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view on the problemof littering andpotential solutions"view on the problemof littering andpotential solutions"      Nic Gr...
Sociologistbut a sociologist of crime (or criminologist) with‘green’ pretensions (my PhD on ‘car culture’ more ofa problem...
‘avocado’not happy with metaphor/analogybut concerned about a populist punitiveness in anydiscourse about crime, deviance ...
criminologycriminology (whether psychological or sociological orany other version) tends to look at mid range or veryobvio...
alternative criminologiesproliferation of attempts to understand/deal withcrime over time and across political spectrumsom...
so not litter thenlitter clearly a volume crime but often seen(dismissed?) as a nuisanceYet often given a glancing mention...
green criminology any             better?less mid-range than conventional criminology but,like radical criminologies and z...
Right RealismWilson and Kelling Broken Windows’We suggest that ‘untended’ behavior also leads to the breakdown of communit...
Dart ContainersThe Broken Windows theory refers to an article by sociologists Dr. James Q.Wilson and Dr. George Kelling th...
and Keep America BeautifulPoole [a KAB, Louisiana volunteer] was instrumental in bringing Dr. GeorgeKelling, renowned for ...
The LitteratureCommon themes with some criminology but apartfrom mention of Broken Windows no explicitreference to sociolo...
KBT v Sykes and Matza             Sykes and Matza propose the five Techniques             of Neutralization.             D...
Sociological Criminology       suggests ...design and situation can be manipulated to help (butI’m against litter but also...
Some suggestions• ‘justifiers’ and ‘blamers’ may be using techniques of  neutralisation but we do need more bins and actio...
My fearslitter will be used to criminalisethis worsened by growth of privatisation in LocalAuthorities and CJSlitter picki...
My hopes to ...add littering to criminology - it is serious andworthwhile -   including green criminology. We should start...
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Litter webinar 18 october

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I gave a webinar for http://www.zilch.org.uk about criminological approaches to litter. The online audience of litter professionals and activists tended towards the punitive and seemed less than happy with my 'soft', 'green' approach. They seemed to favour a sterile environment me a messier organic one. But we agreed on much otherwise.

