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Lecture 1

Sociology 2267A/B Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: French Foreign Legion, Gie, Moral Panic

Course Code
SOC 2267A/B
Dale Ballucci

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Intro to Delinquency
- Iease ad deease i the attetio that’s ee gie to youth ie
The Public issue
- Pluralizing different groups of youth
- Youth crime has generated considerable public concern and discussion
- Affects a lot of people because we are always around youth
- Children and youth have been critiqued, analyzed, and watched for their behaviours
- We are reinvented them problematizing different groups of youth
- We hear so much about the youth because of the media becomes so publicized
o Begin to feel anxiety and fear, begin to think it is a common occurrence
o Sensationalizing it only focus on violent and heinous crimes, show photos
o Villainize the offender
o Emphasize their minority group
- News accounts help to fuel these concerns
- Media has a particular role
o Impact = creates fear and tension in society
- High-profile cases: Reena Virk (1997) and Stefanie Rengel (2008) further fuel public concern.
o Constantly placed in the news
o They make insinuations about what we should fear based on these crimes
o Reena Virk: BNC case young woman (East Indian) was beaten up on her way back
from school, she was left unconscious
Two people came by and finished the job
Goes against gender norms we do not expect this from women
Automatic fear we are also at risk
o Stefanie Rengel young woman was dating a young man
Break up the woman he started dating suspected that he still had feelings
for Stefanie
She said to him that he needed to kill her in order to prove his love for her
- Violence is discussed in media accounts as indicative of all youth crime.
Media and the Politics of Youth Crime
- Extensive coverage is given to stories on youth crime
o Even if there is another crime happening, the youth crime always gets more
- Youth ie is politial
- Facts about youth crime are socially constructed
o Particular headlines, images, particular language in the headlines, type of coverage,
- Media accounts drive public opinion about youth crime
o Constructs the reality around youth crime
o Has an effect on policy and politics penal populism
- The public also is critical of legal attempts to solve the problem, such as the YOA
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Government Response
- People want reform and change because we think that crime is on the rise suggest we
need to be tougher on crime
- However, research shows that the harsher the punishment may have an opposite effect
- Calls for reform in the 1990s
- Canada passes the YCJA in 2003
- Immediate criticism after it comes into effect
- Media reports continue despite the criticisms
- Ne types of youth ie ae epoted
Two Opposing Sides
- Youth Advocate: fous is o the poles faed y youg people also alled the Child
Welfae approach)
- Law and Order: fous is o ho youth iials ae potayed as a eey of soiety
also alled the Get Tough appoah
o Ceates the Otheess
o Those who are law-abiding are distinct from that group
o You are trying to show that they are different from you
o When you otherize someone, you allow yourself to support particular types of harsh
responses to this group because it wo’t happen to you
o Ex. giving up your rights to be protected from terrorism
History of CHILDHOOD (17th-18th Century)
- How do we distinguish children from adults?
o Ability to make decisions/rationality
o Age
o Cannot be integrated into our legal systems
o We need to find ways to pursue social control methods and technologies in society
consider children as distinct from adults (make different rules)
- We want different measures for young people versus adults
o We still have hope in young people
o Perhaps they will turn around if we give them the right guidance
o Poide the thigs they do’t hae so they a oe foad fo the deliuet
- No concept of children years ago
o Children had no rights
o Children were born to work the fields
o Children were not protected
o Children were liabilities
o The notion of childhood
o Children were disposable
- Present day
o “hift toads peious
Children are nurtured
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