AQA A2 Sociology- Postmodernism and Crime

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  • Created on: 12-06-16 12:38
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  • Postmodernism and Crime
    • Nature of crime
      • Must go beyond traditional and narrow definition of crime which reflects the outdated meta-narratives and not the diversity of a postmodern world.
      • Henry and Milovanovic: Crime should include social harm, embracing all threats and risks to people.
      • Crime shouldn't just be about people breaking the law but about people who use their power to disrespect or cause harm to others. There are 2 types of harm:
        • Harms of reduction: power is used to cause the victim to experience immediate loss/harm.
        • Harms of repression: power is used to restrict future human development.
    • Causes of crime
      • Most theories explain crime in relation to a social structure and core values which a criminal deviates from.
      • Postmodernists characterise society by fragmentation of the meta narratives of people's lives  (family, work and class) which have been replaced by uncertainty and choice of identity
      • People are more individualistic and focus on themselves with little regard/respect for others.
      • Crime can be committed just for the thrill of it.
    • Control of crime.
      • The fragmentation of society is reflected in the fragmentation of crime prevention: there is more emphasis on private crime prevention than reliance on the police.
      • Faucault: Surveillance penetrates people's lives (CCTV)
      • In a postmodern world people are consumers. They are seduced into avoidance of social harm by participation in the consumer society. Those who aren't seduced or can't afford to participate face stricter control.
    • Evaluation
      • Strengths
        • Explains developments in surveillance.
        • Recognises other causes than structural
        • Explains increased localism attached to police strategies.
        • Explains crimes that have no material benefits (hate crime/anti-social crime)
        • Provides full picture of the pattern of crime- crime encompasses all types of harm which is neglected by other theories.
      • Weaknesses
        • Doesn't explain why omost people don't use their power to harm others or why they people engage in acts that causes harm to assert their identity.
        • Doesn't recognise that decentralised informal arrangements are likely to benefit the wealthy.
        • Lea: its just a rediscovery of the labelling theory or radical criminology- crime was a social construction and power was crucial in its construction.


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