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  • 1. Neo-Marxist Perspectives Crime and deviance
  • 2. The two branches
    • New Criminology
    • (early 1970s)
    New Left Realism (early 1980s)
    • Critical of traditional Marxism for being too deterministic….too structural…ignoring individual choice
    • Devised a theory that blended Marxism and Labelling theories
    Taylor, Walton & Young (1973)
  • 4. Background Context
    • In the early 1970s, there were many examples of ‘resistance to capitalist oppression’
    • eg) anti-Vietnam demos, student protests, union strikes, black power, civil rights protestors, gay liberation, feminist movement
  • 5. context continued..
    • This could be seen as a ‘crisis of hegemony’ (Gramsci)
    • There was a degree of choice in society – a deliberate resistance
    • Capitalism was losing its ideological control of society (a rise of proletarian consciousness/a decline of false consciousness)
  • 6. Liberation MAN!! Right on!
  • 7.
    • Crime is a deliberate act with ‘political motives’
    • Many crimes were against property – this could be seen as the re-distribution of wealth (like Robin Hood)
    • People were struggling to change their society.
  • 8. The ideas at the heart of the New Criminology
    • Blend structural/social action perspectives for a ‘full’ picture of society
    • We need to think about the structural context of criminal behaviour (and its treatment by society)
    • We need to think about the interpretivistic dimension of criminality in society.
  • 9. ‘ A Fully Social Theory’ (of deviance)
    • They proposed that deviance needed to be
    • explored in terms of ….
    • social structure
    • (institutions/culture/economy)
    • and in terms of ….
    • interaction
    • (meanings/self concept/societal
    • reaction)
  • 10. 1. The Wider Origins of the Act
    • The Capitalist system = wider society.
    • The economic structure of society is
    • the root of all actions in that society.
  • 11. 2. The Immediate Origins of the Deviant Act
    • The motivation for an individual to commit a crime.
    • The actual causes that are at the heart of an individual choosing to commit a specific crime.
    • eg) poverty, revenge, ‘the thrill’
  • 12. 3. The Act Itself
    • Why should a person choose to commit a particular type of crime?
    • What does the act ‘mean’ to the criminal?
  • 13. 4. The Immediate Origins of the Societal Reaction
    • Why do people respond in different ways to a particular deviant act?
    • eg) do the police respond differently to black offenders?
  • 14. 5. The wider origins of deviant reaction
    • This is all about the wider background to law creation and enforcement.
    • Involves the role of the media too!
    • eg) what circumstances led to make types of
    • picketing illegal.
    • why are tobacco and alcohol products
    • legal, despite their harm to health?
  • 15. 6. The outcome of the societal reaction on deviant’s further actions
    • We need to understand how the labelled criminals respond to their labelling.
    • self concept/master status/subculture
  • 16. 7. The nature of the deviant process as a whole
    • This point just accepts that deviance is a complex process.
    • It cannot be explained by one simple ‘perspective-driven’ theory!
  • 17. The CCCS
    • Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies
    • (Birmingham University)
    • Focus – symbolic resistance
    • - subculture
  • 18. What is symbolic resistance?
    • The oppressed do not always have to challenge the powerful in an ‘obvious way’
    • They can challenge the authority and ideology of the powerful through symbolic gestures
    • These are acts which carry a particular message/embedded with meaning (although sometimes implicit/hidden)
  • 19.  
  • 20. CCCS – Case Studies
    • Much research was done by the CCCS.
    • We will focus on their work into:
      • Ethnicity and deviance (West Indian)
      • Youth Subcultures
  • 21. Paul Gilroy – The Empire Strikes Back
    Crime by young West Indians is a political response to a racist society and oppression
  • 22.
    • Crime by ‘black youths’ is not due to poor socialisation or criminal subculture
  • 23. His argument…
    • When black immigrants were brought to Britain..they came with the…
    • ‘ legacies of political, ideological and ethnic struggles in Africa,the Caribbean and India’.
    • He notes the history of white oppression in the colonies and how ‘ex-colonials still bear the scars of imperialist violence’ .
  • 24.
    • Therefore…
    • Black youth are in conflict with their white oppressors in modern Britain.
    • This is part of their legacy!
    • Black youth need to ‘win space’ and to overcome the pains of racism in life.
    • Rebellion and deviance are forms of symbolic resistance – fighting back.
  • 25. eg..Rastafarian subculture
    • The interpretation of Biblical passages in the Old Testament to tell the tale of the passage of oppression to Freedom!
    • Distorting ‘white religion’ and turned it against the oppressor (like Patois Creole with English language)
    Exodus Babylon
  • 26.
    Lion of Judah Haile Selassie (the second coming of Christ?) ONE LOVE I and I Irie
  • 27. Rasta – symbolic resistance
    • The Bible – the stories –the prophet – anti-slavery
    • The language – a ‘bastardisation’ of the English language
    • The style – the hair (spiritual) but an exaggerated reminder of slavery
    • Ganja – ‘wisdom weed’ – bring people spiritually closer to God/inner peace
  • 28. Black youth and crime
    • Gilroy argued….
