SOC313 Lecture #4
How do we study social control, the role or purpose of social control?
Ontological Reality of Crime
Anchors the perspectives of the many pieces
Criminalization: the process by which certain people are rendered to be criminal or seem
to have committed a crime
o Involves several factors
Ontology (philosophy): the study of the real (what is real). Another way of asking, what
o Whatever they think is studying, they think it is real (they exist)
o i.e., if you do not think ghosts exist, then ghost is not the inquiry of your study
o Holman argues that there is NO ontological reality of crime
o That crime is socially constructed or heavily impacted by the social, and the end
product is still a aspect that we can study
o Blurry boundaries, highly debatable
o Difficultly to define and cope with problems
o Crime has no essence
o Crime is the product of criminal policy not its object
What are the implications of crime being a product of criminal justice policy?
There is no consensus on the definition of crime; crime is not selfevident.
Mechanism of what is not crime and what is crime (need to look at the process of
criminalization), studying the factors, and what to do about crime, what caused crime,
what is crime constitutes that is law
Diverse and anascopic
Subcultures, Vilified – normalize images, and representations of crime (gender,