Presentation on theme: "Political Economy of Crime From routine activities theory to radical perspectives Hyon & Kristi."— Presentation transcript:
Political Economy of Crime From routine activities theory to radical perspectives Hyon & Kristi
Quotes from the Readings
Radical theories … casting doubt on some taken-for-granted ideas.
Criminal legislation was determined not by moral consensus or the common interests of the entire society, but by the relative power of groups determined to use the criminal law to advance their own special interests or to impose their moral preferences on drugs.
In its insistence that any social phenomenon must be looked at in the context of social totality, Marxism has methodological implications for the criminological enterprise.
Marxist critics notwithstanding, some of us find that our ability to analyze and understand crime is enhanced by the ideas developed in the writings of Marx and Engels.
The Social Economy of Arson
The denial of arson for profit, like the insistence on the traditional “pyro/juvenile vandal/angry ethnic” explanations, bespeak the failure of officials to understand the larger process which has lead to the destabilization of urban neighborhoods.
Arson … is both a consequence of larger economic processes and a localized expression of class struggle between the owners and occupiers of arson-prone properties.
The institutional sources of urban arson are enmeshed with powerful corporate interest, and the mounting fiscal crisis of the cities makes the corrections or even official acknowlegement of arsonogenic business practices most unlikely in the foreseeable future.
Routine Activities Theory
In our judgment many conventional theories of crime … have difficulty accounting for the annual changes in crime rate trends in the post-World War II United States.
Most criminal acts require convergence in space and time of likely offenders, suitable targets and the absence of capable guardian against crime.
We take criminal inclination as given and examine the manner in which the spatio-temporal organization of social activities.
The emergence of theories of crime that emphasize the influence of routine activities or lifesytle is one of the most significant developments in the study of deviance over the past two decades.
From Inclusive to Exclusive Society
It was an era of inclusion, of affluence and of conformity. But, … the Golden Age was followed by the cultural revolution of the late 1960s and 1970s, with the rise of individualism, of diversity, of a vast, wide scale deconstruction of accepted values.
The combination of relative deprivation and individualism is a potent cause of crime in situations where no political solution is possible.
By late modernity the frustration of expressive demands becomes a source of strain in the system and, together with relative deprivation in the material world, a potent source of deviance.
… the transition from an inclusive to an exclusive society. That is, from a society which both materially and ontologically incorporated its members and which attempted to assimilate deviance and disorder to one which involves a great deal of both material and ontological precariousness and which responds to deviance by separation and exclusion.
The task of devising new forms of community, employment which is not totally dependent on the whims of the market place and new and emerging family structure is a matter which is paramount.
Doubt about “Taken-for-granted” ideas Discriminatory practices by Criminal justice system “The less you do, the better off we all will be.”
Deviance Human Diversity Fight against repressive bureaucary Criminal Legislation For the Powerful
A Violation of Fundamental Human Rights Socially structured inequalities Of Wealth and Power Harm and wrongfulness against state? X
Power is critical in shaping the content of the law Power and Privilege regarding crime and law Police Suppression of the Powerless Crime is Invested with Political meaning Socially structured Inequalities of Wealth and Power
Campaign against Police brutality, death penalty, oppressing political dissent NOT criminalize Diversity! Informal, community-controlled social control Marxism to understand Social Processes
Human actions should begin with existing society. Mode of Production Social, political, intellectual characteristics
Crime should be considered in context of social totality The context of relationship to the character of the society as a whole Society’s economic and political situations Comparative & historical analysis of crime and CJ
From Inclusive to Exclusive Society
Fordism Post-Fordism Mass consumption & Leisure Diversity of choices Culture of individualism
Post-Fordism Consumer Society (arena of choices) Consumer culture (identity constructed) * Youths create subculture & styles Frustration of expressive demands (source of strain & potent source of deviance)
New Individualism Demise of Consumer conformity Dynamic, Diverse Pluralism of lifestyle Potential to Contradict and impede others Formation of gangs (their own exclusion & exclude others)