/c they are crimes of the ruling class o Crimes of control illegal surveillance o Govt political crimes o Economic domination - Price fixing, out of control prices (rent), pollution o Social injury denial of basic human rights, acts of sexism/racism Crimes of accommodation o Happen in times of capitalist oppression o Working class crimes o Crimes are a normal response on the part of the working class o 3 types o 1 - Predatory crimes robbery, drug dealing a survival strategy-come forth out of necessity o 2 - Personal crimes murder, assault happen b/c workers have been brutalized by the effects of capitalism they are lashing out o 3 - Defensive crimes industrial sabotage committed by alienated rulers Argues that in sociology we often look at the crimes of the individual not considering the wider social context and the larger economic system So while his argument really is that social scientists tend to favor existing social relations and that different types of crimes are committed by different types of ppl in the system and that these are the results of capitalism and oppression and arguing that laws are made in the interests of the powerful What does this mean for instances where legislation that are in favor of the working class, they protect the working class? Eg. Labour laws, welfare laws, workplace safety Those types of laws seem to be contrary to his argument and he believes that they serve the long term interests of the capitalist class He would argue that these serve the long term interest of the ruling class Eg. Ford pinto case: o Executives found that there were flaws in some part of the vehicle that would lead to fires or explosions so ford had the decision to recall the vehicles or risk having to pay for a messy lawsuit if that happens o Costly to do both options but less to risk the possibility of a lawsuit o What value do we put on human life? o Something to be said about morality when we can equate human life with what it costs to recall a vehicle which was really smalle ($11 per vehicle) Wacquant Well known for his peace prisons and poverty Argues that prisons have effectively become the new ghetto To explain he talks about a series of institutions which he calls peculiar institutions He looks at 4 types of peculiar institutions o Slavery o Jim crow laws separate but equal laws o Early ghettos poverty, large scale community housing o Prison and that they are a hyper ghetto He is arguing that if you look at the prison and the ghetto and they're not much different, they are relatively indistinguishable from each other Both the ghetto and the prison do the same thing to the black population In this sense you can think of prison as a judicial imposed ghetto He then says that what the ghetto really is, is an extrajudicial prison He argues that the prison and the ghetto no longer look distinguishable from one another The prison is then being used as a tool to maintain the ghetto He argues that the two start to no longer look distinguishable from each other Prison is being used as a mechanism to maintain the ghetto He argues that the two have a reciprocal relationship and that prision creates a culture that is then exported into the community when people are released And b/c so many men from the ghetto end up in prison, they are then bringing that street culture into the prison Moral Panics (Hall) What starts moral panics? o Media o Interest groups Key the concept of it being a social construction How do things become constructed as a problem? How does something one day, no one seems concerned about it and then all of a sudden they do and are really scared about what is happening? Talks about the role of the moral entrepreneurs o they define/create the moral panic o Eg. May be social groups trying to get the attention of the media Media plays a key role in exaggerating, propagating these issues Development of the moral panic o Talk about using the labeling theory and suggests that it is the ruling class that does the labeling of the working class o It is then argued that the upper class is responsible for where the moral entrepreneurs come from o And it is then a middle class or elite morality that is imposed on the lower class Therefore, the working class will be subject to more types of social control Authorities will individualize and pathologize the problem situating the problem within the individual social constructionism When hall was looking at examples he looked at mugging in the UK and how it became a particular problem mugging in the UK o bringing the attention of this to the media was very much related to the policing of race and class there wasnt much mugging that happened but it was mainly about the
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