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SOC305 Oct 3.doc

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Nicole Myers

SOC305 Oct 3rd Cultural and Critical Theory Quinney (19977) Class, State, and Crime - criminal behaviour – against state interests - powerful make laws - implicates criminologists - social science favours existing arrangements - maintain oppression Quinney’s Typology - crimes of domination – ruling class crimes o more harmful – but largely ignored o crimes of control o of government  ex. sponsorship scandal o of economic domination  ex. price fixing  ex. no price caps  ex. pollution, ponzy schemes o social injury  ex. racism, sexism - crimes of accommodation – working class crimes o happen in times of capitalistic oppression – normal in the working class – survival strategy – come out of necessity o predatory crimes o personal crimes  ex. murder o defensive crimes - argues that in criminology we intentionally look at the crime of the individual – not looking at the wider economic system and the context - laws are made in the interest of the powerful o ex. what about the legislation that comes out in fabour of the working class?  ex. labour laws o argues that these apparently serve the long term interests of the capitalist class – insulate the owners o short term the interest of the working class appears to be paramount Wacquant – Prisons of Poverty - Wacquant (2001) Dead Symbiosis: when ghetto and prison meet and mesh - prison one of many peculiar institutions o slavery o Jim Crow Laws o ghetto o prison – hyper-ghetto - the prison and the ghetto no longer look distinguishable from each other - the prison is being used as a mechanism to maintain the ghetto – replicating it – continuation of what life in the ghetto would be translated as - the ghetto and the prison have a reciprocal relationship - prison creates a culture that is exported into the community when the people are released o then transporting that ghetto culture from the street, back into the prison Moral Panics (Hall) - social constructionism - ruling class label working class - mugging in the UK o policing race and class o re-enforce state power o social control o ‘policing the crisis’  first you create a crisis – then the state works to fix the crisis it created to garner support from the support – seeing the government doing something even though it is subject to question if it truly was an empirical problem in the first place - media not only plays a role in reporting the crime incident – re-report the story o exaggerate – give undue focus to the situation – need to sell papers… o wasn’t a mugging problem – more of demonizing those individuals – speaking out against the race and class, not so much on the mugging - roles of the moral entrepreneurs o get to create the moral panic – define the parameters of the moral panic – the social and interest groups in society – want to get their interests in the media or on the legislature - media plays a key role in propagating, sensationalizing… - labelling theory – consisted with the Marxist analysis – ruling class labels the working class o the upper class decides where the moral entrepreneurs come from o working class more likely to be subjected to moral control - individualize and pathologize the problem – situating the issue within inside the individual Critiques of Marxism - criticisms of conflict theories? o elevate crime as political acts  committing offences against capitalism - ignores victims of crime New Left – Left Realism – Jock Young - real effects of crime to women and children should be taken into consideration – have been ignored - offenders are victims, and we need to recognize that – there is more we need to look at - how do you change the system wholesale? o must support victims o must not sit back and wait for revolution  start with the small changes that we can make now – not just wait forever  need to work from the internal o short term policies o shearing 0 policing a new South Africa Cultural Criminology - postmodern o came out as a reaction against the scientific, objective efforts to explain reality - reality is constructed o not mirrored – reality is a construction as the mind tries to make sense of the everyday reality o stop looking at things binary groups – ex. male, female, black, white, etc  putting everyone in boxes doesn’t fit o critical when generalizations are made to an entire group of people o focus on the relative truths - interpretation o the foundation of postmodernism o reality only comes into being through our interpretation of it o relies on your concrete experiences rather than abstract principles o outcome of your own experience will be fallible and relative – rather than your own experience being certain and universal  not everyone shares the same experiences in the same way – depends on your own reality and experiences - anything that appears to be a reality/appears to be true is a social construct and is therefore subject to change - no absolute truths o the way we perceive the world is very objective o looking at the role of language, power relations between groups, observations (how they shape ideas and arguments) o opposed to putting people in discrete boxes o reality is plural, relative, and dependent on the level of interest that people have, the nature of the interest o emphasize idealism, constructionism, relativism, scepticism, and relativism  how we come to know things, how knowledge is created - considered liberating – used radically – asking different types of questions - if everything is socially constructed, what does that mean? Things to Consider - how would a conflict theorist approach the problem of PED use in baseball? - Why are certain drugs policed differently in sports? o why do they care about PED more than weed/vice versa for football o why is one drugs more shameful depending on the sport you are playing - Why does Brooks suggest in her subtitle that it is about ‘rejecting short term solutions’? - Conflict theory o they have always tried to get an edge on each other - Marxist o this question is irrelevant – would not want to engage in this type of conversation - Moral entrepreneurs o vote on who gets on the hall of fame – get to define what greatness is Security and the Limits of the State Some Hobbes Questions - what is life in a state of nature to him - why should the state have the power over us - what are unjust laws under his scheme - what does he mean by security - what does he mean by liberty - what would he say about capital punishment/war - quality among people – hobbes believes that the weakest person can kill the strongest person o all human beings are completely equal - if we desire the same thing (two people want the same thing) and both cant have it – you become enemies - state of na
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