SOC 2700 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Left Realism, Corporate Crime, Structural Functionalism

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-Post modern criminology is not a set of propositions or definitions but rather a cluster of
ideas!
-Everyone’s reality is dierent and post modern crim. is a cluster of everyone’s dierent
realities !
-1. Truth is unknowable as everyone’s reality is dierent !
-2. Rational thinking is not the only way of thinking !
-3. Facts are a social construction !
-4 . Criticism provide alternative truths !
-5. Knowledge is not cumulative as when old knowledge fails, new knowledge must be
created !
-Post modern criminologists think that language is key!
-We need to deconstruct the language to understand what certain policies refer to and what
they mean!
-Also the only kinds of truth and knowledge are partial and provisional!
-Since we cannot know truth, we can know partial and provisional truths and knowledge !
-Many argued that post modern crim. was not sucient enough so they came up with a new
criminology entitled positivism !
-Positivism emphasizes psychological , biological and sociological factors !
-It discusses that peoples social conditions influence their decisions based on crime and we
are controlled by these factors !
-Also there is a dierence between a deviant person and a normal person !
-however, many argued that positivism has a deterministic treatment of crime!
-Rather than allowing people to fix themselves, positivism is very strict on its treatment when
deterring one from crime!
-Young stated that since this theory was not working, new theories needed to be created !
-structural functionalism !
-Objection to positivism !
-Focuses on the structure of society and society’s functions !
-It asks questions like what certain elements function is in society!
-For example, this theory states that everyone has a function but people agreed that certain
things did not serve a function such as inequality or crime !
-deterministic treatment of crime !
-They objected positivism was too strict in its punishments and treatment of crime !
-They saw that the law was manipulated to benefit those at the top and those in power !
-Everything revolves around the capitalist society and benefiting those at the top !
-left realism !
-Focusses on finding the real reasons for crime !
-Says that there is too much of an emphasis on the capitalist society where the powerful are
above everyone else !
-Looks at relative deprivation !
-Says that small, petty crimes such as theft that cause no real significant harm should not be
emphasized but crimes of the powerful and corporate crime should be looked at!
-left idealism !
-Looks at the dierences between victimization !
-When the powerful victimize the powerless, this victimization is overlooked and left idealism
deals with this issue !
-The justice system overlooks the pain and suering of the powerless and poor when they are
victimized !
-Left idealism aims to solve this problem !
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Document Summary

Post modern criminology is not a set of propositions or de nitions but rather a cluster of ideas. Everyone"s reality is di erent and post modern crim. is a cluster of everyone"s di erent realities. Truth is unknowable as everyone"s reality is di erent. Rational thinking is not the only way of thinking. Knowledge is not cumulative as when old knowledge fails, new knowledge must be created. Post modern criminologists think that language is key. We need to deconstruct the language to understand what certain policies refer to and what they mean. Also the only kinds of truth and knowledge are partial and provisional. Since we cannot know truth, we can know partial and provisional truths and knowledge. Many argued that post modern crim. was not su cient enough so they came up with a new criminology entitled positivism. Positivism emphasizes psychological , biological and sociological factors.

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