Category Archives: Academic Writings

A few piece of work I have done during my time in further education.

In what ways has research on gender and race contributed to the current understanding of problems of youthful offending?

The topics of  gender and race are considered and explained to be the core themes which attract much curiosity and controversy among many scholars particularly their works that focus on delinquency. The relationship of race and crime is one core themes raised concerns among academics and anxiety among the public and in particular, young black males as  it can be suggested that historical events of slave trade  and the Jim Crow era in the US and negative assumptions made about young black males as “trouble makers”, “unintelligent” and prone to violence which intensifies the degree of moral panic within the public sphere. Gender is another issues it appears to be obvious that offending is more of a masculine activity although women are just as capable of offending which is masked by stereotypes.

Literatures on gender particularly by the works of Messerschimdt and R.W Connell provide useful explanations of the link between gender and youth crime. On regards to the theme of masculinity, his book, Masculinities and Crime (1993), demonstrated that masculinities are relation to power and the division of labour (1993 cited in Silvestri and Crowther – Dowey 2008: 63). He further argues that crime is a way of expressing their masculinity, gaining a masculine identity because they are unable to achieve masculinity through legitimately particularly academic success and obtaining employment (1993 cited in Silvestri and Crowther – Dowey 2008: 63), which is similar to Willis who argues from his book Learning to Labour (1977) that young men develop forms of criminality in order to achieve a sense of power and achieve simultaneously suppress their feelings of social oppression (1977 cited in Maguire, Morgan and Reiner 2007: 388). Connell provided a hierarchy of masculinity including, hegemonic masculinity. Based on the Gramscian model of hegemony which illustrates dominance of all forms of masculinity (1971 cited in Silvestri and Crowther – Dowey 2008:61) and this form of masculinity is shared among all men of society. Connell (2000 cited in Silvestri and Crowther – Dowey 2008: 61) that those who conform to hegemonic masculinity opposes the other form of masculinity subordinate masculinity where homosexual men and heterosexual men who exhibit traits associate with femininity are categorised and marginalised masculinity, where men from racial and ethnitic minority backgrounds and men with disabilities are categorised. Hegemonic masculinity associates with heterosexuality, aggression, strength, power, dominance and competition. He (Connell 2000 cited in Silvestri and Crowther – Dowey 2008: 62) argue that those who conform to hegemonic masculinity reject other forms of masculinity, which can be argued that ignores the possibility they exhibit unconscious hostile prejudicial against men from other racial ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientation, class and those with disabilities. additionally, it mainly reflects the aspirations held by white heterosexual males from middle and working class backgrounds.

Masculinity is arguably to have manifests during the socialisation process, particularly in schools as playing truant and throwing aggressive outbursts towards fellow pupils and teachers. However, it had been argued (Bowles and Ginitis 1976, Greenberg 1977 and Messerschimdt 1979 cited in Newburn and Stanko 1994: 88) that although white middle class youths employ greater weight and control in schools than youths of lower working class and racial backgrounds, research on secondary schooling unmasks that adaption to social order of the school requires that all students, regardless of their class and race, surrender to solid authority relations in which students are in fact, castigated and punished for creativity, autonomy and independence. In clarity, school boys experience school life which revolves around being restricted by institutional authoritarian schedules. Tolson (1977 cited in Newburn and Stanko 1994: 88) noted that white middle class boys accept school values and hence, the school implement prominent and influential restraints on these youths and also setting boundaries and moral guidelines. It can be argued that masculinity is viewed as a behavioural reaction to particular conditions and circumstances which all men participate. For example, in the case of white middle class boys, they express their masculinity in education institutions in a way that mirrors their position in the class and race divisions of labour and power (Newburn and Stanko 1994: 89).

They (Newburn and Stanko) further noted that their white middle class status which is both constrains and enables them to monitor their actions which agree with those constraints and opportunities. However, having to find the idea of school emasculating which agrees with Mazerolle (1998 cited in Agnew 2006: 131) who argues that males are less excelling academically than females and often have negative relations with teachers. As a result, white middle class boys engage in youth groups to restore and compensate hegemonic masculine ideas which were discourage in schools (Newburn and Stanko 1994: 89). West and Zimmerman (1987 cited in Newburn and Stanko 1994: 89) argue that in a process of ‘doing gender’ boys simultaneously assemble age – orientated forms of criminality. Messer (1989 cited in Newburn and Stanko 1994: 89) argue that youth crime within a social context of the youth group outside school serves as a resource for masculine realisation and facilities. Newburn and Stanko (1994: 89) noted that playing successful pranks, engaging in minor theft, vandalism and drinking outside school authenticate a boy’s nature and such behaviours are committed in order for boys to establish a public masculine identity, to some extent, lessens in the school environment.

Psychology provided useful explanations on the area of masculinity in youthful offending particularly, the Oedipus complex defined by Sigmund Freud, the founding fathers of psychoanalysis. He explains that boys are torn between craving for the love and affection from their mother concurrently, seeking approval from their tough, macho talking father (Maguire, Morgan and Reiner 1997: 537). However, McInnes (1998: 84) criticised Freud’s notion for providing explicit details because it gives the readers the feeling that he discusses about incest. It had been criticised (Maguire, Morgan and Reiner 2002: 537) that Freud views masculinity on the constitution and idea of constitutional bisexuality. Alder’s notion of masculine protest provides another useful explanation and understanding in explaining masculinity. The notion of masculine protest sees that young males compensate the feelings of powerless, vulnerability and humiliation in past experiences by displaying aggression and resentment (1927 cited in Goodey 1997: 404).

On regards of sexuality and masculinity, it can be argued that various literatures and research which centres on patriarchy and the exploitation of women in that society. Anne Campbell’s ethnographic research on lower ethnic minority youth groups in New York indicates gendered social compositions of power and divisions of labour shape interactions in youth groups, giving men the advantage to prioritise their social lives (1984 cited in Newburn and Stanko 1994: 82). These opportunities arguably to vary by individual status of race, gender and class. Campbell (1984 cited in Newburn and Stanko 1994: 89) also reported from her study, that heterosexuality in one specific group was so vital in a young woman’s group to an extent that if homosexual women were discovered, they would be subjected to gang rape by male members and be excluded from the group. Schwendingers (1985 cited in Newburn and Stanko: 89) similarly reported that exploitation on the basis of sexism is considered to be common to all divided patterns ranging from middle and working class youths. It had been suggested (Newburn and Stanko 1994: 83) that jealousy and suspicion are seen as being one often the most disruptive common practices in youth groups, serial monogamy is required and obligatory. A young man’s feeling of jealousy is often interpreted by a young woman who can be indicated not of his lack of self – control but his emotional and physical attachment to her (Campbell 1990 cited in Newburn and Stanko 1994: 83 -4).

She (Campbell) also discusses that the beatings and the abuse at his hands when he believes that she has been unfaithful are often rendered to express his love her but his disloyalty and infidelity is often blamed upon his desire of other women. Similar research indicates that heterosexuality is essential to subordinate and suppress the sexualities of young women and simultaneously, aid men to form age – orientated styles of masculinity (Newburn and Stanko 1994: 84). Feminist writers argued that women are used by men for sexual purposes which can be masked by their emotional and passionate needs, which reflects to the Oedipus complex, mentioned by Freud where boys under pressure of making same-sex identities during the phallic stage with their fathers simultaneously yearning the love and affection from their mother, which whom they strongly identifies with. As a result, it created ambivalence among boys where they result in growing up to suppress their feminine sides in order to live up society’s expectations of manliness and hence express their hatred towards women through carrying out physical and sexual violence preferably rape. This symbolizes Adler’s definition of masculine protest (1927) to punish and degrade women because of their negative experiences with women particularly during the socialisation process, such as child abuse, matriarchy and rejections from potential girlfriends.

On regards of race and crime which were addressed by Messerschmidt (1993 cited in Maguire, Morgan and Reiner 2007: 389), many scholars provided similar work on race and crime. Tony Sewell’s book Black Masculinities and Schooling: How Black Boys Survive Modern Schooling published in 1997, who illustrates from a case study of teachers in inner city schools that one teacher, Ms Patel an Asian female who is unsympathetic towards black boys and another teach Ms Allen and sees her liberalism as hiding her causes of racism triggered by physical intimidation and assaults by a student (1997 cited in Mirza 1999: 140). She also argues that Sewell sees black masculinity as symbol of mixed cultural identity which embodies with the postmodern black Diaspora in Britain. Jean – Paul Sartre (1963 cited in Messerschimdt 1993: 102) argues that social constructions of  race, class and gender division of labour hampers an individual’s chance of self-improvement. He also argues that ethnic minority youths endure a subjective impoverishment which it is rooted from class and race division of labour. As a result, he (Jean – Paul Satre cited in Messerschimdt 1993:103) argues that ethnic minority youths turn to street crime activity because they see it as opportunities of self – improvement which would provide them with economic and materialistic needs.

Claire Alexander has her own perception of black masculinity, the Black macho status extracted from her book The Art of Being Black: The Creation of Black British Youth Identities (1996) where black young males use in order to resist against racial oppression and victimisation and it is rather seen to compensate the lack of power (Alexander 1996 cited in Mirza 1999: 144). Although Claire Alexander is not primary concerned with the crisis of black male identity , but rather concentrates directly on the shared cultural knowledge and situational symbols which associate with status and identity among black youths and discover  and power is expressed through symbolic interactions (Mirza 1999: 138). This can be agreed with Newburn and Stanko (1994: 78) who argue that possessing a firearm illustrates the traits of masculinity, such as control, power and provides black males the confidence to shrewd in dangerous situations and preserve their macho pride. Spencer (1982 cited in Newburn and Stanko 1994: 72) argues that black young males who come from low-income backgrounds are at great risk of suffering from an identity imbalance because of their actual negative experiences of racism, such as the feedbacks they receive from members of a hostile environment and being exposed to the idealised values and goals which are held in schools and other social institutions.

Women have been treated differently from their male counterparts in the criminal justice system and are less likely to commit crimes than their male counter parts. It can be suggested that women were given more social control than men, fearing that if they were given less social control, they would become “doubly deviant”. Women are also participating in crime but in less serious crimes, such as shoplifting and not paying a TV licence (Coleman and Moynihan 1996 cited in Croall, 1998: 137). Patriarchal societies have hampered women’s spaces for crime as they stereotypically portrayed as mothers and housewives. However, it can be suggested that women engage into crime to express their resentment on the mistreatment they received from patriarchal societies as Pollak (1961) argued that women are clever at concealing their crimes bytaking advantage of their gender stereotypical roles like poisoning their spouses’ food to sexually abusing their children. Carlen (1983 cited in Croall: 146, 1998)  explained that women resort to crime to escape poverty and provide welfare for their children rather than for selfishness rather than in revenge for ill – treatment in patriarchal societies

It has been augured (Campbell 1984; Messerschmidt 1995) that girls engage in gang culture to have a sense of belonging after experiencing exclusion and mistreatment from powerful institutions. It had been argued (cited in Silvestri and Dowey 2008) that the emergence of girl gangs and the birth of the “ladette” culture created a moral panic because girls are rebelling against the gender stereotypes. Instead of preparing for their roles as mothers and housewives, they engage in binge drinking, smoking and develop aggressive behaviour patterns. From the article The Trouble with Girls Today by Gilly Sharpe, published in 2009, illustrates that crime tends to be rooted from the low self – esteem among young girls (2009: 257). Another issue highlighted from her article are experiences of childhood abuse, particularly sexual abuse and also girls having the deal with the emotional and psychological burdens from members of their families, poor parenting and strained relationships (2009: 255 – 6). It can be argued that female offenders are treated more leniently than men particularly those who are single mothers to small children which can be argued (Carlen 1983 cited in Silvestri and Crowther – Dowey 2008: 34) that Scottish sheriffs loathed the idea of incarcerating mothers and dreaded of children growing up motherless.

