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Chapter 7


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CRM 102
Scott Clark

CRM 102: Chapter 7 Feminist Perspectives Introduction • Crimes of the powerful are said to be committed in order to enhance competitive advantage or to augment personal wealth • Social working-class crimes are tied to issues of economic subsistence and alienation –be it economic, social, political, or cultural • According to feminist criminology, the sexiest nature of the CJS is an ingrained par of that system, and is long overdue for reform Social Context • Feminist criminology also looks at who holds and wields power in society, and questions how this impacts on women • Developed in the late 1960s and into the 1970s • Closely associated with the emergence of the Second Wave of feminism of time • Second wave of feminism had key demands: equal pay; equal education and job opportunities; free contraception and abortion on demand; free 24 hour nurseries, legal and financial independence, end to discrimination against lesbians, etc. • Sex is a biological classification indicated by genetics, gender (masculine/fem.) is a social construct, not a biological given • Androgyny was the focus of analysis; males and females exhibit characteristics that are similar to masculinity or femininity • Aboriginal women tend to be over-represented in the CJS • Types of Feminism: 1. Liberal Feminism • Views the individual as the most important part of society • The question of rights is paramount in the context of competitive views of the individual • They want laws to change to ensure that women get equal rights (equal pay, etc.) 2. Marxist Feminism • Not so much concerned with traditional rights, but instead analyzes the structural position of women in society in terms of paid and unpaid labour • Big argument is if we want to deal with gender inequality then we need to do something to fundamentally transform class societies such as capitalism that are organized around the exploitation of female (and male working-class) labour • Marxist feminists would point to recent Statistics Canada repot as evidence of gender inequality within the paid workforce 3. Radical Feminism • Stresses the common experiences of women; basically involved in collective consciousness-raising about the oppressions shared by all women • All aspects of women’s live (personal and political) are touched and shaped by patriarchal relations • Studies historical exclusion of women from political, social, & economic spheres • Issues of male violence –physical, verbal, & psychological-is a major significance 4. Socialist Feminism • Agrees that women have been, continue to be, exploited and oppressed in both the public and private spheres, but this perspective views the exploitation and oppression within the framework of capitalist society • Social and economic needs of women have been subordinated to the requirements of profit-making institutions, a process that directly affects many men as well 5. Cultural Feminism • Adopts a women-centered analysis that is often not tied to any specific economic or political programme • Focus is on development of a spate women’s culture and the special nature of women’s relationships to each other and to society 6. Standpoint Feminism • Also known as anti-racist feminism, developed out of the concern that mainstream feminism represented the realities of white middle class women’s live Female Crime • ‘Crime issues’is determined by how the law positions women in society • The CJS is dominated by men; judges, barristers, solicitors, prison/police officers • More men are victimized than females; more men commit crimes than females • Strain theory’s concept of opportunity structures and cultural goals (difficult to apply to females) Basic Concepts • Feminist perspectives are based on t
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