CRIM 2650 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Spiritualism, Late Modernity, Neoliberalism

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12 Oct 2016
CRIM 2650 Lecture 01 Introduction to Theory
Theory abstract concepts that are linked together through reason and logical arguments. It is
not common sense or a dogma.
Come control and explanations = dogmatic reasoning
Criminological theory is a discourse that involves an explicit attempt to develop logically
connecter sets of concepts to describe and analyze crime and related matters of punishment,
deviance, control, harms, and violence ex. Crime is a form of wickedness that has to be
punished severely
- We avoid common sense and dogmatic, but aim to go to abstract concepts with logical
reasoning and argument
Example of dogmatic criminological thinking criminals are evil people and only god can decide
who is guilty or innocent (Middle Ages and spiritualist explanations)
Criminological theory: Past and Present
- interdisciplinary (we should be open about other disciplines): strongly connected to
other disciplines such as crime and crime control that are significant because crime and
crime control are complex and pervasive.
- In contemporary academia, many other disciplines including cultural studies, economics,
women studies, and urban now takes crime as a central theme to their analyses
- In this course; traditional contemporary approaches to crime
- Challenges to criminology in late modernity
- Classical criminology and social contract theory, social contract theory deals with the
broad questions of human nature, origin of the society, individual rights, the need for
political authority, legitimacy of the sovereign state and the necessity and nature of
- Questions answered using conceptual tools from philosophy, political science, and
- Theory and policy gap in criminology Durkheim, Marx, Foucault = central theorists of
social and political thought of how they analyze crime and punishment using their
- Both are conventional and emerge in criminological themes that require an
interdisciplinary approach
- Example of an emerging criminological theme: Global Migration and Criminalization of
Migrants (Immigration related prosecutions in the US, in Europe 20% of prison inmates
are immigrants, harsher policies, etc.)
- Challenges to criminology in late modernity global migration is only one challenge to
criminology in late modernity; other challenges include control over welfare, threat or
risk of terrorism, impact of communication technologies and the representation of
crime in Media with surveillance and policing, and human rights violations and harms
committed by states and corporations which pushes criminological thinking to move
beyond its meaning of crime
- Welfare state or the oder criiology it is the product of postwar welfare state
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