Academic research on gender and race provided useful and effective explanations that contribute to our understanding on youthful offending in contemporary society influenced by the works of Messerschmidt and Connell. Connell’s concept of hegemonic masculinity shifts reflect on Robert Merton’s revised version of anomie. However, it can be criticised that hegemonic masculinity is overly used and displays array of negative behaviours and tends to concentrate on crime rather than masculinity in a positive environment. The code of masculinity has been expressed in schools through truancy, deliberately excelling academically and bullying which this essay ignored, to compensate the feelings of powerless and emasculation held by rules in authority.

It is not only sociology that provides our understanding, psychology also provides a promising useful explanation particularly Adler’s notion of masculine protest which can be applied effectively in any area of masculinity, particularly the link between race and crime, where black young men engage in crime to compensate their experiences of racial discrimination and oppression by the white hegemonic society. The theme of masculine protest can be even applied on female offending where young women display aggressive behaviour to suppress any feelings of insecurities and the psychological and emotional effects of carrying family burdens and ro express anger and resentment  on past experiences of childhood and domestic abuse and any other form of mistreatment in the patriarchal society at present.

Adler, A (1927/1992) Understanding Human Nature. Oxford: One World

Agnew, R (2006) Pressured into Crime: An Overview of General Strain Theory, Los Angeles, Roxbury Publishing Company

Alexander, C (1996) The Art of Being Black: The Creation of Black British Youth Identities, Oxford Clarendon Press

Bowles, S and Ginitis, H (1976) Schooling in Capitalist America. New York: Basic Books.

Oxford University Press

Campbell, A (1984) The Girls in the Gang, Cambridge, MA: Basil Blackwell

(1990) ‘Female participation in gangs’ in Huff, C. Ronals (ed) Gangs in America, Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Carlen, P. (1983), “Women’s imprisonment”, London: Routledge & Keegan Paul

Coleman, C and Moynihan, J. (1996) “Understanding Crime Data”: Haunted by the Dark Figure. Buckingham:

Greenberg, D.F (1977) ‘Delinquency and the age structure of society’, Contemporary Crises 1 (2): 189 – 224.

Connell, R.W (2000) The Men and the Boys. Sydney: Allen and Unwin.

Croall, H (1998) “Crime and Society in Britain”, Pearson Education, Essex, Chapter7.

Mirza, H.S Black Masculinities and Schooling: a black feminist response, British Journal of Sociology of Education, Vol 20, No.1 1999, pp137 – 147.

Goodey, J (1997) Boys don’t cry: Masculinities, Fear of Crime and Fearlessness, British Journal of Criminology, vol 37 (3)pp: 401 – 16

Maguire M, Morgan, R and Reiner, R (2002) The Oxford Handbook of Criminology, 2edn, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

(2007) The Oxford Handbook of Criminology, 2edn, Oxford, Oxford University Press.


Mazerolle, P (1998) “Gender, general strain and delinquency: An empirical examination”. Justice Quarterly 15: 65 – 91.

McInnes, J (1998) The End of Masculinity, Buckingham, Open University Press.

Messerschmidt, J (1979) School Stratification and Delinquent Behaviour, Stockholm: Gotab.

(1993) Masculinities and Crime; Critique and Reconceptualization of Theory, Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield.

(1994) Schooling, masculinities, and youth crime by white boys in Newburn, T and Stanko, E. A (1994) Just Boys Doing Business? Men, Masculinities and Crime. Oxon, Routledge Ch5.

Messner, M (1989) ‘Masculinities and athletic careers’, Gender and Society 3 (1): 71 – 88.

Newburn, T and Stanko, E. A (1994) Just Boys Doing Business? Men, Masculinities and Crime. Oxon, Routledge

Sartre, J. P (1963) Search for a Method New York: Alfred A Knopf

Sewell, T (1997) Black Masculinities and Schooling: How Black Boys Survive Modern Schooling, Stoke – on – Trent, Trentham Books.

Sharpe, G (2009) The Trouble with Girls Today: Professional Perspective on Young Women’s Offending Sage, Vol 93 (3): 254 – 269.

Silvestri, M and Crowther – Dowey, C (2008) Gender and Crime: Key Approaches to Criminology. London, Sage

Spencer, M.B (1982) ‘Personal and group identity of Black Children: An alternative synthesis’, Genetic Psychology Monographs 106, 59 – 84.

Tolson, A (1977) The Limits of Masculinity, New York: Harper & Row.

West, C and Zimmerman, D.H (1987) ‘Doing gender’, Gender and Society, 1 (2): 125 – 51

Wills, P (1977) Learning to Labour, Farnborough: Saxon House.


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What were the main forces which shaped growing public concern over the condition and problems of children and young people in Britain in the 1980s and 1990s?

The murder of James Bulger sparked feelings of shock and outrage among the public. The perpetrators behind this barbaric crime were 10 years old which exacerbated the degree these feelings. Another similar case in Japan was the murder of 11-year-old Jun Hase by a 14-year-old boy aka youth A who also confessed to strangling a 10-year old girl and previously attacked two school girls ( Smith and Sueda 2008: 7). The children by children killings in both Japan were seen as the method for changes in the criminal justice system. They (Smith and Sueda 2008: 6) argued that these murders were indications of social crisis and failures of education and juvenile justice.

Davis and Bourhill (1997: 29) argued that the media portrays children in crime as either perpetrators or victims is seen as the core in generating and underpinning public perceptions of childhood and can be seen as an indication of destruction of innocence. It can be argued that the media also aroused concerns towards academic writers in the fields of criminology, sociology, psychiatry and psychology. Sociologists such as Cohen (1973 cited in Davis and Bourhill 1997: 29 – 30) argue that the media creates a plague of moral panic in the public sphere and cause a threat to values and interests held in mainstream society. Golding and Middleton (1979 cited in Davis and Bourhill 1997: 30) suggested three phases of moral panic. The first one is where an event may exacerbate the degree of panic. The second phase is about how hidden myths about the problems that emerges among the panic. For example, the child killing cases could reveal issues of poor parenting skills, lack of moral guidelines. Thirdly, is the governmental response towards these crimes. Hay (1995 cited in Davis and Bourhill 1997: 30) argue that a form of moral panic does not mean that audience are passive and are not easily manipulated developed knowledge through personal experiences.

The murder of James Bulger by two 10-year-old boys aroused concerns among academics. Archard (1993 cited in Davis and Bourhill 1997: 30) highlighted the separation of children from adults and as a result, may become vulnerable due to the lack of skills to aid their capability of adulthood. It can be argued that adolescence is an inevitable period of transition from childhood to adulthood with physical, psychological and emotional effects. On the case of Jun Hase, psychiatrists argue that the Kobe case in Japan especially the decapitation and the potential of suggested that the killer may suffer from psychosis (Smith and Sueda 2008: 10). Both cases illustrated that the education system was highlighted as one of the problems to be blamed particularly in Japan where teachers were concerned about their behaviour for a certain period of time. However, no effective measures had been implemented (Morrison 1998, Smith 1994 cited in Smith and Sueda 2008: 10). Masaaki Noda writing in 2000 suggested that both cases illustrated exposure to violent media images particularly through films and video games cause children to have false perceptions of reality.

It can be agreed with Morrison (1998 cited in Smith and Sueda 2008: 10) who believed that the children see human life as a light switch where once a person is dead they can be brought back to life where in the case of James Bulger is that forensic investigators discovered that batteries were inserted in his body. It was not only education as the target for blame; it was also broken families, poor parenting and their environment. It can be argued that delinquency stems from poor parenting and lack of boundaries and moral guidelines. However, this cannot be true as in the case of youth A, his cruel behaviour manifested since the death of his grandmother and during his school career where teachers noted that he was short-tempered and cannot distinguish between right and wrong. From the referral to the psychiatrist by his home-room teacher, it was concluded that his mother’s excessive strictness might be the root causes of his emotional instability (Smith and Sueda 2008: 9). Takamura and Noda (2000 cited in Smith and Sueda 2008: 11) viewed the juvenile killing as a symptom of the destruction of traditional values and video games and other media methods tend to replace traditional family ties in the socialisation process. They also argued that Japan lacks ethical standards and pornography and other explicit materials were available everywhere whereas in France, the culture shields children away from inappropriate material. Mihara (2006 cited in Smith and Sueda 2008: 12) argues that Japanese parents have doubts about the value of parenting and tend to seek approval from their adolescent children rather than acting as figures of authority.

Child abuse was not recognised until the 1980s and since then, soap operas, dramas and other entertainment such as films began to produce storylines which centred on child abuse (Davis and Bourhill 1997: 34). Child abuse comes in many forms, emotional, physical and sexual abuse. It can be argued that these forms of abuse may have a dramatic impact on a child’s development which could even last into adulthood. Franklin and Parton (1991 cited in Davis and Bourhill 1997: 35) noted that since the 1970s the media coverage of tragic murder cases of children killed by their parents or caregivers illustrated that these evidence provided an effective proof that child abuse could result in murder. The deaths of Maria Colwell in 1973, Jasmine Beckford in 1985 and Kimberly and Carlile and Tyra Henry in 1987 at the hands parents and stepfamilies were given substantial degree of media attention.

The faces of these children are plastered on front pages of the tabloids and social work textbooks etched the minds of the public, professionals and academics (Davis and Bourhill 1997: 35). It can be argued that sexual abuse are viewed differently from other forms of crime and sends a plague of bewilderment and ambivalence among the public and areas of academia. Davis and Bourhill (1997: 44) viewed that sexual abuse was considered as widespread and criticisms were made towards social workers, child protection and care professionals for negligence. It can be suggested that the occurrence of sexual abuse went beyond the condemnation of professionals, as children were viewed as vindictive liars and are likely to fabricate stories as Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of the NASUWT quoted in the Guardian in March 1994: “Children are much more sexually aware than they ever were, and they’re are looking for things, and they know that if they can make an accusation then they can make the teacher pay for it, even if the accusation is totaly false and malicious and the majority of such accusations are”
Nigel de Gruchy could be criticised for not acknowledging that children are emotionally vulnerable and unable to give consent as they are bewildered and unaware of their surroundings.

