The Sociology of
ideas drawn from Goode, 1994-2008
and Pfohl, Images of Deviance and Social Control, 1985. See the disclaimer)
Reaction to and extension of Marxist critique of modern society (Structuralism,
post structuralism and post modernism).
on the development and extension of Formal Control (characteristic of modern
societies), (Rational Systems), Control through Technology), (Irrationality
(like conflict theory)==> create a more human(e) system.
Stanley Cohen: The
Fishing Net (Totally Administered Society)
mechanisms (police, welfare, MI, etc) constantly sweeping through society, catching,
processing (tagging, labeling) and recycling populations (Spitzer)
"The New Penology":
"One reason for the new penology is a revision in the concept
of poverty. Terms like the "underclass" are now used to describe large
portions of the population who are locked into an inescapable cycle of poverty
and despair. Criminal justice managers (emphasis added) now group people by
various collectives based on their racial and social characteristics. Rather
than seek individual rehabilitation they are oriented toward the more realistic
task of monitoring and managing intractable groups. The fact that the underclass
is permanent leaves little hope that its members, many of whom are in the correctional
population, can be helped. Penology then stresses the low-cost management of
a permanent offender population." (Larry Siegel, "Criminal Justice
Update," Fall 1993, West Publications).
- Historical movement has been
from brutal, overt repression to rational, scientific, and bureaucratic control--Administrate/Heal.
See, Gary Marx: The Iron
Fist and the Velvet Glove: Totalitarian Potentials Within Democratic Structures
from The Social Fabric: Dimensions and Issues; James E. Short, Jr., ed.,Sage
Publications, Beverly Hills, CA. 1986. (http://web.mit.edu/gtmarx/www/iron.html)
- Goal: pacify and secure a stable
and predictable work force for modern capitalist industry (today, workers
are no longer needed, so need to regulate even more efficiently)
- Shift has been; from the many
controlling the few, to the few controlling the many (Big Brother is Watching
- Problems with Foucault: Historical
accuracy (empiricism vs. Structuralism)-- Thought and discourse as reality?
Can we derive intentions from the consequences of behavior? Is a society without
social control possible?
Central Ideas of
Social control is problematic:
Not natural, but a product of social
forces, group interests. Politics; winners and losers.
Control is coercive and repressive.
Control: Restrain troublesome populations
- Unemployed and welfare
- Education and the "Hidden
When threat is reduced: dump them
out (Spitzer's Social Junk)
Control may appear humane and benign,
but is in reality oppressive.
Social Control is State (or state
- Integrated institutional networks,
- Circulate the same group of "clients."
- Even the media plays a role, shapes
Social control is unified and coherent.
Control activity moved from the individual
body (demonic)==>to the Spirit (individual "therapy")==> to
the "Body Social" (the Mass)
- Impact of bureaucracy (dysfunctions)
due to too much control or not enough resources?
- Client's perspective? "Clients
themselves more often see these institutions as a shield to protect them rather
than a net to catch them." (But doesn't that make the structuralist point?)
- Informal vs. Formal Control
- Effectiveness of Formal Control?
- Not a tight efficient net (1000
druggies: 300,000 crimes; 1,300 arrests.) Yet they are defined as criminal
and The public actually demands more and tighter control.
- Prison population is up (over
1 million), yet likelihood of someone arrested on a felony charge going to
prison==> 1 in 7.
- Deviants, themselves, think little
of or about formal control: contempt and disdain.
- System is not a smooth operating
- "Iron Fist to Velvet Glove"???
or just the opposite?
Yet, one can't deny the spread of
formalized social control and its impact on our lives and identities. As of
1987 it was estimated that our names pop up in some computer at least
40 times a day. Moreover, federal, state, and local government agencies keep
more than 35 files on each one of us.....
SO........, What is Deviance???????????????????????
Owner: Robert O. Keel email@example.com
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Thursday, January 24, 2008 2:47 PM