Teaching Criminology: Part II

Street Crime

In Part I of this last series for socgrad, I made the case that most of the theories celebrated in crim textbooks and used to ground social policy have serious flaws; the best of the lot are those social psychological theories which stress symbolic interaction, societal reaction, identity transformations and in-group dynamics. But, these too are flawed in that they are:

The theories to which I refer are, again, differential association theory, labelling theory, sub-culture theory, control theory, as well as one genre which I left out, socio-biology. A word about socio- biology later.

Just now, I want to lay out five kinds of crime promoted by capitalism. It is well to remember, as you think about these, that capitalism as an economic form, has made and is making many contributions to the human project; most of us have learned these in some depth: it is the most productive, the most creative, the most flexible, the most responsive and the most enlivening of the major political economies so far instituted within and between societies. It drives a wonderful knowledge process; it tends to destroy ancient systems of inequality which challenge or are useless to its goals of profit, control and growth. It is the negativities of capitalism; especially those which make the most capitalist society of all, at the same time, the most crime- ridden society of all advanced industrialized societies. And it is essential to remember that other forms of inequality drive other forms of crime and feed-back into market dynamics to produce very, very complex and non-linear dynamical processes...but that is another mini-lecture...to come.

Five kinds of crime and their connections to market dynamics:

Different dynamics are involved in the other four kinds of crime promoted by market dynamics. I will discuss organized crime in Part III; White Collar Crime in Part IV; corporate crime in Part V and political crime in Part VI...then will conclude this series and the lectures themselves with a discourse on postmodern criminology.

TR Young

Red Feather
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