Hay (1995 cited in Smith and Sueda 2008: 13) viewed the Bulger case as a powerful catalyst for new punitive penalising methods. Politicians and media observers believed that children are becoming more dangerous and violent. Explanations included breakdown of family relationships, lack of moral guidelines, discipline and the corrupting influence of violent media materials (Smith and Sueda 2008: 13). Scraton (1997 cited in Smith and Sueda 2008: 13) noted that authorities such as the Association of Chief Police Officers believed that the courts lacked control in dealing with persistent young offenders and power of establishment with liberal views were to blame because they over – emphasised welfare at the expense of discipline and punishment. The 1980s saw the emergence of populist punitiveness by politicians. Bottoms (1995 cited in Muncie 2002: 453) implies three explanations for this attractiveness of this new ‘disciplinary commonsense (Hall 1980 cited in Muncie 2002: 453). The first reason is the belief that increased punitive methods may be effective in reducing crime through deterrence and incapacitation. The second reason is that it could provide promotion of moral agreement and thirdly, because politicians were confident that New Labour would be elected (Newburn cited in Muncie 2002: 453).

New Labour’s influences on crime reduction connects with the Broken Windows thesis by James Q Wilson and George Kelling (1982) where they argued that crime and disorder usually associates with a form of developmental categorisation (Newburn cited in Muncie 2002: 453). Rehabilitation was another punitive measure which was applied in the murder cases in Britain and Japan where Sue Bailey, a psychiatrist specialising in adolescent forensic psychiatry writing in 1996 view that children who carry out these heinous crimes obtain a sense guilt and shame (1996 cited in Smith Sueda 2008: 17). She also regards guilt as the emotion for remorse and suggests that killers will go through a series of emotional conflicts and behaviour needs to be neutralised through combinations of art therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy with the aim to promote victim empathy.

This essay concluded the murder cases in Britain and Japan illustrated similar political and public reactions. It highlights that Japanese values lacked moral boundaries and guidelines and value of parenting was not acknowledged. However, the Japanese Society highly emphasised  rehabilitation that concentrates on artistic interventions to express emotional imbalance and psychotherapy which considers to be effective. This essay finally illustrates that the media through violence and video games plays a significant influence on the minds of children affecting their ability to distinguish from right and wrong.

Archard, D (1993) Children: Rights and Childhood, Routledge, London UK

Bailey, S (1996) ‘Sadistic and Violent Acts by Children and Young People’ in P. Cavadino (ed) Children Who Kill, pp. 25 – 37. Winchester: Waterside Press.

Bottoms, A.E (1995) ‘The philosophy and politics of punishment and sentencing’, in Clarkson, C and Morgan, R (eds) The Politics of Sentencing Reform, Oxford, Oxford University Press

Cohen, S (1973) Folk Devils and Moral Panics. St Albans Paladin.

Davis, H and Bourhill, M (1997) in Scraton, P, Childhood in Crisis Ch2

De Gruchy, N , The Guardian 19th March 1994

Franklin, B and Parton, N (1991) Social Work, the Media and Public Relations . London, Routledge

Golding, P and Middleton, S (1979) Images of Welfare.: Press and Public Attitudes to Poverty, Martin Robertson, Oxford. Oxford University Press.

Hall, S (1980) Drifting into a Law and Order Society, London, Cobden Trust

Hay, (1995). ‘Mobilisation through interpellation: James Bulger, juvenile crime and the construction of a moral panic.’ Social and Legal Studies, vol.

4, no. 1, 197-223

Mihara, Y (2006) Shonen Hanzai ro Shinteki Stohri (The Psychological Account of Juvenile Delinquency) Kyoto: Kitaoji Shobo

Morrison, B (1998) As If. London. Granta

Muncie, J (2002) Youth Justice: Critical Readings, Sage Publications.

Newburn, T (2002) in Muncie, J (2002) Youth Justice: Critical Readings, Sage Publications Ch31

Scraton, P (1997) Childhood in Crisis, London, UCL Press

Smith, D and Sueda, K (2008) The Killing of Children by Children as a symptom of national crisis: Reactions in Britain and Japan, Criminology and Criminal Justice. Sage Publication Vol, 8 no 5

Takamura, K and Noda, M (2000) ‘Japanese Society and the Psychopath’, in Masuzoe, Y (ed) Years of Trial: Japan in the 1990s, pp. 246 – 55. Tokoyo:  Japan Echo

Wilson, J.Q and Kelling, G (1982) ‘Broken Windows’, Atlantic Monthly, March, pp. 29 – 38



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Why is the Police Culture a serious obstacle to reform?

Police Culture is defined as a set of beliefs and values shared within the police force along with the patterns that associate within the force, such as respect and comradeship. Organisational culture is the common type of culture which is defined by writers like Schein (1985: 6 cited in Newburn 2003: 197) and is understood that the beliefs, values and behaviour within the force are unconsciously taken for granted . Kier (1999:26 cited in Newburn 2003: 197) noted that organisational cultures have a vital influence on how police officers react to certain things and their relationships towards their colleagues on the aspects regards of gender, race and religion. Gender quality is one of the most influential features highlighted within the police and organisational cultures (Morgan 1992 cited in Newburn 2003: 197). Gregory and Lees (1999: 50 cited in Newburn 2003: 197) highlighted an example of gendered quality within the police force like male bonding within policing. They believed that male bonding is essential when it comes to dealing with dangerous situations. Nonetheless, Kier (1999: 27 cited in Newburn 2003: 197) also argued that male bonding involves one common value shared among them is the machismo value.

Reiner (2000: 87 cited in Newburn 2003) noted that cop culture, a set of patterns of understandings with the aims of aiding officers to adjust to the tensions when it comes to tackling issues which are confronting to the police. He also emphasises (2000: 90 cited in Newburn 2003: 199 -200) that isolation, risk – taking, authority and pragmatism are all the central building blocks of cop culture. Punch (1985: 187 cited in Newburn 2003: 198) criticised that the strain and anxiety among the police were embellished by olice officers and police research who become hypnotised by the police world and assigned to develop behaviour patterns rather than accepting the similarities of other occupations. For example, Winslow 1998 and Kier 1999 (Newburn 2003: 198) that cop culture concentrates and associates with junior police officers in the front – line policing rather than middle, senior managers and even superintendents.

The media play a partial influence on police culture where they are portrayed as crime fighters who carry out numerous tasks from driving fast in patrol cars to raiding homes of criminal who believed to possess illegal drugs (Newburn 2003: 200). It can be criticised that police officers portray differently from what they are seen from the TV show such as the Bill. In reality, police officers are viewed as crime fighters and more importantly in fact, as peace keepers who maintain social order and deal with case files and paper work which is suggested by Michael Banton (1964 cited in Newburn 2003: 201 – 2) who carried out the first study on British policing. However, Ericson and Haggerty (1997: 299 cited in Newburn 2003: 201) who observed the Canadian police officers, learnt that police officers make complaints about doing paper instead of pursuing crime like catching and apprehending criminals.

Newburn (2003: 202 – 3) stressed that new police recruits are hastened to assimilate to the norms and values within the police force and have to learn the tricks of the trade in order to be not only physically strong, but emotionally as well as policing is considered to be dangerous and distressing when dealing with homicide, fatal assaults to breaking up pub fights and affray. Fielding (1988: 54 cited in Newburn 2003: 203) sees that police training provides the new recruits the tools and practice in fostering occupational cultures within the police. In contrast, culture values are originated from expressing ideas among the police and the back chats made among colleagues and conversations made in corridors and staff changing rooms. Training also has the opportunity to hypodermic inject a dose of police reality with the intention to vaccinate the naive and deluded minds of new recruits so they learn that policing is not what they see on fictional TV shows. The most essential tradition for new recruits is the progression from self – sufficiency to becoming a productive member of the team where aims and values are shared (Fielding 1988: 189 cited in Newburn 2003:203).

It is believed that there were various explanations that advocate the debate among cultural and structural within policing especially the uses of discretion. From a political lens, Jerome Skolnick (1966: ch3 cited in Maguire, Morgan & Reiner 2007: 918) noted from his classic formulation that the police in liberal democracy are faced with a problem which involves them working under pressure in order to succeed within the form of law enforcement, but they were restricted from the methods they can use during the discretion process. He categorized three views of cop culture: suspiciousness, internal solidarity and conservatism.

Suspiciousness transpires from the pressure among the police to achieve results by catching and seizing criminals and the fear which comes with it. It can be criticised that suspiciousness makes the police liable to operate with prejudiced stereotypical portrayals of villains and deviants.  Internal solidarity bonds with social isolation. Solidarity is all about colleagues facing fear and life – threatening situations together. In contrast, social isolation is the creation of arranged aspects of work, such as the shift system and people’s caution towards interacting with authority figures. However, isolation could magnify the stereotypical portrayals of villains in terms of race, class; gender and class whereas, solidarity could be used as a tool to prevent professional misconduct. Conservatism from a moral and social angle is that police function is seen as the heart of representing and in defending authority and are in duty of the protecting and preserving law and order. In some cases, police are likely to have an option or opinions that are influenced by the narratives which is deemed influential. One example, they find themselves sympathetic and empathetic with deviants especially, women who are apprehended for theft or deviants with mental health disorders and criminals that come from broken environments. Political conservatism is a less common element of police culture. Robert Reiner (2000: 191 – 4 cited in Maguire, Morgan & Reiner 2007: 918) noted that police officers are liable to political right despite of having working class values.

Structural explanations about police culture highlight the importance of beliefs and values within the police force which are relevant in explaining their customs. These values and beliefs are converted into actions in distinct circumstances. For instance, Waddington (1996b cited in Maguire, Morgan & Reiner 2007: 920) argues that police officers who exhibit signs of racial discrimination are restricted from displaying racist views within the work place. Police work is structured by the authorisation and administration of police. The modern police are largely prepared for duty in the public sphere. In contrast, police practice is shaped by the legal and social institution of privacy outlined by characteristics of class, race and gender.

Evidence are argued to vindicate why police culture is considered a serious obstacle to be reformed. Many writers and researchers were challenged by debates that question if there is likelihood that police culture can be changed into a more positive form as it is deemed to be overwhelmingly negative due to sensitive matters within race and gender. One of the writers included in this debate is James .Q. Wilson (1968: 4 cited in Newburn 2003) who concluded after carrying out a study on American policing, that the uses of force was placed on behaviour patterns among police officers. .Janet Chan (1997: 92-3 cited in Newburn 2003: 219) argues that police cultures are susceptible to external pressure and anxiety. She (1996, 1997 cited in Newburn 2003: 219 – 20) noted from an encouraging study which arouse debates about the change of police culture, learnt that corruption within the police department in New South Wales, Australia was accepted. However, it had been changed as the police department were obliged to concede and implement an anti – corruption strategy; a version of New York’s zero tolerance strategy which would prevent these mistakes from happening again.

