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SOC 2700 (144)
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SOC*2700 Ch 14.pdf

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 2700
Professor
C Yule
Semester
Winter

Description
Chapter 14: Gender and Crime - gender is the strongest and most consistent correlate of crime and delinquency - males are much more likely to offend than females The Development of Feminist Criminology - there are many branches of feminist criminology - the initial feminist writings were critiques of traditional criminology theories for ignoring or heavily distorting a number of topics related to women offenders - when the gendered nature of crime was addressed, the theories tended to focus on supposed characteristics that implied womenʼs inferiority and tended to reinforce womenʼs subordination to men in the larger society - traditional criminology theories also failed to address the differences in the ways women and men were treated by the criminal justice system - also none discuses the new roles women were taking on in the larger society as part of what in the 1970s was called womenʼs liberation - 2 books on the subject of women and crime appeared in 1975 - Freda Adler argued that women were becoming more aggressive and competitive as they moved out of traditional homebound social roles and into the previously largely male world of the competitive marketplace - she believed that women were taking on what had been masculine qualities as the battles that men had always fought - the same kind of transformation was occurring among criminals, where a similar number of determined women are forcing their way into the world of major crimes - Rita James Simon argued that it was not because women were taking on masculine characteristics, rather as women moved out of traditional homebound roles, they encountered a much wider variety of opportunities to commit crime, particularly economic and white-collar crime - both theories argued that liberation from traditional womenʼs roles would increase crimes committed by women - there was little evidence for either Schools of Feminist Criminology - liberal feminism basically operated within the framework of existing social structures to direct attention to womenʼs issues, promotes womenʼs rights, increase womenʼs opportunities, and transform womenʼs roles in society - several strands of critical feminism arose that directly challenged the social structures within which liberal feminism operated, they looked at the much more fundamental questions of how women had come to occupy subservient roles in society and how societies themselves might be transformed - the first strand is known as radical feminism and its central concept is that of patriarchy, a form of social organization in which men dominate women - patriarchy is established and maintained through sex-role socialization and the creation of “core gender identities” through which both men and women come to believe that men are superior in a variety of ways - Marxist feminists combined radical feminism with traditional Marxism to argue that the root of male domination lies in menʼs ownership and control of the means of economic production - patriarchy is tied to the economic structure of capitalism and results in a sexual division of labour in which men control the economic and women serve them and their sexual needs - actions that threaten this capitalist-patriarchal system are defined as crimes by the criminal law and the criminal justice system - law is a direct instrument of menʼs oppression - socialist feminists retained both the focus on social roles and economic production, but moved away form the rigid Marxist framework - they argued that natural reproductive differences between the sexes underlie male- female relationships - before birth control, women were much more at the mercy of their biology than men - the biological role of women in pregnancy, birth, and nursing led to women taking major responsibility for raising children, who require extensive care for long periods - this care led to a sexual division of labour in which men worked outside the home and women worked inside it - the key to an egalitarian society lies not so much in women taking ownership of the means of economic production but in women taking control of their own bodies and their own reproductive functions - postmodern feminism discusses how discourse is used to set certain women apart as “criminal women” - postmodernism and feminism question the nature of justice in the context of storytelling and narrative and that both tend to see “truth” as an opinion that benefits some at the expensive of others - many feminists now take an “appreciative relativism” stance within feminism that is similar to postmodernism - the recognize and appreciate many different feminist voices as legitimate, and refrain from analyzing, classifying, and ultimately picking apart those different voices Gender in Criminology - the problem has been addressed in one of two forms: (1) the generalizability problem focuses on whether traditional criminology theories can be generalize to explain female criminal behaviours, and (2) the gender ratio problem focuses on explaining
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