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SOC310: January 21 Readings Chapter 2: Practices of Governance and Control – Theoretical Underpinnings Introduction:  How conduct is understood and governed has undergone variation  Throughout 19 & 20 C prison reformers and justice officials identified particular groups of youth as problematic  Constructed a reformable young offender who required intervention and could be rehabilitated  Sought to intervene on behalf of child “victims” of sexual exploitation  Other discourses consider youth in need of discipline and punishment  Debates abt problem of YC focused on concept of punishable young offender who requires punished 1 ,t leaving reform and rehab intervention as secondary means  Claim that we must come down tougher, stronger, harder on problematic offenders  Williams – if we are tough on crime, Y will get the msg – an intrusive punishment discourse  Viewing YO as punishable rather than reformable in prejudiced impact this has on youth Toward Theorizing:  Theories used to predict, describe and explain as well to dev a broader awareness of social issues as they relate to crime in society  Are knowledge claims that attempt to interpret a complex world and the events that take place  Provide a context to consider youthful conduct and attitudes, social policies, legistlative practices  Are reflections of larger society in which they are dev  Assumptions: preconvinced understandings abt how some aspect of the world works  Sociology is a discipline of debunking – looking beyond the obvious explanation, unpacking taken-for- granted assumptions and searching for deeper meaning  Moves us beyond common-sense understanding  Sociological imagination as the ability to see the relationships btwn individual experiences (biography) and the larger society (history)  Requires to make connections btwn individual ppl and the society in which the live  CDN society is organized along the lines of race (categorical divisions btwn groups of ppl based on physical characteristics that are deemed socially releveant, compared to Ethnicity – tied to cultural identity based on language, nationality), class(relative economic positioning – sex is associated w/ biological and anatomical differences btwn men and women), gender(socially constructed meaning of those differences, socio-cultural ideas and accompanying practices), age  Consenus Approach: based on assumptions that agreement exists among members of society on matters related to youth crime and justice, which stems from shared beliefs, values, goals (strain)  Conflict Approach: assumes individuals and groups in society hold conflicting social, political, cultural, economic interests which often pit pwrful groups against marginalized (Marxists & labelling)  Feminist Discourse: demonstrated that blurred boundaries btwn victimization and offending Theorizing Youth and Crime:  Common view holds that understanding crime caustation allows us to explain the frequency, perceived seriousness and social impact of youth crime which allows us to better control, deter or prevent it  Social Control Theories: presumption that appropriate Q is why ppl conform to societal rules and norms, Hirshi – deviance stems from weak social bonds  Social Learning: mirco level, social construct is a label given to a particular pheno. In society, stigmatization has an impact on behaviour and identity; it addressed issue of stigmatization attached to incarcerated youth and it encouraged community based alternatives to custody  Merton & Anomie: strain exists when there is a gap btwn socially accepted goals/aspirations and the legitimate means/ways of accessing these goals An Alternative StandPt:  Crime prevention and control remains relevant – but another pt puts more emphasis on social, economic and historical context in which YC and YJ are situated  YC is multi-dimensional – misleading to discuss isolated factors such as poverty, violence as causing YC  Cannot assume that every child who is mistreated will grow up to be a criminal  Attitudes, behaviours, dispositions are shaped by social env as well as genetics  This way of theorizing adopts more integrative approach to understanding rltship btwn Y, C and Society  More criticial understanding of how criminalized youth are constructed and governed by authorized knowers (key individuals whose claims are heard, who are granted status of expert and whose arguments are taken srsly and subsequently acted upon)  Fem. Theory “The other” – helps to make sense of place that youthful offenders occupy; disenfranchised, marginalized individual/group in society and their systematic exclusion Historical Conceptions of Juvenile Delinquency:  Must be viewed in context of authorized knowers, criminological knowledges, forms of social control/punishment and societal partterns and changes  Criminological Knowledge – claims abt youth and crime upon forms of social control and punishment  Classical Theories of Crime, Deviance, Control:  Based on enlightenment phil of liberalism and utilitarism  Made no distinction btwn offenders (no differentiation btwn child and adult)  Thought all crims were rational, calculating actors  Motived by internal drives and needs  Dominant mode of pun. Was deterrence (Beccaria – crime = punishment)  Positivism Theory:  Argues criminality is determined (cause and effect)  Defined by: 1) Offender is viewed as unqiue, positivism demands facts abt individuals 2) Assumes there are mind and body differences btwn “criminals and law abiding ppl 3) Believe pun should fit individual not the crime 4) Believed crim could be treated, corrected, integrated into society 5) Key role for profs and believed CJS should be guided by scientific experiment Philanthropic Elite: 1 Wave - PPP – progressive, perfectability, products of env - believed they were part of movement toward social progress - white, top of class saw themselves as top in hierarchy - saw individual as responsible for crime and they needed their assistance - believed th
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