Gender is suggested to be an issue which sends a wave of concern among many writers, particularly those with feminist views particularly views on radical feminism form debates to vindicate whether there are serious matters relating to gender within the policing, such as bullying, sexual harassment and discrimination. It has been noted (Heidensohn cited in Newburn 2003: 557) that most of the police recruits were  male by seventy – five years since the Metropolitan police was established in 1829 by the Police Acts. Nevertheless, the transformation between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries saw the launch of policewomen’s movement by those who advocated the employment opportunities for women within the police force.

Dorothy Schulz (1995 cited in Newburn 2003: 560) noted that Alice Stebbins – Wells was appointed as the first female police officer in 1910 by the Los Angeles Police Department after the policewomen’s movement. Few renowned writers like Margaret Damer Dawson, Mary Allen and Nina Boyle who have been linked with first wave feminism pushed for voluntary policewomen to patrol the streets in Britain. Frances Heidensohn (cited in Newburn 2003: 561) noted that women’s position within the police was persisted to be limited until the end of the Second World War. They were assigned and trained to carry out tasks, from escorting female prisoners to dealing female victims of crime especially victims of rape. The acceptance and legislation of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 was considered a stepping stone to vital changes of women’s roles within policing. It can be suggested that feminist writers are from the middle and upper classes and considered to be well educated.

Even though it can be suggested that women who pursue careers within policing sent a wave of rebellion against society’s stereotypical roles of women, as arguably, women are prone to victimisation by patriarchal influences within policing. Martin (1980) carried out the first study of policing in Washington DC in attempt find out how women adapt to occupational culture, especially cultures that are male- dominated where women are viewed as sex objects. Female police officers are  argued to be seen as a “threat” to the male macho chauvinistic values held in policing especially if they were promoted to higher hierarchal positions. Radical feminists could argue that women are subjected to sexual bullying which comes in minor forms, such as sexual comments and name – calling to most serious forms like rape although it can be suggested that rape is rarely committed. Disturbingly, it can be imagined that female officers are suggested to feel they are bullied, blackmailed or bribed into giving sexual favours to male chief constables disturbed by the anxiety of losing their promotion or career altogether.

It is suggested that subcultures are formed among female police officers however, it has been noted by Marissa Silvestri (2000, 2003 cited in Newburn 2003: 568) who emphasised numerous critical outlooks of senior policewomen and discovered that they felt isolated within their hierarchal positions. Cases of sexual discrimination and harassment against women police officers were published in newspapers, such as the case of Dee Mazurkiewicz, who became the second policewoman turned detective constable to win a sexual harassment case against Thames Valley Police, claimed that her career was jeopardized by being nicknamed “Massive Cleavage” and was accussed of exposing her breasts during suspect interrogation (The independent 11th November 1997).

Arguably, one of the reasons why police culture is seen as negative is how police respond to crimes, such as domestic violence, physical and sexual abuse of children and crimes of sexual nature against women. It can be suggested that women are more sympathetic when dealing these sensitive issues than men as they can take a maternal and nurturing approach to dealing with victims’ emotions and seem to be matured . Jones (et al 1994 cited in Newburn 2003: 569) noted after researching four provincial on new responses towards crimes committed against women and children, such as the creation rape and sex assault examination suites and officers to specialise in child protection. However, the case of Victoria Climbe, an eight year old girl who was murdered at the hands of her mother and boyfriend triggered Lord Laming (2003: 296, 309 cited in Newburn 2003: 569) to observe and learnt the training that the police officers who were involved in this case was inadequate although the front – line officers were women.

Race is suggested to be the core issue which raised controversy and is concentrated more than gender historically. Research vindicate that ethnic minorities are subjected to discrimination as victims and employees within policing. Since the 1960s, it can be argued that ethnic minorities are represented in sports, business, politics, the civil service and medicine and none of them are represented in policing. Researches vindicate that police assess and categorise people of their ethnic origin. For example, it had been noted (Cain 1973, Graef 1989: 131 cited in Newburn 2003: 529) that studies reveal that Asians were classified as clever liars, deceptors fraudsters and potential illegal immigrants whereas in contrast Graef (1989, Reiner 1991 cited in Newburn 2003: 529) noted that black people are suggested to be trouble – makers, sexual deviants, highly aggressive, non – intelligent and participate mainly in violent crime and drug abuse.

Numerous researches illustrated that Black and Asian police officers were subjected to racial discrimination by their white counterparts. An overwhelming interview of ethnic minority police officers by Holdaway (1993 cited in Newburn 2003: 540) revealed that racist remarks and jokes were normally “a way of life” among police conservations which are carried out in canteens or changing rooms. It had been noted (Smith and Gray 1985; Holdaway 1983 cited in Maguire, Morgan & Reiner 2007: 436) from qualitative research conducted on police culture revealed racial derogatory words, such as ‘Paki’ ‘Nigger’ and ‘Coon were commonly used and accepted in police conversations. The Journal of Policing and Reducing Crime contained research which suggested that Black and Asian officers were slower than their white counterparts in obtaining promotion (1999: vi) It was also believed that ethnic minority graduates are more likely to have their applications withdrawn or rejected than their white counterparts. It can be argued that racism could have an immediate effect on career prospectus among Black, Asian and Ethnic minority officers. It had been noted (Hunte 1966 cited in Newburn 2003: 530) that oppressive policing could be originated to the 1960s where a report to the West Indian Standing Council illustrate the police participate in practices like ‘nigger – hunting’.

It can be argued that ethnic minorities and black people in particular, display pessimistic attitudes towards police officers. It had been noted (Gordon 1984 cited in Newburn 2003: 530) immigration was emphasised as a controversial debate which determined the experiences of policing among ethnic minorities where police officers were granted the powers by The Immigration Act of 1971 to apprehend and question those who were alleged to immigrate to the country illegally or overstaying their terms of entry and would be stopped and searched.

The brutal assault of Rodney King, an African – American by Police Officers in Los Angeles after being stopped for drunk – driving in March 1993 is argued to be proved as evidence that police abuse their powers of arrest and suggested that this and many cases of police brutality encourage or influence ethnic minorities to view the police as “racist”. Racially – motivated harassment among ethnic minority persisted until the British government and the police in 1981 accepted the problem and begin to record it (Home Office 1981 Bowling 1999). Bowling (1999 cited in Newburn 2003: 540) who carried out a study in East London, noted that ethnic minorities who experienced racist abuse were unhappy with the way the police respond to dealing these crimes and felt the police could have done better and felt the police did not take these crimes seriously. However, some compromised with how racist abuse was dealt with by the police and less than one – third of the people interviewed were satisfied. Stephen Lawrence, a black youth who was murdered in a racially – motivated and unprovoked attack triggered Sir William Macpherson to carry out a report of the police response to the murder, and discovered there was an indication of institutional racism. In his 10 year review report, it been noted that Doreen Lawrence, the mother of the Mr Lawrence felt that black families were treated differently from white families. She also believed that institution racism exist in some areas of the police force. Dwayne Brooks, a friend of Mr Lawrence recommends that racial allegations made by members of the public against officers should be considerably practiced with caution and taken more seriously. The report concluded that black people are persisted to be overrepresented in the National DNA Database and in the criminal justice system. They (Black people) are remained disproportionately represented in stop and search statistics. The report also recommended the police must concentrate on confronting issues of racist discrimination within the workforce.

On the whole, it is clear to be obvious that police culture is a serious obstacle to be reformed from the evidence mentioned in this essay. This essay emphasises that majority of police officers were white middle class males with machismo values. Police Officers are argued to have indirect unconscious disturbing views of racism and sexism in policing and the police force is argued to be a breeding ground for corruption which may in turn influence policing tackles seriousness of hate crimes experienced by Black Asians and Ethnic minorities, and members of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender communities along with cases of domestic and sexual violence and child abuse. The media obviously, plays a manipulative influence on police culture which deludes our minds towards policing rather realities of behind the scenes. It is clear that institutional racism continues to exist in many forms along with gender discrimination in policing especially in dealing bullying in the workplace. However, writers should be criticized for ignoring the issues of sexuality and religion in policing which is blinded by race and gender. This essay could recommend that more training should be provided within the police force to become more sensitive in dealing with victims of male rape, hate crimes and domestic violence especially in ethnic minorities. It can be recommended that strategies should be implemented to tackle languages barriers within ethnic minority communities and  should continue to tackle indirect forms of discrimination in the private and public sphere of policing.

Banton, M, (1964) The Policeman in the Community Tavistock, London

Bland, N, Munday, G, Russell, J and Tuffin, R (1999) Career Progression of Ethnic Minority

Officers: Policing and Reducing Crime Police Research Series Paper 107 Home Officers

Bowling, B (1999). Violent Racism: Victimisation, Policing and Social Context, revised edn, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Cain, M (1973) Society and the Policeman’s Role. London: Routledge.

Chan, J (1996) Changing Police Culture, British Journal of Criminology 36(1): 109 – 34

Chan, J (1997) Changing Police Culture: Policing in a Multicultural Society, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

Erickson, R and Haggerty, K (1997) Policing the Risk Society. Oxford: Clarendon Press

Fielding, N (1988) Joining Forces: Police, Training, Socialization and Occupational Competence. London, Routledge.

Foster, J ‘Police Cultures’ cited in Newburn, T (2003) Handbook of Policing, 1st edition Wilian Publishing, Devon

Gordon, P (1984) White Law London: Pluto

Graef, R, (1989) Talking Blues: The Police in their Own Words

Heidensohn, F ‘Gender and Policing’ cited in Newburn, T (2003) Handbook of Policing, 1st edition Wilian Publishing, Devon

Holdaway, S. (1983) Inside the British Police, Oxford: Blackwell

Holdaway, S (1993) The Resignation of Black and Asian Officers from the Police Service. London: Home Office

Hunte, J (1966) Nigger Hunting in England? London: West Indian Standing Conference.
Jones, T., Newburn, T and Smith, D (1994) Democracy and Policing. London: PSI

Kier, E (1999) ‘Discrimination and military cohesion: an organisation perspective’, in M. Fansod Katzenstein and J. Reppy (eds) Beyond Zero Tolerance: Discrimination in Military Culture. Lanham MD: Rowman & Littlefield 25 – 52.

Laming, H (2003) The Victoria Climbe Inquiry. Report of an Inquiry by Lord Laming (Cm 5730) London. HMSO

Maguire, M, Morgan, R & Maguire (2007) The Oxford Handbook of Criminology 4ed, Oxford University Press, Oxford

Martin, S.E (1980) Breaking and Entering Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Morgan. D. (1992) Discovering Men. London Routledge.

Newburn, T (2003) Handbook of Policing, 1st edtion Wilian Publishing, Devon

Newbun, T & Reiner, R Policing the Police cited in Magure, M, Morgan, R & Maguire

(2007) The Oxford Handbook of Criminology 4ed, Oxford University Press, Oxford ch27.

