introduction_to_critical_criminology.doc

Should be understood not as a straightforward

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should be understood not as a straightforward, practical policy response to the social problem of crime, but as a much broader strategy of governance. In the short video below, Simon outlines some of his central ideas on the function that the War on Crime has served for successive US governments. Rather than asking politicians and policymakers how government can tackle the problem of crime, Simon turns this on its head by asking if there isn’t in fact a governmental problem to which crime offers a solution. Simon suggests that by focusing on punishing crime – rather than tackling its very complex root causes, such as poverty – governments frame social problems in ways that appear to have simpler solutions, and in terms of which they can more easily claim success. Simon thus refocuses our attention, moving it away from thinking about the problem of crime in terms of the misdeeds of individuals. Instead, he encourages us to question the fundamental terms on which the debate is predicated and to ask how those terms might serve the interests of those with the power to define them. Video content is not available in this format. Page 30 of 44 26th May 2017 http://www.open.edu/openlearn/people-politics-law/introduction-critical-criminology/content- section-0
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Introduction to critical criminology Governing through crime View transcript - Governing through crime Page 31 of 44 26th May 2017 http://www.open.edu/openlearn/people-politics-law/introduction-critical-criminology/content- section-0
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Introduction to critical criminology Key features of critical criminology The following box identifies some of the key characteristics of critical criminological perspectives. Key features of critical criminology Human action is voluntaristic (to different degrees), rather than determined (or in some formulations, voluntary in determining contexts). Social order is pluralistic or conflictual, rather than consensual. Some critical theories draw on Marxist analysis and begin from the premise that capitalist economic policies lead to immiseration, which thereby create conditions in which turning to crime becomes a viable survival strategy. Criminalisation strategies are class-, race- and gender- control strategies that are consciously used to depoliticise political resistance and to control economically and politically marginalised neighbourhoods and groups. Moral panics about crime being out of control are used to deflect attention away from inherent structural conflicts. Orthodox crime control strategies are incapable of tackling the crimes of the powerful and state crimes. Page 32 of 44 26th May 2017 http://www.open.edu/openlearn/people-politics-law/introduction-critical-criminology/content- section-0
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Introduction to critical criminology Legal categories that claim to be race/gender neutral are riddled with white, male assumptions of what constitutes normal or reasonable behaviour.
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