Seductions of Crime Jack Katz Ch. 1 Righteous Slaughter People murder to defend what they believe is “good” In this way, they justify their actions (at least at the moment they act) Murderers also justify their actions if they feel their property rights have been violated
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • overall, these murders emerge quickly, are fiercely impassioned, and are conducted with an indifference to legal consequences • these murderers are unaffected by swift, certain, and severe punishment (Classical theory) • most murders lack premeditation • most murderers make no attempt to escape and are quickly apprehended
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • How these murders occur? • 1. The would-be-killer interprets that the victim is attacking what he regards as an eternal human value and that the situation requires a last stand in defense of his basic worth.
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • a majority of murders occur at home or at recreational activities. • people are able to walk away from conflicts at work; conflicts at home are harder to walk away from • also, there are much greater emotional investments at home • recreational places are often places of last resort escape from other spheres of life
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • 2. The would-be-killer then transforms what he initially senses as humiliation into rage. Doing this blinds the killer to his future. It forges a momentary sense of eternal unity with the “good”
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • First, people who become enraged create their own emotions • Then, they allow themselves to be seduced by their emotions in order to act out violently • Similar to the sociology of emotions • Humiliation becomes rage when a person senses that the way to resolve humiliation is to turn on its source • The goal may not be to kill, but to obliterate the source of frustration
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • 3. The would-be-killer organizes his behavior to implement a particular project. The project honors what the killer suffered through violence. If death results, it comes as a sacrificial slaughter.
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • the victim’s death is not a necessary concern of the offender • through violence the offender defines and defends his respectability
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz Ch.2 Sneaky Thrills • not many criminological theories attempt to explain female criminality • models that have been used are crime specific • the highest number of property crimes committed by women are shoplifting offenses
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • Boosters- professional shoplifters; steal for the money, frequently “fencing” the items • Snitches- amateurs or occasional shoplifters; steal on impulse or if the opportunity presents itself • There is little proof for kleptomania (a neurotic compulsion to steal)
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • occasional shoplifters steal for excitement or on a dare • it is also possible that all shoplifters experience this “thrill”
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • Three phases to shoplifting: • 1. Generating the experience of being seduced to shoplift • potential shoplifters often don’t know exactly what they are going to steal • they are attracted or drawn to particular objects (almost a mystical attraction) • shoplifting is shopping without money • people are also seduced by how easy it would be to steal the item
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • 2. Reconquering ones fears in an effort to produce normal appearances • the shoplifter must be on guard that they are not being watched or followed • they must also be careful not to act suspiciously • they must act like they are shoplifting when they are stealing
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • 3. The euphoric thrill of accomplishment • what has been stolen is of less importance than the psychological boost the accomplishment brings • often the item is discarded or given away; these shoplifters do not develop deviant identities; will stop if caught • career shoplifters consider being caught the price one must pay
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • For various reasons, shoplifting can be particularly attractive to adolescents • Also, the role of social class and shoplifting is not clear cut • both poor and wealthy people steal; stealing is not always for monetary purposes
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz Ch.3 Ways of the Badass The process of becoming a badass or adolescent tough guy willing to use violence: • 1. He must appear tough and unwilling to be changed or dominated by the opinions of others. He must appear to be in command of situations and unwilling to back down.
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • may be accomplished in many ways • dress: leather or black clothing, heavy boots, metal adornments, dark sunglasses • language use or lack thereof; silence is important, so are profanities • doesn’t make eye contact, greets others with a punch or slap, etc.
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • 2. He must appear alien and not part of civilized society. His dress, demeanor, and behavior must reflect this. His presence must be unnerving for others. • body language (walking postures) are important • tattoos and body piercings • graffiti writings demonstrate an alien presence
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • 3. He must appear mean; willing to back up his meanness with violence if necessary. He can’t fly off the handle and risk being labeled a “punk” • others must simply believe that physical violence is imminent • must appear as being irrational in their commitment to violence, when they aren’t
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • 1. “soulful chaos” • Attempt to convince others that their violent presence represents chaos; take a sadistic pleasure in violence • 2. “paraphernalia of purposiveness” • Knives, guns, etc.
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • Weapon/No Weapon • Between 1979 and 1991, almost 400,000 youth aged 15-19 died as the result of firearms • In 1991 the offender was armed in 67% of serious violent crimes • 4 times as many juveniles were killed with a gun in 1994 than in 1984. Guns now account for 82% of homicides by juveniles.