Punch, M (1985) Conduct Unbecoming: The Social Construction of Police Deviance and Control. London. Tavistock

Reiner, R (1991) Chief Constables. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Reiner, R (2000) The Politics of the Police 3ed Oxford University Press Oxford.

Schein, E (1985) Organizational Culture and Leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey – Bass.

Schulz, D.M. (1995) From Social Worker to Crime Fighter: Women in US Municipal Policing. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Silvestri, M (2000) ‘’Visions of the future’. PhD thesis, University of London

Silvestri, M (2003) Women in Charge: Policing, Gender and Leadership. Collompton: Willan

Skolnick, J. (1966), Justice Without Trial, New York: Wiley.

Smith, D.J and Gray, J. (1985) Police and People in London, London: Policy Studies Institue.

Waddington, P.A (1999b) ‘Police (Canteen) Subculture: An Appreciation’, British Journal of Criminology

Wilson, J.Q (1968) Varieties of Police Behaviour: The Management of Law and Order in Eight Communities, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press.

Winslow, D (1998) ‘Misplaced loyalties: the role of military culture in breakdown of discipline in peace operations’, Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, 35(3): 345 – 67.

Internet site (s)

The Macpherson Report – Ten Years On (2009) HoC: Home Affairs Committee: London.


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Would we be better treating drug users primarily as offenders or addicts?

This debate may attract the ambivalence from members of the general public and members within the criminal justice system which obviously argue whether drug users should be treated as offenders because of the influences drugs may have on their behaviour and rational actions which may pose a threat to the public sphere. Others feel that drug users should be treated as addicts because they a product of their environment that revolves around early adverse effects.

Those who argue that drug users should be treated as drug addicts as some of them do not resort to violence or engage in criminal activities. Some of them turn to drugs with intention to help them anesthetize negative thoughts and feelings associated with social adversity, such as unemployment, poverty, social exclusion and to most personal issues such as childhood abuse. Other motives may include pressure of not meeting society’s expectation on gender as men in particular, are under pressure to conform to the expectations of masculinity held in society and drugs and alcohol are seen as the means of coping and give them a sense of “dutch” courage to numb any emotion that are feminine and preserve a facade of hyper-masculinity rather than to sought help and support from services that deal with mental health. Robert Merton who revised Durkheim’s theory of anomie (1957) can support the argument that drug users should be seen as addicts because it indicates the frustration and failure to succeed in accomplishing goals held in mainstream society and dropped out as a result and it categorized under retreatism, the fourth response to anomie.

Various evidence suggest to prove on why drug users should be seen as drug addicts. It can be argued that people who are drug addicts suffer from mental illness such as depression, especially if it has been exacerbated by heavy consumption of alcohol, they turn to stimulants, such as amphetamine, LSD and hallucinogenic drugs which may cause psychosis (Bean 2008: 43) to relieve the depressive symptoms. Bean (2008: 43) also argues that people with schizophrenia tend to take heroin to alleviate their schizophrenic symptoms and view it as an alternative to psychiatric treatment. In order for drug addicts to continue their consumption, education on how to administer drugs effectively should be provided by health services and in additional should be provided with clean syringes and needles especially for those who take heroin.

Drug addicts who want to stop or reduce cravings should have access to methadone. by allowing drug addicts to be granted access to methadone and other ways practicing drug taking is argued to teach them to take personal responsibility and be given strategies to reduce risk of  drug relapse and drug harm to the public sphere (Pat O’Malley 2008: 458). Risk minimisation which Pat O’ Malley mentions according to his article Experiments and Risk in Criminal Justice is considered to be realistic and proves to be an optimistic tool which contributes to viewing drug users as addicts as they are at risk of cross contamination of HIV and Hepatitis. It is not only illicit drugs that needs risk minimization strategies but also those who are addicted to alcohol and prescription medication are considered by society to cause harm to the public. However, it can be argued that removing the moral blame and moralizing drug addict is considered to be rare in these studies (O’Malley 2008: 458).

Pat O’Malley should be agreed on the rarity of decriminalizing drug users as addicts and be posed as offenders as drug offenders pose a moral threat to mainstream society as they engage in criminal activities to fund their addictions influenced by the side effects drugs may cause . It can be agreed with Garland (1996 cited in O’Malley 2008: 459) that drug addicts are viewed as monstrous and ready to be sanctioned and excluded under the criminology of the other. Under the term, criminology of the self, drug addicts/offenders are seen as rational actors who simply chose to be addicted to drugs rather not determined by their social pathologies.

In additional to O’Malley and Garland’s explanation, classical criminology thinkers such as Jeremy Bentham and Ceasare Beccaria that drug users chose to remain as addicts and offend as a result of their freedom of choice and should faced with punishment for exploiting the degree of free will by maximizing the pain of not having access to illegitimate financial means to fund their habit by restricting spatial opportunities for criminal activities and minimizing the pleasure on the rewards of getting high and getting the buzz of feeling superior and gloat on their illegitimate success and the humiliation endured by the public and their victims. Andrew Von Hirsch, an author of Doing Justice (1979), could agree by explaining  the only option to stop drug users from being offenders is imprisonment as he feels rehabilitation does not work.  Those with Marxist lens may feel and argue that drug addiction and offending is an outcome of inequalities among the rich and the poor as the rich are in the financial position to sought help privately and feel that those from poor and working class backgrounds are stigmatized as monstrous and borderline criminal. They also argue that the bourgeoisie (ruling class) are in the position of choice to make the rules on who should be define as addicts or offenders on the basis of their selfish interest.

In conclusion, treating drug users as offenders or addicts seem to become a constant light of discourse in the public sphere and academia. Garland who sees drug addicts as monstrous and threatening to the public sphere and O’ Malley should be praised for explaining that drug addicts should be treated as offenders as it triggers anxiety among the members of the public sphere because of cross contamination of HIV and Hepatitis. Robert Merton should be praised and appreciated for his explanation that drug users become addicts as a result of the frustration of unable to accomplish goals in mainstream society. Education was highlighted in the article and should be praised as education is symbolized as the key to safer drug administration, and the acknowledgment on the consequences of drug induced criminality and key to public health and safety. The essay suggest it would be best for drug users be given the opportunity to ask themselves do they see themselves as an addict or an offender.

Bean P (2008) Drugs and Crime Oxd University Press.

Garland D (1996) ‘The Limits of the Sovereign State’, British Journal of Criminology 36: 445 – 71.

Merton, R K (1957) Strain Theory and Social Structure New York Free Press.

O’Malley P (2008) Experiments in risk and criminal justice, Theoretical Criminology, 12/4 : pp451 – 469.

Von Hirsch, A (1979) Doing Justice: The Choice of Punishments – Report of the Committee for the study of Incarceration, New York, Hill and Wang.

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Why crime continues to be a masculine pursuit?

The theme of masculinity and crime is rumored to attract the minds of many academics particularly those with feminist views who argue that crime is male – orientated. The purpose of this essay is going to discuss and challenge on whether crime continues to be a masculine pursuit as it is obvious that the majority of crimes are committed by men. This essay investigates on what makes crime a masculine activity although women perpetrate crimes as well, but it is suggested to be only a minority, as women are stereotypically considered to be non – deviant. There had been numerous literature written on masculinity particularly by writers such as Connell and Messerschmidt where this essay centres on analysing and criticising the works composed by these writers. Other literature focused on male – orientated crimes ranging from, victimless crimes, such as robbery, burglary, drug offences, drug induced crimes to most serious crimes, such as rape and homicide. This essay will concentrate on masculinity, masculine subcultures, ethnic minorities, and crisis of masculine identities and sexual violence against women. It will use theoretical approaches of sociology, particularly the strain theory as it can be argued that this theory could be helpful in explaining the sociological on persistence of masculinity and crime, and psychology particularly the Oedipus complex, a notion by Sigmund Freud. Works on masculinity has been increased significantly within the last few years (Messerschmidt, 1993, 1997 and 2002 cited in Maguire, Morgan and Reiner 2007: 387) and it was centred on sex roles and body differences. This essay will start by explaining the notion of hegemonic masculinity with intention to provide a stepping into the world of men and crime.

Hegemonic masculinity was based on the Gramscian model of hegemony where it illustrates the dominance of one form of the social hierarchy over all forms (Gramsci 1971 cited in Silvestri and Crowther – Dowey 2008: 61). This form of masculinity is suggested to be highly accepted in mainstream society and is seen as an ideal form of manhood which is embedded in all men than individual ideas of masculinity. Masculinity has been expressed through risk taking activities especiall excessive drinking, drug consumption and predatory violence (Jefferson 1996a cited in Silvestri and Crowther – Dowey 2008: 61). Gramsci’s model of hegemony was selected by R.W Connell to explain gender relations. She argues that hegemonic masculinity illustrates characteristics, such as power, dominance, strength and competition (1995 cited in Maguire, Morgan and Reiner 2007: 388). She (Connell) also argues that masculinities manifests during the secondary socialisation process, particularly in school playgrounds, institutions where boys display aggressive and violent outbursts towards the teachers, their peers and play truant (1995 cited in Maguire, Morgan and Reiner 2007: 388).

However, the concept of hegemonic masculinity has been subjected to various criticisms particularly Collier (1998 cited in Maguire, Morgan and Reiner 2007: 388) who argues that hegemonic masculinity is an extensive collection of negative masculine behaviours and criminal activities rather than masculinity being expressed positively in sports and other physical activities, employment and academic success. It can be obvious and argued that hegemonic masculinity is a goal which is narrowly shared by white middle class heterosexual males with conservative views. Tony Jefferson (2002 cited in Maguire, Morgan and Reiner 2007: 388) contributed to the criticism of hegemonic masculinity by arguing that it captivates an exaggerated socialised view of masculinity, where men are under pressure of achieving the values within that form of masculinity. He also argues that the psychoanalytical facet of behaviour has been misjudged and that males choose a trendy masculine behaviour which suits their psychological reasons and are unconsciously coerced to suppress any feelings which are regarded as effeminate, such as vulnerability, sensitivity, fear and powerlessness (2002 cited in Maguire, Morgan and Reiner 2007: 388).  In Willis’s book Learning to Labour (1977), illustrates an example of how boys adapt to a trendy masculine demeanour, where he argues that young men engage in criminal activities preferably violence against another person to gain a sense of power and achievement (1977 cited in Maguire, Morgan and Reiner 2007: 388). One example which display hegemonic masculinity is the American Dream revised by Robert Merton (1957 cited in Valier 2003) who can explain that men are pressured into achieving goals that are held in mainstream American Society and crime associates with innovation, the second adaption to anomie.

