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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

Critical Theories II

Finish Radical/Marxist

Currie (Market Society)

Colvin (Coercion)

criticisms of instrumental marxist criminology
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.
elliott currie
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
currie basics
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)
the seven reasons that the market society produces violence
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

seven reasons continued
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

so what is the solution
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
  • 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
colvin type i
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
colvin type ii
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
colvin type iii
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)
colvin type iv
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
how is this a critical theory
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