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SOC205H5 (139)


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University of Toronto Mississauga
Paula Maurutto

Soc205 th March 7 2014 Varieties of Conflict Theory: 3. Older assumptions that criminal law represented the collective view of the people was rejected. - The idea that we give up our liberty - The collective views are formed so you can conform to the capitalistic norms Chambliss: crime, power and legal process: - Rule that define criminal behaviour are defined by ruling class - Acts are defined as criminal because it is the interest of the ruling to define them - Members of the ruling class will be able to violate these laws with impunity while members of the subject class will be punished - A capitalistic societies industrialize and the gap between working class and bourgeoisie widen, penal law will expand in an effort to coerce the proletariat into submission o Income cuts - Crime reduces surplus labor by creating employment not only for criminals but for law enforcers, welfare, workers, professors of criminology o Creates underground and legal employment: police to stop illegals - Crime diverts the lower classes attention from the exploitation they experience and directs it towards other members of their own class rather than toward the capitalist class or the economic system o Welfare fraud: they are told to report money given to child on birthday; people forget to do so and thus get charged with welfare fraud. These laws have continuously penalized the lower class and marked them as deviants - Crime is reality which exists only s it is created by those in the society whose interests are served by its presence Marxism: - 2 Views: Some view crime as the function of the capitalistic society, other view: those in political power and how they define crime in society. - Crime is the result of the brutal conditions under which the working class live. Capitalism produces crime o Drugs to deal with alienation - Other focuses on how crime is defined by legal structures, law is a mechanism of the ruling class, the ruling class defines law according to their own interests. o White collar criminals, who are caught, are still wealthy. They have ways to resist institutionalization o Who sets laws? Legislators and judges are primarily white upper-class individuals who create certain laws to protect their own wealth: majority of laws are regarding protection of private property. Limitations: - Capitalism is blamed for everything, - There is too much of a narrow focus on class relations, not a focus on other relations such as gender and race; which also causes discrimination. It does not look at other forms of power relations. - Alternative power relations also have an impact on crime: some crimes are specific to gender, race and other power relations. The Gendering of Criminology: Feminist Theory - Most theories of crime were focused on males, deviance and its study emphasizes on men. - Women offend less, they engage in less severe crime. - Women commit certain types of crime: sex relations, minor theft Pre-feminist pioneers and themes: - Theoretical and research attention directed toward determining the differences between criminal and non-criminal women - Two classes: o Good women who were not criminal o Bad women who were criminal - In the female offender, focused on inherent definition of women, biological theory: they had webbed feet, certain features, were masculine - Sex and society: men and women are fundamentally different, men have more sexual energy which allows them to pursue them for sexual reasons and women to exchange sex for domesticity. - If strain is what causes crime: then why do we have more men in jails than women; women are more affected by economic turmoil, especially single mothers. - Walter in 1961 wondered if any criminologist theory would be accepted if it included women Emergence of new questions: - Fir wave of feminism focused on extending rights to women o Rights to property, to vote - Second denounced the domestic sphere as oppressive to women and sought to achiee equality wit men in the public square o Rise of sexual revolution o Work force o To bring girls, women into the criminological frame, where are women in theories
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