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Litter webinar 18 october

  1. 1. view on the problemof littering andpotential solutions"view on the problemof littering andpotential solutions" Nic Groombridge St Mary’s University College Litter Webinar 18 October 1
  2. 2. Sociologistbut a sociologist of crime (or criminologist) with‘green’ pretensions (my PhD on ‘car culture’ more ofa problem than ‘joyriding’)green criminology or green perspectives incriminology?a ‘watermelon’? (green on the outside, red in themiddle)seeking to avoid being an ‘avocado’ 2
  3. 3. ‘avocado’not happy with metaphor/analogybut concerned about a populist punitiveness in anydiscourse about crime, deviance or anti-socialbehaviourbut back to criminology 3
  4. 4. criminologycriminology (whether psychological or sociological orany other version) tends to look at mid range or veryobvious crimes and wrongsso rarely war or terrorism and not as much onvolume crimes like car theft or burglary as theirvolume might dictatethe exciting (‘gangs’) or what told by funders (‘gangs’again) to look at 4
  5. 5. alternative criminologiesproliferation of attempts to understand/deal withcrime over time and across political spectrumsome prefer to talk of ‘harm’, or the ‘harmperspective or even zemiology rather than ‘crime’ or‘criminology’so environmental harms might be studied(theoretically including litter) but more usually harmscaused by Government or Corporations 5
  6. 6. so not litter thenlitter clearly a volume crime but often seen(dismissed?) as a nuisanceYet often given a glancing mention in criminologytexts but not actually studied 6
  7. 7. green criminology any better?less mid-range than conventional criminology but,like radical criminologies and zemiology, tends to gofor the ‘big’ questions and the ‘big’ ‘baddies’ (hencethe watermelon)so no litter here either 7
  8. 8. Right RealismWilson and Kelling Broken Windows’We suggest that ‘untended’ behavior also leads to the breakdown of communitycontrols. A stable neighborhood of families who care for their homes, mindeach other’s children, and confidently frown on unwanted intruders can change,in a few years or even a few months, to an inhospitable and frightening jungle.A piece of property is abandoned, weeds grow up, a window is smashed.Adults stop scolding rowdy children; the children, emboldened, become morerowdy. Families move out, unattached adults move in. Teenagers gather infront of the corner store. The merchant asks them to move; they refuse. Fightsoccur. Litter accumulates. (1982, page 2 of webversion)Only mention of litter in their work but often picked out by criminologists and ... 8
  9. 9. Dart ContainersThe Broken Windows theory refers to an article by sociologists Dr. James Q.Wilson and Dr. George Kelling that first appeared in the Atlantic Monthly inMarch of 1982. In that article, the authors put forth the hypothesis that generaldisorder in communities contributes to the rise of serious crime. The articlefocused on the analogy of a broken window. If a window is broken and notrepaired quickly, soon more windows will be broken as the perception that noone cares about the building spreads. When many of the windows have beenbroken, the feeling is created that no one cares about the street and soon otherstructures will be vandalized.Litter and graffiti can act like broken windows. If not corrected these problemscreate the impression that no one cares about the area and making it seemdangerous.Weve all seen and heard the slogans. And we all know that litter is just plainbad. What many people, however, are unwilling to admit, is that litteris a "people issue" not a product issue. previously on their website
  10. 10. and Keep America BeautifulPoole [a KAB, Louisiana volunteer] was instrumental in bringing Dr. GeorgeKelling, renowned for his “broken windows theory”, to the 2005 Keep LouisianaBeautiful state conference where she organized a special meeting for him toaddress New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and state legislators. Poole’s goal wasto help change the perception among Louisiana community and political leadersthat litter is merely a cosmetic problem. Dr. Kelling explained how one brokenwindow sets off a chain reaction of physical deterioration, which leads to crime,economic downturn and a lessened quality of life.Which brings us to the litterature (!)
  11. 11. The LitteratureCommon themes with some criminology but apartfrom mention of Broken Windows no explicitreference to sociology.So for instance ... 11
  12. 12. KBT v Sykes and Matza Sykes and Matza propose the five Techniques of Neutralization. Denial of responsibility. - Delinquent will propose that he/she is a victim of circumstance and that he/she is pushed or pulled into situations beyond his/her control. ("It wasnt my fault!") Denial of injury. - Delinquent supposes that his/her acts really do not cause any harm, or that the victim can afford the loss or damage. ("Why is everyone making a big deal about it; they have money!") Denial of the victim. - Delinquent views the act as not being wrong, that the victim deserves the injury, or that there is no real victim. ("They had it coming to them!") Condemnation of the condemners. - Condemners are seen as hypocrites, or are reacting out of personal spite, thus they shift the blame to others, being able to repress the feeling that their acts are wrong. ("They probably did worse things in their day!") Appeal to higher loyalties. - The rules of society often take a back seat to the demands and loyalty to important others. ("My friends depended on me, what was I going to do?!")
  13. 13. Sociological Criminology suggests ...design and situation can be manipulated to help (butI’m against litter but also sterility)law and punishment don’t often work and may makethings worse (on individuals but not necessarycorporations/firms)appropriate ‘policing’ can work‘social bonds’: ‘attachment’ ‘involvement’ etc
  14. 14. Some suggestions• ‘justifiers’ and ‘blamers’ may be using techniques of neutralisation but we do need more bins and action from the authorities and less packaging• wider critiques of (over) consumption likely to have more impact than criticism of individuals• use of law and direct action against companies (FoE/Schweppes)• Green Police?
  15. 15. My fearslitter will be used to criminalisethis worsened by growth of privatisation in LocalAuthorities and CJSlitter picking as punishment
  16. 16. My hopes to ...add littering to criminology - it is serious andworthwhile - including green criminology. We should start at the bottom on the earth as it wereto make links with the ‘litterarti’ that you

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