Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
8 The Social Conditions of State Crime HANDOUT
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

×

Introducing the official SlideShare app

Stunning, full-screen experience for iPhone and Android

Text the download link to your phone

Standard text messaging rates apply

8 The Social Conditions of State Crime HANDOUT

573
views

Published on


0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
573
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
7
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
1
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. The Social Conditions of State Crime It is often thought that those who carry out crimes such as torture and massacre must be psychopaths (nutters!). However research suggests that there is little psychological difference between them and ‘normal’ people. Sociologists argue that such actions are part of a ROLE into which individuals are SOCIALISED. The focus on the SOCIAL CONDITIONS in which such behaviour becomes acceptable or even required. My Lai Massacre in Vietnam Kelman & Hamilton (1989) studied ‘crimes of obedience’ like the My Lai massacre in Vietnam where a platoon of US soldiers murdered 400 civilians (many women and children). Kelman & Hamilton identify THREE features that produce crimes of obedience: 1 AUTHORISATION When acts are ordered or approved by those in authority, normal moral principles are replaced by the duty to obey. 2 ROUTINISATION Once the crime has been committed there is strong pressure to turn the act into routine which individuals can perform in a detached manner. 3 DEHUMANISATION When the enemy is portrayed as sub-human rather than human and described as animals, monsters etc, the usual principles of morality do not apply. Some argue that modern society creates the conditions for state crime on a vast scale. For example Zygmunt Bauman (1989) argues that the Holocaust – in which the Nazis murdered six million Jews and millions of Gypsies, Slavs, political opponents, disabled people, homosexuals and others – was the product of MODERNITY, and not a return to some premodern barbarism. Bauman argues that for the Nazis to be able to commit mass murder, many of the features of MODERNITY were essential. These included science, technology and a division of labour. Bauman claims that the key to understanding the Holocaust is the ability of modern society to dehumanise the victims and turn mass murder into a routine administrative task.