Strain theory is considered to explain the high rates of crime among young males and gender differences. Robert Agnew’s book Pressured into Crime (2006) highlights that Biopsychological theorists explain the gender gap by arguing that males tend be lower in constraint and have high levels of emotional illiteracy than their female counterparts (2006: 129). It had been noted (Agnew 2005a, Broidy and Agnew 1997 cited in Agnew 2006: 129) that social control theorists explain that males are less likely to be constrained in the household, such as having less responsibility for household tasks and childcare. They (Agnew, Broidy and Agnew) also argue that they are less likely to be committed to school and are less likely to believe that crime is wrong and are more likely to be punished for disruptive behaviour. In opposition, social control theorists explains the slit within gender differences by arguing that females were more socially controlled than males because of their gender roles, such as taking responsibility in the house and avoid risk taking activities and aggressive demeanours. Biopsychological theorists have argued that females are less likely to engage in criminality as they are smaller and weaker than their male counterparts (Steffensmeier 1983 cited in Agnew 2006: 129). It had been argued (Rose et al 1974., Keverne, Meller and Eberhart 1982 cited in Burke 2006: 66) boys and men are naturally more aggressive and physically stronger than girls. This can be influenced by high degrees of testosterone, the male hormone which is responsible for puberty in males.

Olwens (1987 cited in Burke, 2005:66) carried out a study on young males without criminal histories and learnt there was an obvious link among testosterone and violence, both physical and verbal. However it was more verbal than physical and this was a root reaction on intimidation and hostility given by another person. Schallings (1987 cited in Burke, 2005:66) discovered that high testosterone levels associated with more verbal aggression than physical. This suggests that young males use this type of aggression to protect their “macho” image whereas boys with low testosterone levels prefer to remain silent. However, Biopsychology could be criticised for ignoring that females are “doubly deviant” in breeching the biological rule as Polk (1961 cited in Croall 1998: 140) argues that women are clever at concealing their crimes through exploiting their gender stereotypical roles especially, poisoning their spouses’ food. Biopsychologists can be criticised for ignoring that not all men with have high testosterone levels do not necessarily become violent but become more aggressive and as result, aggression could escalate to violence especially if they live in area that promotes violence.

In contrast, it had been argued (Heimer and De Coster 1999 and Mazerolle 1998 cited in Agnew 2006: 129) that social learning theory, which concentrates on the process of learning among subcultures, explains the motives underlie gender differences in crime are due to the fact males are more likely to associate with gangs and delinquent peers, where they adopt the beliefs, the norms and values on what behaviour is acceptable and unacceptable. It had been argued (Mazerolle 1998 cited in Agnew 2006: 131) that males are academically declined than females and often have negative relations with teachers. It can be suggested that boys are obviously influenced by ‘macho’ attitudes believing that academics could make them feel emasculated and prefer practical based learning and physical labour.

It had been further noted (Agnew and Brenzina, 1997; Aseltine et al., 2000; Broidy and Agnew 1997; McCarthy et al 2004; Morash and Moon 2005b cited in Agnew 2006: 131) males more likely to have conflicts with their peers through competition, comparison of one’s ability and jealousy. The strain theory also highlights that young males have a problem of achieving goals which are held in mainstream society particularly the American Dream defined by Robert Merton (1957 cited in White and Haines 2004: 67) where everyone is entitled the right to gain access to materialistic wealth. Innovation is arguably to be suitable to explain the persistent levels of  crime among males, where they adopt the cultural goals but, achieve it through illegitimate resources such as robbery, drug dealing to fund a lavish lifestyle as they have difficulties of accomplishing the goal legitimately, such as education, academic success and employment opportunities (Agnew 2006: 132). It had been noted (Agnew 2006: 132) that males are more likely to experience strain due to experience high fluctuations of emotional instability which was mentioned earlier in the essay and hence, increases the possibility that they will provoke negative reactions and find themselves in environments where negative treatments are high. The Strain theory can be criticised for not acknowledging on why some young men experience strain do not necessarily engage in criminality and it tends to concentrate on white middle and working class males and the American Dream tends to mislead into believing that half of them successfully achieve the American Dream where others cannot.

The link between drug induced violence among young men seems to attract the curiosity of criminologists. Stephen Tomsen’s journal A Top Night  (1997) illustrates the examples on the relationship between alcohol – induced violence and masculine identities. It had been noted from his article, that drinking is seen as a ritual and to preserve a male identity (Felson and Steadman 1983; Polk and Ransom 1990 cited in Tomsen 1997: 94). Fagan (1993 cited in Bean 2008: 29) also argues that consumption of alcohol and drugs are expressions of male authority and to preserve their “macho pride”. Phillip Bean highlighted from his book Drugs and Crime (2008), that drug consumption associates with Robert Merton’s retreatism, the fourth adaption to anomie where males refuse the cultural goals and means to achieve them. Young males solace in drugs and alcohol to medicate the negative emotions and frustration of unable to achieve the goals held in mainstream society, particularly the American Dream either through legitimate or illegitimate resources (1957 cited in Bean 2008: 15). It had been argued (Pearson 1983 cited in Goodey 1997: 91) that drinking and violence had cause controversy among politicians, the public sphere and the criminal justice system and examples of youth crime and football hooliganism were viewed as the outcome of unregulated drinking in Britain. Tomsen used interviews from his ethnographic study to investigate the link between heaving drinking and masculinity which was backed up Stuart, a 28-year-old clerk who briefly states:

….it’s so basic. Even the language people use to you as you’re drinking betrays this. If you drink ten schooners you’re a great lad, but if you just have one to two and then want to go home, well you’re a girl (5 August 1993 cited in Tomsen 1997: 96).

From the interview it had been concluded (Connell 1995 cited in Tomsen 1997: 96) that elements of symbolic protest goes beyond the idea of this activity of drinking competitions through creating a strong and tough masculine image. Concurrently, it rejects middle class values and offers a meaning of empowerment in what can be described as a mode of masculine protest.

Psychology is argued to contribute on explaining the persistent relationship between masculinity and violent crime. Sigmund Freud used the concept of the Oedipus complex where he explains that boys are simultaneously torn between craving for the love and affection from their mother and seeking approval from their tough, macho talking father (Maguire, Morgan and Reiner 1997: 537). It had been criticised (Maguire, Morgan and Reiner 1997: 537) that Freud sees masculinity on the basis of constitutional bisexuality where masculinity and drift from masculinity to effeminate masculinity, such as fatherhood and career aspirations.

On the topic of race and masculinity, particularly black masculinity and crime, Connell highlights that black masculinity falls into subordinate masculinity (1995 cited in Maguire, Morgan and Reiner 2007: 388). Experiences of racial oppression and discriminative based policies and inequalities are considered to be the unconscious root causes of low self –esteem, identity confusion and self – loathing experienced by young black males. Newburn and Stanko (1994: 75) noted that young black males conformed to exaggerated forms of masculine behaviour known as hyper-masculine behaviours to compensate for their lack of legitimate opportunities to develop a strong sense of masculine identity. This form of behaviour consist of young black males hanging about in street corners, assimilate into the culture of hip – hop and manipulating family, friends and acquaintances for economic, social and sexual favours (Majors and Billson 1992, Schulz 1969 and Staples 1982 cited in Newburn and Stanko 1994: 75). J Taylor Gibbs and J R Merighi (1996 cited in Heartfield 2002: 4) concluded from their study that hyper –  masculinity serves as a symbolic armour against racial exploitation and oppression. Simultaneously, it encourages, promotes and glorifies violent criminality and argued that those who conform to that behaviour are likely to engage in criminal and anti – social activities. However, it can be criticised that hyper – masculinity should be seen as inhumane and animalistic.

In connection with the Oedipus complex, reference to the topic of black masculinity and crime, Newburn and Stanko (1994: 73) highlights that a black boy who fails to make same-sex identifications with his father during the phallic stage could result in him rejecting his father’s racial identity and become a vulnerable and powerless male and the conflicts of sexual and racial identity may persist throughout his adolescence. Another assumption about the Oedipus complex was made by Rosenberg and Sutton – Smith (1972 cited in Newburn and Stanko 1994: 73) who argue that the disturbed link between sexual and racial identities has an agreement with the psychoanalytic theory, which determines a series of clashes of gender identity and sexual orientation which may occur in boys who are unable to make same-sex identifications with their fathers during the phallic stage. However, McInnes (1998: 84) criticised Freud’s notion for providing explicit details because it gives the readers the feeling that he discusses about incest. It can be suggested that primary socialisation process is not only the root cause of identity crisis among black young males but also the environmental influences and members in the secondary socialisation development as Spencer (1982 cited in Newburn and Stanko 1994: 72) argues that black young males who come from low-income backgrounds are at great risk of suffering from an identity imbalance because of their past experiences of racial oppression in education institutions and geographical regions that breeds racism.

A second psychological view which seems useful on explaining on masculinity and crime is Adler’s notion of ‘masculine protest’. This notion sees that young males compensate the feelings of powerless, vulnerability and humiliation in past experiences by displaying aggression and resentment (1927 cited in Goodey 1997: 404). Jo Goodey believes that protest masculinity is usefully interpreted acknowledging Connell who commented on the susceptibility of working class males, ethnic minority males by stating:

‘The growing boy puts together a tense, freaky facade, making a claim to power where there are no real resources for power’ (1995 cited in Goodey 1997: 404).

She (Goodey) praises Adlers psychoanalysis of masculine protest as useful because it brings the social, in the form of gendered powerlessness into empathising of individual’s consequential protest (1997: 404). Alder’s notions of masculine protests seems effective to apply on black young men’s past experiences of racial oppression and hostility which can agree with Spencer (1982 cited in Newburn and Stanko 1994: 72). Consequently, black criminality symbolises vengeance against racial hostility and suppression within the white hegemonic society which associates with Robert Merton’s adaptions to anomie innovation and rebellion. Rebellion, the fifth response to anomie is suggested to apply effectively on the relationship between black masculinity and crime where black young men adapt to hypermasculinity, an exaggerated form of masculinity to rebel against any values and norms held in the predominately white hegemonic society.

Following Connell’s work on gender relations, James Messerschmidt’s book Masculinities and Crime (1993)  proposes an extensive analysis concerning the link between masculinity and crime where he develops an idea of situational accomplishment and crime symbolises the means of doing gender (1993 cited in Maguire, Morgan and Reiner 2007: 389). Messerschimdt further addresses themes of race, class alongside gender in his theorised categories of ‘structured action’ (1997 cited in Maguire, Morgan and Reiner 2007: 389). Messerchmidt (1993 cited in Silvestri and Crowther Dowey 2008: 63) took a glimpse on the correlation between youth crime and its interconnection with broad structural inequalities and demonstrates that masculinities are in relation of power and the division of labour. He also drew attention to the groups that are excluded from the labour market and describes that men commit crime in order express their masculinity or obtain a masculine identity because they lack in the legitimate initiatives that would enable them to achieve economical and materialistic goals. Jean – Paul Sartre (1963 cited in Messerschimdt 1993: 102) argues that social constructions of race, class and gender division of labour may hamper an individual’s chance of self-improvement. He also argues that ethnic minority youths endure a subjective impoverishment which it is rooted from class and race divisions of labour. As a result, he (Jean – Paul Satre cited in Messerschimdt 1993:103) argues that ethnic minority youths turn to street crime activity because they see it as opportunities of self – improvement which would provide them with economic and materialistic needs.

