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CRIM 3655
James Sheptycki

CRIM 3655 – FALL LECTURE NOTES October 1 , 2013 NEW ESSAY REQUIREMENT : 2500 WORDS : 6-8 PAGES : MARGINS 2.5CM LEFT/RIGHT, 2.5CM TOP, 3CM BOTTOM ND ND 2 QUIZ : OCTOBER 22 WHAT IS POLICING SUBCULTURE - There is a problem with police subculture, it is used often in a kind of intellectually lazy way, it is shorthand for police racism, police brutality, police sexism, bad things that police do. Every time we want to say something negatively about police, we talk about police subculture - What we want to do is make sure our concept of police subculture does analytical work What is Culture? - “…it is a system of shared beliefs, values, customs behaviours, and artifacts that the members of a society, or social system, used to cope with their world and with one another, and that are transmitted from generation to generation through learning…” o Artifacts are about material concepts o Material concepts of police is going to be the taser  From a cultural analysis point of view, that object of material culture, has meaning and it effects the meaning of all the other ideas within that culture - Under postmodern conditions or in a world that’s gone global, can we really speak of A social system, A society, A social culture – singular o A lot of people find that concept of postmodernism a difficult one. Supposedly there was a modern time where knowledge was singular, values were universal. But we don’t believe this anymore. We don’t believe in scientific progress for instance. What’s certain though is under transnational conditions, in a global world, you can see that culture is a fragmented thing. People show you their cultural difference o This definition of singular concepts seems to have some challenging context for application - We live in a transnational culture of capitalist consumerism – so some people would argue there is a culture - Family of concepts: culture, multiculturalism, cultural resistance, culture conflict, ethnocentrism, ethno-nationalism o On one hand there is an idea of global culture of capitalist consumerism o And another idea of fragmented culture o Ethno-nationalism and ethnocentrism is a mindset where people say my ethnic or cultural idea is the only one that counts o Thorsten Sellin: a criminologist- came to prominence in the 1920s  Grew up in Sweden and moved to America. He experienced culture shock. Saw that there were so many cultures competing in a capitalist structure to thrive and survive. Hypothesized the cultural conflict was an important aspect in crime.  Central concepts: culture – dominant culture (WASPS), subordinate culture (polish working at slaughterhouses – it’s not about race, it’s about ethnocultural identity), culture conflict (two kinds: intercultural like polacs and wasps fighting but there is intracultural conflict like some families where first generation Canadian immigrants are maintaining old generation values and kids born here fight back against the previous generations’ cultures – conflict within culture), subculture - Edward Hall: influential American anthropologist o Invented “intercultural communication” – as an area of study  Was interested in how to communicate between cultures  Anthropologists would study specific cultures, but he was interested in the space between cultures and problems of intercultural communication o Developed the concepts ‘high context culture’ and ‘’low context culture’  HCC: is a small close-knit one – very strong sense of in-group identity – tradition – an awareness of history and where you belong in the group  You can say a lot with few words because everyone in the group shares same idioms  E.g. Oxford University - people that go there know they will be members of the British power elite, there is a very strong context  LCC: very diverse – wide open  You have to explain things in considerable detail because members of LCC don’t necessarily share with you common assumptions  E.g. York University - Over-bureaucratization o When universities are taken upon this concept, institutions have no soul, no memory, no conscience o Also a feature of contemporary police organizations - Mary Douglas – Two key concepts: o 1) Purity and Danger: rules concerning uncleanness, purity and dangerousness help define “the group”. Such rules keep groups together, and separate groups form outsiders  The way cultural groups define what is un-pure is how they enforce group solidarity o 2) How Institutions Think: institutions are both constituted by the beliefs of their members and at the same time define the beliefs of their members  If you think of police officers, being in the police tells you what to think and what you think tells the organization what it is. o Most influential idea: group grid matrix  All social groups’ dynamics can be understood by reference of two variables: group strength and grid strength  Group strength is about formal institutional rules, it’s like laws, religious authority, institutionalized discipline  Group norms, informal social control, etc ********  Group: how clearly defined an individual’s social position is as inside or outside a bounded social group  Grid: clearly defined an individual’s social role is within networks of social privileges, claims and obligations  There is an idea of wolves, donkeys, hawks, vultures Sociology of Organizations & Organizational Culture - Embedded in a network of organizational practices - Shared beliefs, values and assumptions held by members of an organization - Visible in the way that work gets done on a day to day basis - Evident in the behaviours of individuals and groups - Amplified by the behaviours of leaders - Problem with this model is: doesn’t help explain anything, everything is equal, interconnected, there is no causal inference, there is no explanatory pattern o It is descriptive not analytical Sociology of Subculture - Subculture: refers to the collective ‘problem solutions’ of social actors in common - Example: Think about what it’s like to work
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