Lecture 6: Blurred Lines 20140405
Question for BB: In Donald Blacks article on Crime as Social Control raises a question of whether humans
are capable of controlling crime on their own with the concept of selfhelp rather than law itself. He brings
forth the point that people take the law into their hands when they are engaging in illegal activities such as
illegal loan operations. Also, he mentions that law is readily available to those who are socially inferior, but
not to those against. Does the law represent societal views equally? Are formal social controls creating
crime rather than preventing it?
• Gendered crimes, gendered criminals, gendered victims
• Gendered processing (how citizens interact with criminal justice system)
• Gendered organizational cultures (how criminal justice system is organized & executed)
• Blurred lines between crime & justice
Blurred Lines between Crime & Justice
Black’s “crime as social control” thesis:
• Crime is a means of exacting justice (or revenge) when legal means are otherwise unavailable.
• When legal means are unavailable and the law is used to get revenge.
• Examples: Homicide, Property, Destruction, Property Confiscation, and Gang Rape.
• Lack of Remorse
o This is about justice, people commit acts because they think is the right thing to do
(Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, he claims he acted in self defense)
• Motivated by Collective Liability
• Reversal of Victim/Perpetrator
• Not easily deterred
Often reduced sentences
• How often does this square with victimization thesis? Who can claim “self help”?
• Women fit into the ideal victim position, but by defending themselves, they lose their status as