1. Brief recap
2. Defining and re-defining criminology
Criminology: academic and popular criminology—popular crim: popular image
and sortie about crime found in mainstream pop culture. We need to take pop
culture seriously—we shouldn’t dismiss it because it has an enormous effect on
what people know about crime. Television and film privilege a standpoint of their
technical consultant (police officers) and of knowledge—experiential and
narrative knowledge, rather than scientific knowledge. There are cops in all crime
dramas and tv shows. Some technical consultants know when to back off and let
writers do what they do—use their artistic.
Allowing inaccurate representations of policing
• The bad guys think that every phone is tapped. That’s the hardest thing in the
world to get. That’s a good thing for us. The bad guys think that we have these
flare things that the main characters use. That’s a god thing. And if the bad guys
think we have technological advancements.. Then good.
Criminological aesthetics examines how popular criminology constructs its
images of crime—the format of the image is just as important as the context.
Symptomatic analysis— --Americans referenced the two towers to the 9/11 bombing.
Binary logic of representation
Light vs. Darkness
Good vs evil
Pop culture can intersect with politics— how does this happen? Bc pop culture products
like films can make intangible concepts visible for mass audiences. Evil is intangible but
it is visible through evil faces in movies. These films help classify “us” vs “them” and this
has the effect of facilitating the states security practices.
In the lord of the rings, there are the forces of light and forces of darkness— for ex. The
forces of evil include the orx who are the foot soldiers and they are ugly. They have
black blood. Forces of good—white wizard. hes wearing a white robe, with white hair.
These create racist images. And it shows who ideal victims are and it impacts the
hierarchy of victimization bc our ability to imagine victims will intersect with our ability to
identify with them
The hunger games—imagining victims
• Rue was described as a twelve year old girl from district 11. She has dark brown
skin and eyes.
• Ideal victims are victims that are people that we can love and identify with but
Rue was not who people were expecting.
• Audiences can only withhold sympathy towards specific victims
• This is due to good vs evil in movies
• This impacts who we consider deserving victims and morally good Course description (in syllabus)
What is crime? Who is a criminal? What is assumed to be criminogenic (the
individual, society or culture)? What should be the goals of criminal justice? More
importantly, what is criminology and what should it be doing? These are
questions that every criminologist should be able to answer, but not every
criminologist will answer these questions in the same way. Criminologists vary in
their allegiance to particular theoretical perspectives on crime, criminality and
criminal justice. This course is designed to introduce students to these competing
and complementary the