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • 3. “mind fucking” • Use of the phrase “fuck you” expresses the badass’s attitude towards others • The “bump”– can be an excuse to initiate violence • “whachulookinat”– even unobtrusive invasion of space may be considered legitimate grounds for reprisal
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz Ch.4 Street Elites • Being a tough guy is one way gang members demonstrate they are “bad” to themselves and others • The major problem teen gangs face is being taken seriously • These youth may have conflicting roles on the street and at home
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • Lower-class gang behavior is much different from middle-class gang behavior • Punks come from the middle-class but deny their roots; they adopt lower-class dress, etc. but deny the territory • Turf wars have escalated with an increase in crack dealing
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • Middle-class kids deny their higher status and adopt lower-class street behavior • Lower-class gang member consider themselves elites (Knights, Kings) • Middle-class gangs are more likely to include girls whereas lower-class gangs are almost all male
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • Ghetto gangs are a major reason such neighborhoods are so dangerous • Kids join gangs to protect themselves from gangs • Violence is a way of showing elite status
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • Gangs as childlike • They stick to their own neighborhoods • Turf wars suggest child-like king-of-the-hill games • Graffiti are used to mark territory
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz Ch.5-7 Robbery as Learned • Explains the persistence of robbery (stick-up) as learned behavior • Persistent robbers cannot be called professional criminals; their robberies result in little money and they don’t improve their technique with age or experience
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • Robbery cannot be equated with extreme poverty or lack of opportunity to obtain money another way • Katz discounts drug addiction models; there are other ways to get money at a lower risk • Most robbers also commit other crimes (burglary, drug sales, etc.) • The thrill of robbery often makes it difficult for people to stop
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • Robbery requires more “skill” and guts than mugging • Muggers want to grab a persons valuables and quickly get away • Robbers declare their intentions to the victim • They must appear threatening and committed to the use of violence if necessary
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • Moral philosophy of the “hardman”—commitment that his will must prevail, regardless of danger to himself • Victims do frequently resist (24% of those who face a robber with a gun)
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • Robbers are usually: • Unemployed • Unmarried with few family obligations • Use hard drugs • These factors are part of an overall pattern of acceptance of a learned “transcendent” way of life • Robbery is part of a larger commitment to a hedonistic lifestyle
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • Chaos is a force that threatens to overwhelm the robber at any time • Things can always go wrong during a robbery • The only way to deal with chaos is through control • He sticks up for himself (literally and figuratively)
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • Robbery is largely a male activity • Katz rejects the notion that females are too incompetent or that they have a distaste for violence • Males and females have different spheres of activities • Male activities allow them to learn violent behavior more than female activities; males also take more risks than females
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • there is a disproportionate number of Black males involved in robbery • the black to white ratio for robbery arrests is 5:1 • other minorities do not have such high arrest rates • one Chicago study found 90% Black v 6% Hispanic
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • Katz offers a sociological view for the racial disparities of robbery • Other ethnic groups have been able to become entrepreneurs, allowing racketeering to develop alongside them to exploit their own groups • They don’t need to resort to robbery to make money • While equally criminal, their crimes will not become part of official statistics
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • The Black community lacks its own businesses • Asians control most ghetto establishments • Most black robbers victimize other blacks trapped in the ghetto with them
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • Katz also offers a phenomenological explanation for Black robbery • “nigger” and “bad nigger” • when blacks use these terms it is a special form of insult • “nigger” represents a non-person status; it implies that he is nothing and is therefore invisible
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • the term “bad” serves to negate the non-person status and replace it with “being” • for a “bad nigger” robbery is a way to show that one is willing to risk his life for small gain and unafraid to make threats and use violence
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz Ch.8 Cold-Blooded Senseless Murder • these murders cause the greatest public concern and puzzlement • they often occur in the midst of a robbery or kidnapping; the victim is a stranger • however, this killing is not an attempt to eliminate witnesses
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • The following are not examples of senseless murder: • 1. righteous slaughter • 2. berserk killers who enter a building and shoot randomly • 3. serial murders which have sexual or sadistic motives • 4. killing a robbery victim when they are in the act of resisting the assailant
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • Katz includes: • The “Onion Field” murders • Gary Gilmore’s murderous rampage • In Cold Blood, etc. • these murders usually occur in the event of a robbery or kidnapping, the individuals offer no resistance, and witnesses are often allowed to escape
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • Three part explanation for such murders: • 1. such individuals hope to have others fear them; to react to them with a sense of primordial fear or dread • cold-blooded killers are the equivalent of ancient deities • they are to be feared and approached only with great caution and respect
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • the wrath of the killer is feared just as God’s is • the badass’s dress, tattoos, and language conveys a message that one must avoid this individual; destruction may follow if you don’t
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • 2. cold-blooded killers are frequently those who have spent most of their lives in reform schools and prisons; they have trouble accepting conventional morality • they lack social and work-related skills • when released from institutionalization they are under much pressure to conform
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • the individual may feel trapped by the pressure to conform • they may want to act bad to prove they can’t be controlled; it is a way of regaining self-esteem
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • “the killings emerge from a dizziness in which conformity is the greatest spiritual challenge and deviance promises the peace of transcendent significance” • killing is the ultimate act of transcending the morality of the community and thus creating a transcendent identity
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • 3. there must be a proper “killing scene” or opportunity for the potential killer to actualize his fantasies • many of these killer, while in prison, fantasize about what they will do once out • most of these murders occur late at night • some occur in specific locations
Seductions of Crime Jack Katz • it would be easy to explain such killers in psychological or sociological terms • most were isolated individuals before the murders (antisocial personality disorder) • or their actions could be a result of a lack of social ties • Katz rejects these theories as too simplistic