A2 Sociology Postmodernism revision cards

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  • Created by: Jessica
  • Created on: 03-06-12 19:08

Society is changing constantly and rapidly

Life is marked with chaos and uncertainty

Society is fragmented into people with a wide range of lifestyles and interests

Social structures have collapsed and been replaced with individualism

We live in a consumer culture

Individuals make choices about lifestyles, values and identities

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Crime is socially constructed

The law is an outdated metannarative

Postmodern society is so diverse - metannaratives do not reflect this diversity

Postmodern society - people increasingly gain freedom from social norms & bond constraints

Crime is an expression of a particular view of those with hower how people should conduct themsevles

Current definitions of crime denies people's freedoms, self identity and difference

We need to go beyond narrow definitions of crime

We need a definition of crime that is wide, takes into account people's chosen lifestyles and identities and is based on justice and respect

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Henry & Milovanovic:

Crime should be reconceptualised so it is not just people breaking laws but using power to disrespect others by causing them harm

Two kinds of crime:

Harm of reduction - power used to cause a victim immediate loss/injury

Harms of repression - Power being used to restrict future development. E.g. sexual assault and racism. These crimes may not be currently illegal or taken very seriously

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Postmodern society is characterised by fragmentation of social structure

Metannaratives e.g. social class and family which gave people security & identity have been replaced by uncertainty and individual choice

Individuals are increasingly focusing on themselves

Social causes of crime are undiscoverable because of individualism of identity

Every crime is a 'one-off' because each individual is different and has a different identity formed from different sources

Example: a person with low-self esteem might humiliate a person in order to make themselves feel powerful

Causes of crime lie in the individual, not society

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Strengths of the postmodernism approach

- Able to explain contemporary developments like CCTV

Recognizes there is other ways to explain the causes of crime than what the structural approaches present

- Explains non - utilitarian crimes like ASBOs

- Provides a fuller picture than traditional patterns of crime 

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Weaknesses of the Post Modern approach

- Doesn't explain why most people don't use their power to harm others

- Doesn't explain why certain people find it necessary to cause harm

- Ignores the issues of justice and rights for all

- Fails to recognise that consumer culture means people who cannot afford material goods may feel resentful towards those who can and this may cause crime esp. burglary

- Fails to recognise that most people strongly know what is write and wrong

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