    • Criminal activities maybe another form of political resistance.
    • Stealing from the oppressor (mugging/burglary)
  • 29. But… ‘black criminality is a myth’
    • He claims that Black youths are also no more prone to committing crime than anybody else
    • During the ‘mugging scare’ in the 1970s – black youths faced harassment from the police (selective policing/bias)
    • racist ‘suss laws’
  • 30.
    • Gilroy emphasises that due to
    • a crisis of capitalism (and high
    • levels of unemployment) –
    • Britain faced social problems
    • which black youths were
    • focused on as ‘the source of
    • the problem’
  • 31.
    • Critique of Gilroy
    • 1. Stuart Hall – Gilroy overemphasises that crime is a political struggle (if so, most victims would be white, rich people).
    • 2. Lea & Young – the idea of black youth committing crime as a continuation of an anti-colonial struggle is unrealistic.
    • 3. Lea & Young – racist selective policing is not so great as most crime is reported to the police..and not discovered!
  • 32. Stuart Hall – Policing the Crisis (1979)
    • Explores the
    • economic crisis in
    • 1970s UK and
    • issues
    • surrounding
    • immigration
  • 33.
    • 1950s/60s – UK welcomed immigrants from the Commonwealth – to fill essential,low-paid, semi-skilled jobs.
    • By the 1970s – unemployment increased in UK.
    • Black employees were first to lose jobs.
    Immigration and unemployment
  • 34.
    • New jobs given to white applicants.
    • Black workers seen as ‘taking jobs’ and being blamed for the unemployment situation.
    • Now they were being accused of abusing the welfare benefits system!
  • 35. Rising Racism in UK
    • Black Britons were blamed for the rising economic problems and poverty (SCAPEGOATS).
    • Politicians like Enoch Powell began to make speeches against a multi-cultural Britain.
    • Right wing (neo-nazi) parties were on the increase, like the National Front (NF)
  • 36. The effects of structural racism
    • Basically – many Black Britons were now being socially outcast as scapegoats
    • They were also facing poverty, due to unemployment (from losing jobs and struggling to get re-employed)
    • Some of the unemployed turned to crime to survive ( a rise in street crime/muggings/ dealing)
  • 37. In short….. Black crime was being driven by economic strain/poverty and not a symbolic resistance!
  • 38. The Mugging Scare
    • Hall applies the deviance amplification cycle to this issue.
    • Society defined a new type of crime ‘mugging’ (the media, police, judges and politicians) wanted this threat dealt with.
  • 39.
    • Mugging itself wasn’t a new phenomenon. In Victorian England there were ‘footpads’ who stole form people in the street.
    • Hall notes that this crime was re-marketed, with a new image
    • It fed into a moral panic – designed to help people address their fears and concerns about the crisis in society.
  • 40. Remember all those social problems and resistance
    • Anti-Vietnam demos
    • Gay liberation
    • Women’s movement
    • Student protests
    • IRA threats
    • Trade Unions/Strikes
  • 41. Mr Deakin’s Dad Mr Deakin’s uncle
  • 42. Hall argues…
    • In the early 1970s – a crisis of hegemony.
    • The working class were no longer in a state of false consciousness.
    • Capitalism needed to regain control.
    • The answer was to find a new way to regain order – to identify a scapegoat to blame.
  • 43. Ring any bells ? Pick a group…blame them for the problem…then go for them with force
  • 44.
    • The scapegoat in the UK – were young Black Britons ( a folk devil)
    • The media stirred headlines that treated ‘black muggers’ as the threat to social order ( a moral panic)
    • Public wanted a solution (societal reaction)
    • Inner cities were flooded with extra ‘heavy handed police’
  • 45. Selective policing
    • Aggressive – STOP AND SEARCH (SUSS).
    • Many arrests justified the policy.
    • The public felt more at ease that the social problems were being dealt with.
  • 46. So, overall…
    • Moral panic and heavy policing were linked to the social and economic crisis in capitalism.
    • Black crime was happening because of poverty (and racism) caused by capitalism.
    • The process of selective policing and moral panic fed a deviance amplification spiral.
  • 47. Critique of Hall
    • Downes (1988)
    • - Hall is contradictory – on the one hand they are doing more crime and on the other it’s the fault of the police and media.
    • - The link between moral panic and crisis in capitalism is weak.
    • - Overemphasises police racism.
  • 48. Studies of Youth Culture
    • The skinheads (late 1960s)
    • Clarke argued that the skinhead style emerged as a result of changes in social structure in the late 1960s…the slum clearance and the breaking up of long-term working class communities.
  • 49. From this To this
  • 50. Symbolism in the skinhead style
    • The skinhead style was symbolic of an ultra-working class culture from the 1930s
    • grandad shirts braces
    • shaved head doc marten boots
    • union jack jeans