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Lecture 9

CRIM 3657 Lecture 9: March 24
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Department
Criminology
Course
CRIM 3657
Professor
Robert Teixeira
Semester
Winter

Description
-consequences of our culture’s tendencies to position young people in the overall discourse -they are positioned in ways that are largely objectified in representations -there is a predominant power at work, as we objectify other people (we as in adult institutions and the reigning hegemony that creates a totalizing framework for understanding their lives and who they appear to be) -these discourses amplify existing material inequalities through the way that differences are marked out by various strategies -one presumed strategy is silence -they are under considerable structural constraint with respect to the construction of their identities -they do, however, exercise agency -Nicholas: children and youth are described as one of the most intensely governed subjects in contemporary times -they exercise agency even when it is not recognized as such -we uncover the processes that produce girls as criminals -we tend to their political and social context Positioning / Power: Domination & its representational strategies -children & youth are largely objectified by representations not of their choosing -discourses and institutional practices / power work together to creates frameworks that enable specific policies and programs while obstructing other practices, voices and ways of knowing young people -agency of the young is not an inherent quality, but is a socially construct. It can be rendered inoperative in some contexts and be made available in others Characteristics of youth Crime: Girls compared to boys: 1) Girls are arrested for property-related crime to a greater degree 2) Less likely involved in violent crimes or serious property crimes 3) More likely to incur charges related to sex work 4) Are charged with more administrative offences 5) Less likely to extend delinquency into adulthood -female offending seems to be less distinct when it comes to their victimization -female offending including violence: it is often relational and oriented toward injury to status -they can engage in horizontal violence: patterns characterized by those with less power -although boys’ social context reveals distinct patterns, female offending informs criminalization that takes specific gender forms Defining Patriarchy: -important overarching concept in which girls and women’s lives are situated: -it represents an organized system of discourses and practices that lend social, political, and economic power to men over women through a plethora of practices and stabilized through institutions -it is not a fixed, nor ultimately stable system, but a complex and dynamic one involving a changing assemblage of practices, norms, technologies, and discourses which ultimately leverage greater social power and advantage to men over women even as it’s effects may vary over places and at different times -patriarchy, in terms of how it operates, is through pushes and pulls -patriarchy pushes (and pulls) women to be obedient, dependent, submissive, sexually accessible, and under male control -males are also pushed to adopt patriarchal norms vis-à-vis women and other men through the normalization (and exclusive overvaluation of): competition, aggression, control over others and situations, absolute independence, and self-mastery of self-authored activity and instrumentality -there are dominant and subordinate forms of masculinity -one of the things that is also very compelling in terms of research is how a system of sexism and patriarchy functions on a macro and embeds itself in the micro-level (it is tied to our production of self) -it has this vast reach in terms of research analysis both on an extreme micro level and large macro structure -engages in self-masking in every moment Intersectionality and Gender-Based Violence: -originally coined in 1989 by Kimberlé W. Crenshaw, a U.S. critical legal & race scholar -the concept derived from her research with Black, Asian and Latina female residents of 3 women’s shelters in Los Angeles -her research predominantly focused on Black women’s experiences, along with Asian and Latina female residents 4 Kay Points: INTERSECTIONALITY: basic tenets 1) People’s lives are multi-dimensional: single category or ‘vector of analysis’ needs to be expanded 2) Power dynamics between social locations and processes are linked 3) Subjectivity is multiple: people can experience oppression and forms of privilege at the same time 4) Intersectionality as an analytical tool is also about seeking transformation, building coalitions, and working toward social justice: it asks: ‘what does deepening democracy & community justice look like?’ -one of the guiding philosophies of the textbook is social praxis -why is intersectionality important? It can attend to complex ways in which these are embedded in varying shifting positions of power -they are also symbolic statuses that are constructed through discourses -it afford a greater flexibility to researchers Pathways toward Criminalization: -how does the micro level (psychosocial factors) connect to the larger structural patterns of capitalism and the heteronormative practices, race, etc.) -the pathways of young women and girls 1) Individual Level (psychosocial factors): a) Familial Abuse b) Neglect, mistreatment & homelessness c) Drug & alcohol use; dependency & addictions d) School problems e) Unsupportive adults f) Medical and mental health issues g) Negative self-regard; suicidality -p. 129 in textbook -the causal effect: these are largely correlational patterns and not causal 2) Structural (larger patterns, societal factors): a) Gender-based oppression and victimization b) Homelessness and exploitative sex work (often compounded by its illegality) c) Involved in violent or economic crimes d) Systemic racism, racialized and feminized poverty e) Colonialism (historical and ongoing) (Aboriginal girls and women). p. 130 in textbook Sexist and Androcentric Constructions of the young Female Offender (Criminalized Girl): -criminalization is looked at a process: how people come to be criminalized in our society -there are different processes involved for young men and women -normalized male subject: the unconscious domination of the male figure in society -unconscious sexism invades the culture 1) Nasty Girl’ phenomena: media based, based on an inversion of ‘girl power’ discourse; largely about shifts in young girls media representation, involves agency -while this notion of girl power is positive, it can easily be subverted 2) The girl offender as driven by biology: girls’ more likely to be pathologized and biologized by authorities as an explanation for their offending. (i.e. menstruation, hormones, moods, etc.)
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