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Critical Theories II. Finish Radical/Marxist Currie (Market Society) Colvin (Coercion) . Criticisms of Instrumental Marxist Criminology. An “underdog theory” with little basis in fact Are “socialist societies” any different? Some capitalist countries have low crime rates

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Critical theories ii l.jpg

Critical Theories II

Finish Radical/Marxist

Currie (Market Society)

Colvin (Coercion)


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Criticisms of Instrumental Marxist Criminology

  • An “underdog theory” with little basis in fact

  • Are “socialist societies” any different?

  • Some capitalist countries have low crime rates

  • Most crime is poor against poor—Marxists ignore the plight of the poor.


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Elliott Currie

  • One of the more influential Liberal/Radical voices in the past 25 years

    • Confronting Crime (1985)

    • Crime and Punishment in the U.S. (1998)

  • Response to conservative “punishment works” commentators in 1970s

    • No “root causes” of crime, and even if there was, government couldn’t fix them

    • Only tool the government can use is prison


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Currie Basics

  • U.S. distinctive in our violent crime rates

  • U.S. also distinctive as a “Market Society”

    • “Mean” capitalism (sink or swim)

    • As compared to “corporate paternalism”

      • Japan (but see, SAS in the United States)

      • “Top Down”

    • Or “compassionate capitalism”

      • Many European countries

      • Strong union (bottom up)


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The Seven Reasons that the Market Society Produces Violence

1. By “destroying livelihood”

  • By Inherent tendency towards extremes of

    inequality and material deprivation

    3. By weakening other types of public support

    4. By eroding informal support networks


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Seven reasons continued

  • By exalting brutal individualized competition and consumption over “community” and “productive work”

  • Deregulating the “technology of violence

    7. Weakening or eroding alternative political values


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So, what is the solution?

  • Changing Employment

    • Full employment at socially meaningful work at good wages with reasonable hours

      • Integrate individuals into a larger social purpose

      • Stabilizing local communities

      • Reduce the kinds of family stress that put kids at risk for abuse/neglect

    • How?

      • Public and nonprofit sectors

      • Work sharing/reduction of work time


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Colvin

  • Coercion

    • Combination of Traditional “Control” theory with his notion of “Coercion”

    • Types of control

      • Coercive (punitive, demeaning, etc.)

      • Non-coercive (remunerative, normative)

    • Use of control

      • Consistent or Erratic


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Colvin Type I

  • Consistent and Non-coercive

    • Strong social support

    • Mix of remunerative and normative control

  • Social-Psychological Outcomes

    • No modeling of aggression/coercion

    • Strong morals/bonds

    • Low anger, high self control

    • Internal locus of control + high self-efficacy

  • Behavioral Outcomes

    • Non-criminal, non-delinquent

    • Strong tendency towards pro-social behavior


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Colvin – Type II

  • Erratic, Non-coercive

    • Lenient, lax

      • Disinterested controller, use inconsistent remunerative control to manipulate subject (bribe when it suits the controller)

      • Often ignore subjects bad behavior

    • Psychosocial outcomes

      • High self-efficacy, low anger, no coercive modeling

      • Low self-control, “calculative social bond”

    • Behavioral outcomes

      • Explore deviant behaviors, manipulate authority figures, lying, minor street crime, white collar crime


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Colvin – Type III

  • Consistent, Coercive

    • Highly punitive relationship between controller and subordinate

      • Weak social support (threaten to remove)

  • Psychosocial

    • High self-directed anger, rigid control (based on fear), external locus of control, low self-efficacy, weak calculative social bond, strong modeling for coercion

  • Behavioral

    • Low odds of both criminal and pro-social behavior

    • Higher odds of mental illness

    • “Over-controlled” crimes (explosion of violence)


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Colvin – Type IV

  • Erratic, Coercive

    • Highly inconsistent and punitive response to misconduct, no social support

  • Psychosocial

    • High other-directed anger/defiance, low self-control, external locus of control, low self-efficacy, weak/negative/alienated bond, strong coercive modeling

  • Behavioral Outcomes

    • Defiant/hostile towards authority

    • Coercion/intimidation of others

    • Strong potential for chronic predatory criminal


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How is this a “critical” theory??

  • Coercion used BEYOND parenting—some individuals more apt to see coercion from a variety of sources:

    • Policing in certain neighborhoods (Sherman)

    • Workplaces (esp. shitty jobs)

    • State bureaucracies

  • In U.S., both interpersonal and impersonal coercion are tied to INEQUALITY

    • Inner city kids  coercion in school, peer groups, families, jobs…

    • Policy prescription = supportive social and CJS policies


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