Sex crimes perpetrated by men aroused controversy and curiosity of academics especially those with feminist view narrowing to those with radical feminist views who maintain the idea that all men are “rapists” (cited in Maguire, Morgan and Reiner 2007:387) because they believe men use rape and other forms of sexual violence to express their dominance over women rather than for sexual pleasure as they are seen as “property”. However, radical feminists can be criticised for not acknowledging that not all men are rapists because most of them are profeminist and have liberal views. Kersten (1996 cited in Maguire, Morgan and Reiner 1997: 543) argues the link between masculinity and sexual violence against women by comparing the rates of sex crimes between Australia which has high rates, Japan where the crime rates are low and rates in German seem to be neutral.

From the comparison, he (Kersten) explains that members of Australian society emphasises traditional masculinity on the basis of physical prowess and independence, and later argues by using Messerschimdt’s work on accomplishing masculinity, that men rape women in order to live up societal expectation of masculinity. It had been noted (Croall 1998: 149) that many feminist writers argue that rape against women is an expression of power and control rather than expression of love and desire. It can be considered that psychoanalysis is best to explain the motives behind misogynistic violence against women. The Oedipus complex, mentioned by Sigmund Freud discussed earlier in the essay where boys are suspended by the pressure of making same-sex identification with their fathers and yearning for love and affection from their mother, which whom they strongly identify with. As a result, it created confusion among boys and consequently they grow up to constantly suppress their feminine and rape is a symbol of feminine suppression among men to live up to society idealization of manliness.

Alder could explain that boys and men who endured negative experiences by women such as child abuse or domestic violence resort to rape which symbolizes a weapon of revenge and resentment against women to compensate the feelings of powerlessness, emasculation and humiliation experienced in their past. Croall (1998: 149) also notes that the majority of violence against women is exercised in the private sphere and in the workplace through sexual harassment, physically and verbally. Many feminists also argue that violence against women reflects that men have the right to have access to women’s bodies and before the rape within marriage was criminalized, male power in the patriarchal family have the right to discipline their wives or partners even through physical sanctions in order to empower them and refer them as ‘property’(Croall 1998: 149). it can explained and argued that men also commit rape and any form of violence  against women to suppress their insecurities of low self – esteem and lack of self – confidence. However, it can be criticized that men who have insecurities or experienced female – perpetrated child abuse and domestic violence do not sought to vengeance against women whether through rape or any form of violence.

In conclusion, both psychology and sociology provided explanations on why crime continues to be a masculine pursuit where sociologist argues on the social influences of crime, such as subcultures, peer pressure and lack of social control. Whereas in contrast, psychology argues on the link between behaviors past experiences and environmental influences.

Science provided answers to explaining the persistent link between masculinity and crime where Bio-psychologists argued men commit more crimes than women due to high levels of testosterone although it causes aggression but not violence. Strain theory demonstrates the most explanation that men turn to crime to vent out their frustration of unable to accomplish masculinity through legitimate outlets  to gain materialistic success. Both innovation and retreatism seem to be most effective at applying on the link between masculinity and crime. Society is considered to place a high emphasis on machismo which is suggests to be exaggerated by media influences which this essay neglects and it believes to play a huge influence on young males rather than their own perceptions of masculinity through religion and narrative experiences.

Alder’s notion of the masculine protest provides an effective explanation on the persistent patterns of masculinity and crime which stems from child hood or past experiences of vulnerability. This notion is best applied on race and masculinity where black young males are likely to display aggression and resentment towards the white hegemonic society because of their past experiences of racism preferably in childhood where they were vulnerable and helpless to respond on coping with the trauma inflicted on them. Messerschmitt work on masculinity has provided a reasonable analysis where he highlights the conflicts among gender, race and class explaining young ethnic minorities are encouraged to engage in criminal activities due to block opportunities and denied access to legitimate resources by unconscious levels of indirect racism in institutions based on negative racial stereotyping held by those who are in the position of authority in space of education and employment.

It appears to be obvious that Connell’s notion of hegemonic masculinity seems to be straight forward into explaining the persistent link between masculinity and crime which seems to associate with the strain theory where crime symbolizes an expression of masculine traits, such as power, aggression and competition even through drinking with intention to gain a sense of “Dutch” courage to carry out violent crimes and violence against women to gain a sense of power, as they are unable to achieve masculinity through legitimate means. It can be agreed with the criticisms about hegemonic masculinity as it associates with negativity through criminal activities rather than positive outlets, such as sports and other physical activities and success in academics and business.

The Oedipus complex seems to offer a promising psychological explanation on male identity crisis which roots from childhood identifications between parents and exposure to negative and hostile environments, such as hot spots for anti – social behaviour and diseases of racism among young black men.  It can be suggested that increase on the likelihood of aggression from high testosterone levels which escalates to violence among young men if they engage in criminal subcultures that glorifies drinking and violence which manifests in football hooliganism, skinheads and criminal gangs.

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What was the modernist idea of science in rehabilitation, welfare and criminal justice policy of the twentieth century?

Prior to enlightenment, religion was the major influence on crime and punishment. Criminality was committed by the wrongdoers’ selfish exploitation of free will and sentencing was based on the bible of God and crime poisons the religious morale at the time. The enlightenment created repulsion against traditional forms of authority and witnessed the emergence on the notion of human rights (Valier 2002: 5). The Gladstone Committee Report named after Harold Gladstone, the chairman of the Home Office played a vital influence on the revolution of the British penal policy (Harding 1988: 591).The report has criticised punishments for promoting barbarism and dehumanizing wrong doers rather than deterring them from re-offending (McLaughlin and Muncie 2002: 190).

They (McLaughlin and Muncie 2002: 190) also noted that the report should heed the concepts of deterrence and rehabilitation and suggested a scientific approach towards motives of criminality and the treatment should aim to meet the psychological and social needs of offenders. Harding (1988: 607) argued that the Gladstone committee report suggested the idea of borstal institutions for young offenders which was implemented in the early 20th century. Cohen (1985 cited in McLaughlin and Muncie 2002: 167) has criticised the old strategies of crime control for being weak and the law was fully dominated by religion.

A century later, policies have been improved with more state involvement, places of crime control was formed into separate institutions for women, young offenders and the mentally ill. The control of justice system was added with many divisions including welfare, science and rehabilitation. Cohen also acknowledged that theories of punishment have been influenced by the principle of rehabilitation as it  begins to concentrate on understanding criminality. Dave Garland (2001: 40) believed that modernity is obligated to social engineering, where science is used to reform offenders, the mentally unbalanced and their social surroundings by interventions of government agencies, probation, police and experts and strategies on therapy and education intervention.

He (Garland 2001: 40) also argued that Durkheim sees retributive punishment as illogical and believes crime promotes social cohesion and the justice system seem to aggravate than deter criminality. Modernist thinkers criticise that classical thinkers neglect social pathology, as they believe criminality is largely influenced by social pathology. The rise of modernity, the social structure was mechanically engineered. In clarity, laws were heavily dependent on religion and the opinions made from the ruling class ( Valier 200 2: 27).

Durkheim argued that modernity created an organic solidarity, where members of the public gallery are becoming independent and social cohesion is a mix of different beliefs and values. He (Durkheim) was considered to be a humanitarian who loathed the idea of physical punishment because it was dehumanising and promotes the glorification of violence. Dave Garland (2002: 43) argued that the birth of the new criminology in the 20th century relied on topics of psychology, sociology and psychiatry and used those studies to explore the traits of prisoners which concludes that those who are exposed to external negative stimuli are likely to exhibit traits of criminality.

Welfare first emerged in the early 19th century, triggered by the problem that young offenders are being treated as adult criminals. The purpose of youth justice was to deal with those who were at risk of offending. McLaughlin and Muncie (2002: 267) argued that the 1960s was considered to be the age of organisation of the youth justice welfare state. During this period, the welfare approach undertook a major change when custodial sentences were criticised for degrading offenders and  it was expensive (McLaughlin and Muncie 2002: 264).

They (McLaughlin and Muncie 2002: 264) noted that juvenile justice system was to provide community based treatments and therapeutic interventions. Social scientists and welfare reformers started to see that juvenile delinquency stems from poor parenting rather than social deprivation and the lack of legitimate opportunities (McLaughlin and Muncie 264). Imaginatively, the foster care system was launched which favours the interest of the bourgeoisie and members of authority to tackle poor parenting issues. Recommendations in the welfare state included rising the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14 years.

However, that recommendation was not implemented when the conservatives came into the office in the 1970s (McLaughlin and Muncie 2002: 267). The Children and Young Persons Act 1969 represented many of the welfare interventions in contrast with the Social Work Act in Scotland (McLaughlin and Muncie 2002: 267). However, these objections went further in Scotland as the Kilbrandon Report (Scottish Home and Health Department and Scottish Education Department 1964 cited in McLaughlin and Muncie 2002: 267) argued that social work intervention was effective in tackling the emotional and social issues among children and concentrated on the needs of vulnerable children and young people (Pitts 1996 cited in McLaughlin and Muncie 2002: 269).

The idea of probation stems from religious volunteers who attended courts to assist and befriend adult offenders in an attempt to rescue them and free their spirits from sin, vagrancy and crime in the late 19th century. The first half of the 20th century which was referred as the second age of probation was led by scientific diagnosis (McLaughlin and Muncie 2002: 275). A report conducted by the Home Office in 1962 recommend that workers in the criminal justice should concentrate more on the offenders’ psychological needs (McLaughlin and Muncie 2002: 275).

Garland (2001: 37) noted that politics parties had their own perceptions towards crime. The Liberal party emphasised that crime was a symptom of inequalities and criminals needed to be treated with empathy whereas the conservatives stressed the needs of lengthy tougher sentences and believe that criminal offenders should take responsibility for their actions. Although the idea of welfare intervention seems to become optimistic, it was subjected to various criticisms in the 1970s. The Labour may see crime is an outcome of class conflict between the proletarians and the bourgeoisie.

One criticism about rehabilitation and welfare interventions is that they were ineffective. As Garland noted that research in America revealed that the police were less serious of preventing and apprehending criminals  (2002: 61 -2) . A study on the Kansas City Police concluded that there was limited effect of police costs and patrols. Clarke and Hough (1980 cited in Garland 2001: 61 – 2). Martinson (1974 cited in McLaughlin and Muncie 2002) that: 275) concluded from his analysis of 230 research studies on treatment programmes in the US that there was no significant effects of recidivism. Andrew Von Hirsch, the author of Doing Justice: The Choice of Punishment – The Report of the Committee for the Study of Incarceration urged for indefinite sentencing and restrictions on parole use and recommended that incarcerating offenders is the only solution (Von Hirsch 1976 cited in Garland 2001:59).

