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Chapter 10

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Candace Kruttschnitt

Chapter 10: Radical Criminology 12-11-22 3:30AM **Interest in critical deviance theory  looking at how power is important in the commission of deviance ie. Corporate deviance committed by powerful often ignored bythe State (while deviance committed by powerless often occurs because of their lack of power) In these theories, looking at the integration of the rationality of the actor within the larger economic structure: Deviance is revolution, political act, sign of desperation Deviance is power, control, sign of domination Introduction: Why ‘radical’  to break with the seeming limitations of the ‘sociology of deviance’ without returning to conventional criminology What happened? Late 1960’s radicaled students (Vietnam war, racial conflict, feminist consciousness) Neo-Marxist philosophers reinterpreted Marxist theory in an attempt to account for the cries that arose, the inability of capitalism to resolve them, the inevitability of new and more devastating conflicts **Marxist theories ideal for analyzing corporate crime Before, more interested in deviance by the lower class, but new interest in white collar or corporate crime -Taylor, Walton and Young criticized earlier theories as ‘predicting too little bourgeois and too much proletarian criminality’ The ‘New’ Criminology Taylor, Walton, Young problems with: 1 philosophical bases for liberal criminology located in work of Hobbes, Locke, Bentham, utilitarian tradition  incapable of reconciling inequality rooted in property relations and the extension of rationality to those who offend 2 appeal of positivism resides in claim to be capable of account for criminality in neutral, scientific terms that situate pathology in the individual offender and deflect attention from the social context of unequal social relations which basically frame the offence 3 functionalism  deviance is both necessary and inevitable if any society is to survive; argue that the proposition that ‘crime is normal’ need not inhibit the pursuit of a ‘crime-free’ society 4 ecological theory  valued for its move away from individualist accounts (but far too great an emphasis on purely urban processes) 5 Anomie (and subcultural variants) reduced deviants themselves to people who were purely reactive or adaptable, therefore not creative 6 Labeling theory treats control and deviance separately; control leads to deviance (or opposite); flaw because deviant motivation reduced to passive resistance or acquiescence 7 Non-Marxist Radicals  confused authority relations with power relations, thus obscured the actual foundation of deviance in class conflict Marxist capitalism is criminogenic  all societies based one exploitation and oppression -Diversity entails a commitment to toleration of minority beliefs and activities which many formally socialist states proscribe Birmingham School -Director Stuart Hall -unifying feature of their work was the reproduction of order in capitalist Britain, a theme they came increasingly to theorize in the context of youthful deviance and adult control **Birmingham School  added important dimension of culture to study of deviance Youthful deviance is most profoundly lodged in the refusal to accept, the struggle against relations with authorities Policing the Crisis Stuart Hall  classic of critical criminology -Part 1: Mugging in England in early 1970’s Creation of ‘anti-mugging’ squads  justify far longer sentences than were normal (even in a period when the length of sentences had been rising anyway) -Widely believed that rising crime rate due to ‘permissive’ society with a too lenient pattern of sentencing and that certain aspects of street crime were novel (these features have been subject of rising public anxiety) Hall argued that only the label, not the crime was new The construction of mugging is a social problem Turns out that stuff like ‘pick-pocketing’ was added to ‘mugging’ which by definition is a crime of stealthy non violence -Part 2: 3 youths from handsworth Paul Storey and two accomplices ‘mugged’ an elderly man in Handsworth  sentences were 20 and (10 for accomplices) years Boys returned two hours to inflict further injuries on victim after original attack, age + defenselessness of victim, small sum of money stolen, second assault  pointed to features of the menace Storey was also half Indian, and an accomplice was of Cypriot background  link with race and danger reinforced Local press  associations b/w deviance and urban decay, loss of neighborhood and family cohesion, poor recreational facilities, etc. -Part 3: pattern of offences and the official+ societal reactions within British State (in that period) Crime is functional for the state -Part 4: politics of mugging The state’s main concern was to define the crisis away, and remove the focus on class relations, crisis was framed as a crisis of legitimate authority which was prevented from doing its job by deviants Policing the blacks (poor and unemployed) amounted to policing the crisis Radical Criminology in America -American Marxist criminologists more concerned with a relatively uncomplicated application of Marx’s most central concepts to the analysis of deviance and control -Britian theorists’ attempted to draw more fully on critical neo-Marxists Case Study: Contribution of Chambliss -Looked at the ‘hidden hand’ in organized crime in America is not the Mafia, but leading representatives of the city’s ruling class -Deviance is not a by-product of an otherwise effectively working political economy, but a main product of that political economy. -Logic of capitalism makes the emergence of crime networks inevitable -Chambliss solution to organized crime  decriminalize gambling and the drug trade, this would lessen the hold of the rackets on these illicit goods and the provision of deviant services Contribution of Platt: -interested in relationship b/w deviance and capitalism, dealt with street crime -‘street’ crime is not simply a by-product of the capitalist mode of production, it is shown to be a phenomenon endemic to capitalism at its highest stage of development -Victim surveys- reported incidence of street crimes almost 4x as great as the rate reported to the police -Highest incidence of violent and property crime is among poor and unemployed working class young men, and single or separated women -Social Banditry’  expressive deviance (by new technologies of control), took the place as a means of rebellion by the rise of the political organization of the working class movement Contribution of Reiman: -blend ideas of Taylor, Walton, and Young, Marxist functionalism, and the Birmingham School (TWY, Marxist functionalism, B) -argues that American justice system creates misleading image of deviant as young, black, working-class, male filters out the middle class and white collar offender by differential treatment American criminal justice system generates and reproduces crime by criminalizing drug use, neglecting to address issues of social and economic inequality, stigmatizing offenders so that re-entry to the conventional world is blocked Goal of criminal justice system isn’t to reduce crime/achieve justice but to project to the American public a visible image of the threat o crime Allied Approaches -Prisons are used s an instrument of class oppression  relative over-use of the prison for working class populations (and its under use in connection the offences of the powerful) -In courts, they functioned to bestow a sense of inferiority on the largely working class defendants and to buttress the s
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