Texas Woman's University
T. R. Young
The Red Feather Institute
March 17, 1995
A. THE PROBLEMATIC: STRUCTURES OF CLASS, RACE, GENDER AND CRIME
1. MODERNIST VIEWS ON STRUCTURE and the assignment of cases.
a. Structures have a euclidean geometry.
b. Structures are stable/permanent features of reality
c. Structures are bounded sets of similar events
d. Structures are caused/causal
2. POST-STRUCTURALIST CRITIQUE: HASSAN, LYOTARD, DERRIDA
a. Structure is 'totalizing,' re-representations of reality which fail to transcend
time/place, special pleadings for existing arrangements, one of many readings which could
be made of a socio-historical epoch.
b. Inimical to human agency; individual or collective, nihilistic, simplistic, reductionist reifications.
3. CHAOTIC VIEWS ON STRUCTURE: From Foundations of Postmodern Science:
a. Structure change as bifurcations unfold [fig. 2]: the mix between order and disorder
increases by orders of magnitude at key bifurcations.
b. Structures are non-euclidean: they have fuzzy boundaries and fractal 'reality.' [fig. 3].
c. More than one structure can occupy the same time/space region [fig. 1]
d. Structures emerge [fig. 3] from feedback loops in which
e. structure is/becomes a 'causal' element as
f. other systems in time/space begin to respond to the mix of order/disorder
1. The number of classes varies with key parameters [see bifurcation map].
2. Causality of class varies with the mix of order/disorder.
Causality of class varies with the presence of other 'structures' in the outcome field [Race, Gender, Religion, Ethnicity].
3. Primacy/determinacy of class varies with the nature of feedback between it and other 'structures'
1. The number of genders possible are infinite depending upon which variable is
selected to define gender; as more variables [blood chemistry, body parts, behavioral
patterns, psychological patterns, age] the number expands exponentially.
2. The number of genders actually selected out for cognition/socialization/control varies with rules by which sexuality and sensuality are regulated by a society.
3. Causality of gender as 'structure' varies with secondary behavioral responses [feedback loops] of both subject and society.
1. Most human beings share by far most of the base pairs and genetic encodings in the
2. The number of races possible depends upon the way the human genome is 'sliced up.'
3. Race is a function of 'racism,' i.e., a social process by which some set of biological features are selected as a 'defining' rule and others dis-regarded.
4. The number of races actually defined varies with certain economic and political problems of a society.
E. CRIME AND JUSTICE:
1. Modernistic views on crime and justice require that any given unit act be cast unambiguously into a category of 'guilt' or 'innocence' depending upon
a) formal proof that the act occurred as specified
b) formal proof that the act was prohibited/obligatory
[Foucault's Rule of Optimal Specification]
c) formal proof that the accused was 'responsible' for the act.
2. Chaotic dynamics makes it difficult for any given case to be unambiguously cast into
any given category of crime...one can always make a case that one or more of the formal
requirements above are not met.
3. Modernist views on justice require that if one is found 'guilty,' one must be treated 'rationally,' i.e., the punishment must be coherently applied to all such cases.
[Foucault's Rule of Perfect Certainty]
4. The complexity of the CJS in any given jurisdiction is so complex that equal treatment/disposition of equal appearing cases is very, very difficult.
5. Modernist requirements for structural integrity of both crime and punishment set an impossible task for police, lawyers, judges, corrections peoples and thus built 'delegitimation' into the system.
|Fig. 1. The Soliton||Fig. 2. The changing shape of Structure.||Fig. 3. From Process to Structure.|
ARTICLES IN PRINT ON CHAOS & NONLINEAR SOCIAL DYNAMICS
1991 Change and Chaos Theory. The Social Science Journal. 28(3). Fall.
Chaos theory and Symbolic Interaction. The Journal of Symbolic Interaction, 14:3, Fall.
Part I: Chaos and Crime: From Criminal Justice to Social Justice. The Critical Criminologist. V. 3., No., 2. Summer.
Part II: Chaos and Crime: The ABCs of Crime. The Critical Criminologist. V. 3., No.3. Fall.
The Archeology of Human Knowledge: Premodern, Modern and Postmodern Missions and Methods for the Knowledge Process. The Michigan Sociologist. Fall.
1992 Chaos Theory and Human Agency. Humanity and Society. V. 16: 4. November.
1993 The Great Flying Chaos Learning Circus: A Strangely Attractive Way to Teach Large Sociology Classes. With Anna Zajicek, Jennifer Sult, Tim Wolfe and with the assistance of Ruan Hoe, Andrew Philaretou and Joanne Glago. The Wisconsin Sociologist. Fall.
1994 Chaos Theory and Social Dynamics: Foundations of Postmodern Social Science. In Robert Robertson (ed.), Proceedings of the 2nd Annual Conference on Chaos theory. Forthcoming.
ARTICLES IN DRAFT: Available from T. R. Young, Sociology, TWU, Denton, Tx., 76204.
Chaos Theory and Management Science: Control, Prediction and Nonlinear Dynamics. With L. Douglas Kiel.
CHAOS, CLASS AND COMPLEX SOCIAL DYNAMICS: Structure and Process in Postmodern Philosophy of Science.
Chaos and Causality in Complex Social Dynamics.