In conclusion, science provided answers for the causes of crimes and criminality which religion neglected. Science contributed to the initiatives used in welfare interventions especially, in children and young people. Modernity had created spaces for scientific research, punishment and penal policies were favoured by social engineering on converting the ill – minded individuals into healthy law-abiding citizens. Former policies which were previously influenced by religion is now heavily dependent on scientific evidence on a subconscious level. Political parties became involved with crime and punishment through discussions on crime and punishment. The new criminology has drifted from religion to the application of science which constantly changes at present.

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Why has risk minimization come to dominate the criminological agenda and how does it implicate with crime control policies?

Risk minimization was considered to be a stepping stone to dominate the criminological agenda as the criminal justice system now is drifting from post – crime to the pre – crime era. There had been changes in the areas of criminal justice particularly, rehabilitation. as it provided an inspiration for development in self-control strategies against offending and ameliorated the levels for public security and safety. Rehabilitation now concentrates more on strategies to protect the public by hampering spaces that encourages crime and criminal activities, imposing restrictions on offenders’ whereabouts than concentrating on their welfare and needs, such as the provision of guidance and psychological support (Straw 1998 cited in Garland 2001: 176).

Garland (2001: 186) argued that prior to the 1970s, there were no programmes of policing, no substantive interests in crime events and no theory of social and economic routines that generated criminal opportunities and criminogenic situations. Jock Young  who could agree with Durkheim, highlights that crime is seen as a social fact and is part of everyday life and highlighted that Garland outlined the rises of discipline during late modernity such as penal – segregation and preventative partnership which appears to be obvious when the states makes a gesture of law and order persuading the public into believing the state has control over crime (Jock Young 2003: 230). Tim Owen who reviewed David Garland’s book, The Culture of Crime Control, illustrated there are powerful arguments about the rise of  the “schizophrenic” crime control complex and emphasised the decades of crime policies following the Second World War, which was known as the ‘Golden Age’ of penal – welfarism. This period consisted of two important ideas of crime control. The first concentrates on social cohesion that could reduce the rates of crime and the second feels that the state should take accountability for the offenders’ welfare (Owen 2007: 3).

Information Technology played a vital part on crime control and risk management, particularly the uses of CCTV and offender databases. Michel Focault, a French Philosopher who is renowned to criminologists for his book Discipline and Punish published in 1975. The Foucauldian body included works on asylum, the hospital and the regulations of sexuality and punishment (Valier 2003: 149). She (Valier) also highlighted that his (Foucault) work rejected the narratives of the humanitarian development, as it was seen as the negative side of the Enlightenment. Foucault highlighed the notion of genealogy, a study of families and its history. For him, genealogy is about the criminology of us, where history is used to help us understand ourselves and others and what issue was taken for granted and investigates whether there is a historical cause of re- offending (Poster 1984 cited in Valier 2003: 151). It agrees with Garland who suggests that staff in the criminal justice system uses their personal strategies of self-control, which can be applied onto dealing with offenders, such as counselling and alternative interventions such as anger management and therapies involve creative arts (Garland 2001:189).

Valier moves onto discuss that Foucault’s work highlights the link of knowledge and power and cannot be separated as he states:

“There is no knowledge without the exercise of power and there is no power without knowledge” (2003: 152).

His book Disicipline and Punish, experiments with the two concepts and used the example on the changes in the mode of punishment. The era of the French Revolution had one basic form of punishment which circled around a public display of corporal and capital punishment, which illustrates the exploitation of knowledge and power (Valier 2003: 153). The panoptical society is argued to play an influence on risk minimization. This notion was inspired by Jeremy Bentham who is renowned for his philosophy of pain – pleasure. The panopticon was applied in prisons where inmates were monitored for their behaviour and actions during incarceration. Although Foucault was not apprehended with Bentham’s supposed intentions, he was more alarmed with the political technology considered by the Panopticon (Valier 2003: 158). He also believes the panoptical option is considered to be strict by providing a severe form social regulation and control. Foucault’s analysis of the panopticon may contribute to CCTV and computerised databases. George Orwell’s Novel Nineteen Eighty – Four  strongly seized the imagination of the post-war vital awareness with its vision of a total surveillance society and this was also predicted in James’s Rule book Private Lives and Public Surveillance which he provided the benefits of total surveillance:

“The system would work to enforce observance with a uniform set of norms governing every aspect of everyone’s behaviour. Every action of every client would be analysed, recorded, evaluated both at the moment of occurrence and forever afterwards. The system would bring the whole fund of its information to bear on every decision it made about everyone. Any sign of disobedience – present or anticipated – would result in corrective action” (Rule 1973: 37 cited in Valier 2003: 161).

Foucault’s notion of disciplinary power was  considered to be the outcome of numerous arguments about an inspecting glaze in the panoptical society across a range of texts that argues that we are now shifting into a post – disciplinary period of control where power does not reside in a foreign gaze (Valier 2003: 163). Valier stated that Foucault was criticised for concentrating on how work is applied on self experiences rather than using technology to degrade criminals such as, the name and shaming” technique (Valier 2003: 163). She (Valier) also mentioned that the governments’ view of power is only applied on an active subject, such as the relationship between the bourgeoisie and the proletarians and reactions and public attitudes towards monitoring (Valier 2003: 163). Tim Owen had highlighted problems regarding Garland’s Foucauldian analysis in particular his (Garland) dependency on Foucault’s  knowledge and power link. Best and Kellner (1991 cited in Owen 2007: 8) argues that Garland’s book needs to consider some social agents which seize and hold more power than others.

Power (1994 cited in Garland 2001: 190) argues that criminal justice agencies have been drawn into an audit society and information to the public management are shared among each body. He (Power)  illustrates that the neo-liberal programmes often achieve control by relying on audits (1996, 1997; 2003a cited in Levi 2008: 585). He (Power) also argued that as soon as they are limited to financial institutions, audits have been expanded to a wide number of fields, including universities, hospitals and government agencies (Power 1996 cited in Levi 2008: 585). The study of audit was argued to attract widespread attention in scholarships on institutions and are mostly research at present, but has not linked this attention to communities in criminal justice (Levi 2008: 585). However, criminological research conducted by Adam Crawford who demonstrates that the turn to new managerial into auditability has promoted this very turn to community in which short-term programmes can be readily more evaluated (Crawford 1999a cited in Levi 2008: 585). Kevin Stenson (2005; Stenson and Edwards 2003 cited in Levi 2008: 585) argued that this audibility could reproduce class – based inequalities in local contexts.

The Florida Department of Corrections display an example of an audit society by distributing  personal details that are released into society which in contrast, the thoughts of policies that deal with rehabilitation of offenders made it illegal to disclose any  information about ex offenders’ whereabouts (LHO 1997 cited in Garland 2001: 180). Megan’s Law is another example, named after Megan Kanka, a seven-year old girl who was raped and murdered by her neighbour Jesse Timmendequas, a convicted sex offender in Hamilton Township, New Jersey. The murder and criminal history of Mr Timmendequas sparked outrage and consequently, Megan’s Law was launched, where parents and members of the community to obtain access for information of any child molester living in their neighbourhoods. Megan’s Law had categorised sex offenders determined by their chances of re-offending if they integrate into society. Stage One contains those who are at low risk  and prosecutors alert this stage to law enforcement agencies. Stage Two are those who presumed to be at moderate risk  and prosecutors will notify eligible community organizations, such as youth clubs, day care centres and schools etc. Stage Three are those who are at high risk and be subjected to full – blown community notification (Levi 2008: 588). Levi also noted that over 11,000 registrants were added monthly with the New Jersey State Police, with approximately 60 per cent have been placed in Stages Two and Three.

However, Megan’s Law also have been applied on law – abiding citizens, particularly the rules of conduct where in order for members of community to receive information of sex offenders living in their neighbourhood, they are obliged to sign a contract pledging not to violate the codes of conduct by disclosing any information to any members outside the community and information should be shared appropriately (Shapiro 1987 cited in Levi 2008: 593). In the case of notifications to local schools when school principals are notified, a state liaison provides them a ‘School Personnel Rules of Conduct’ and ‘Information Reference Sheet for School Principals’ and reassessed on how notice should be stored and limits on its communication among staff members. Once principals sign the School Principal Receipt Form, they are obliged to follow the rules within the code of conduct and forms are kept by the prosecutor’s office. Levi highlighted that Megan’s Law was criticised for lacking in penalties against those who selfishly disclose any information of sex offenders to members who are outside the community or class organisations (Paul P. V Farmer 2000; 227 F. 3d 98 cited in Levi 2008: 597).

The sex offender’s register acts as a deterrent by stigmatizing convicted sex offenders and serves as a warning tool to those who contemplate of offending and symbolizes retribution. This seems to concur with Dave Garland who applies the criminology of the self on offenders where they are seen as monstrous psychopaths who shed no remorse or empathy (Garland 2001: 184). John Major  argues that the criminology of self encourages the public to be alert and prepare to defend themselves against these “monsters”(1993 cited in Garland 2001: 184). Even though the sex offender’s register acts as a powerful deterrent, it can  damage the offender’s self –esteem and in consequence, encourages re-offending in away to reinstate in incarceration. Megan’s Law considers to symbolize state power and the division of labour between the state and the community,which predicts that communities are at risk of being plagued with fear and doubts about safety (Ericson 2007a; Simon 2000 cited in Levi 2008: 599).

Risk minimization is considered to revolve around community and therapeutic interventions, such as anger management and drug counselling. Pat O’ Malley drew attention to drug harm minimization which were developed as a form of resistance, created by the governments in New Zealand and Australia in defence against the War on Drugs campaign  in the USA (O’Malley 2008: 457). These policies assume that drug addiction considered to be a possible threat to themselves and public safety by the possibility of contracting HIV through shared needles and exposure to vulnerable people in vulnerable “hot spots”. It does not only apply to illegal drugs but on tobacco, alcohol and prescribed drugs (O’Malley 2008: 458). He (O’Malley) also recommends that drug users should take responsibility for minimising their risk of drug harm by attending drug rehabilitation centres, receive advice practicing safe drug administration and usage and take advantage accessing methadone to help them reduce their drug cravings (2008: 458). Dave Garland (1996 cited in O’Malley 2008: 459) can agree with classicist thinkers by arguing that drug users are chose to be drug addicts or drug than their social, psychological and environmental influences.

Risk minimization appears to be optimistic and realistic in dealing with crime, especially changes in rehabilitation as it concentrates on public safety and hampering spaces in areas which breeds criminality than attempt to make offenders into law-abiding citizens. However, the uses of CCTV and distribution of databases particularly and sex offenders register seem to deliver plagues of moral panic and paranoia in the public sphere, which could result in vigilantism. Foucault should be praised for his analysis on the panopticon and contribution on risk minimization by applying the link of  knowledge and power. The implications of crime control policies aim to protect the public, enhance public security and ensure communities are involved and take responsibility for their personal safety and safety of public spaces.

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