Chapter 4 & 5 Questions
1. Why is Marxist perspective still important for the sociology of punishment?
2. How may you describe relationship between the classic Marxism and neo-Marx-
ist studies of punishment?
Marxism includes only Marxist’s concepts but neo-Marxist includes Weber, Foucault or
Freud’s concepts. No orthodoxy to overcome
3. What is ‘the social formation’ in Marxist sociology?
Society has a definite structure organization that patterns social practices connected to polit-
ics and economics. The key determiners of this social organization is the mode of productions.
The way which economic activity is organized and controlled will shape the rest of social life.
4. What is ‘the base and superstructure’ according to the textbook?
The structural organization which mode of production is important. Conveys idea of economic
levels as a crucial foundation where the “superstructure” of politics is built. Although super-
structure forms have effect of shaping social life, they are ultimately dependent upon produc-
tion relations. However, this metaphor fails to show that there are interactions between eco-
nomics and non-economics dimensions of society.
5. What is ‘the mode of production’?
Transformation of ancient, feudal and capitalist modes of production. The struggles of class
forces social change. All non-communist modes of production are based on either subordinate
class (slaves, wage-labourers) or dominant class (citizens, feudal lords, bourgeoisie). Domin-
ant class exploits subordinate class but subordinate class will soon stop and overthrow the ex-
6. What is the distinctive starting point in Marxist analysis of punishment?
Ruling class powers. Non-economics relations. Perspective of class struggle and punishment
7. What are the basic research questions for Rusche and Kirchheimer?
More economistic and less cultural. Why are certain methods of punishment adopted or rejec-
ted in a given social situation? Focuses of selection and use of specific penal methods rather
8. Please read carefully the main theoretical propositions of Rusche and Kirch-
heimer (p. 90 – 93).
1) Punishments are viewed as a historical phenomena that can only appear in con-
crete forms. Punishment does not exist, only concrete system and criminal practices ex-
ist. 2) History of punishment is to be understood in a very definite sense. It is the emergence of
a mode of production, rise to dominance and revolution of new mode. Mode of
production is key to penal methods
3) Principle of punishment’s independent significance. Although system of punishments
are oriented towards control of crime, penal methods are never determined by this object-
ive alone. Penal forms must be viewed as social artifacts is wrong. It must be viewed as so-
cial phenomenon which will go beyond crime control
4) Penal institutions should viewed in their relationships woth other institutions and
with non-penal aspects
5) Punishment should be viwed as mechanism which is important to class struggles,
rich and poor
6) Marxists theory that social relations and institutions are misrepresented and
hidden. For R&k, it is the misrepresentation which allows for punishment to be seen as an
institution and benefits society when in fact its real function is to support the interests of
9. Please analyse how labour-market shaped the methods of punishment (p. 93 –
R&k focuses all on how labour-markets influences the methods of punishment. Labour-market
tends to fix the social value of human life. For lower class, they have little commitment to law
and moral order. Their conduct are directed more by economic necessities than moral affili-
ation. Criminal acts may be the tool for survivial. Penal sanctions were made to ensure that
people could not sustain a living by criminal means and threaten those who try. For punish-
ment to work, it requires unpleasant conditions experienced by lowest class to serve as de-
terrence not only to upper but lower class as well. This way, labour-market can be seen to
structure labouring classes. Punishment as seen as being shaped by living conditions.
10. What kinds of penal sanctions and methods of punishment did prevail in
the Early Middle Ages?
11. What kinds of penal sanctions and methods of punishment did prevail in
the Late Middle Ages?
12. How did the rise of capitalism change the methods of punishment and
Near end of 16 century, society was faced with shortage of labour, high wage costs and hard
to keep a work-force. This prompted governments for a range of social policies for furthering
industry. This includes protection of trade, regulate wage levels , working hrs etc. Labour
power was vital. New penal methods
13. Please read carefully the description of three new forms of punishment
(galley slavery, transportation and ‘penal servitude at hard labour’). Galley slavery: punishment for beggars. Started because it was difficult to recruit free men to
work. Offenders who were sentenced for a lifetime will do hazardous work. Galley was a penal
sanction because of economical needs.
14. What were Brideewell, Zuchthaus, and Hopital General? Why did these in-
stitutions serve as the basis for the modern prisons?
House of correction is a combination of poorhouse, workhouse and penal institution. Modern
15. Why were the new prisons obsolete practically as soon as they had been
established? (p. 103)
Prisons came to an end for businessmen because labourers were short in supply. Prison’s eco-
nomic base stopped existing because of overpopulation and machinery were used. Machines
worked a lot faster than inmates.
16. Why were the prisons in the North of the USA different from the European
prisons? Please learn the difference between Auburn and Pennsylvanian prison
systems (p. 104).
Prisons were useless but because they wanted it to have a deterring usage