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