Cultural criminology



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Cultural criminology

  • Cultural criminology

  • Ethnographic methods (qualitative) & each method which reveals meaning, experience & emotion of crime: engaged criminology

  • Multidisciplinary: from different fields (postmodern approach): visual/ textual, film, art, music etc.

  • Study of emotions & experiences, meaning making

  • Roots: critical criminology(& phenomenology)



Because new research (research methods) is needed:

  • Because new research (research methods) is needed:

    • Because of a domination of policy-making projects
    • CC aks not ‘what works’, but ‘why’, ‘for whom’ and ‘under which conditions ’ (Nelen, 2008)
    • Search of meaning and interpretation
    • Criminology is an object – study with sometimes unbridgeable differences, therefore we need to conduct a detailed analysis (Bovenkerk, 2008)


Mainstream vs. CC

  • Mainstream vs. CC

  • Mainstream: reason – intervention

  • Cultural Criminology: experience – reckoning (Boutellier, 2008)

  • Key concepts in CC: meaning, emotion, expression, consumerism, representation, style, social construction, power, reputation, virtual identity, etc.



Criminality and violence can be ‘enjoyable’

  • Criminality and violence can be ‘enjoyable’

  • Carnival – character of a temporary reversal of a social order

  • In present culture - ‘carnival transgression’, when it has to do with truth, authority and consumption

  • ‘Second life’ incl. immoral, non-civilized social behavior, fantasy, unconscious ‘consumption of criminality’ (in media: egoism, decay)



Presdee: our desire for extreme forms of pleasure vs rationalization

  • Presdee: our desire for extreme forms of pleasure vs rationalization

  • Dynamic society: space for expression and desires outside the normative conformity





Step 1. Recognizing importance of human emotions in crime, punishment and social control

  • Step 1. Recognizing importance of human emotions in crime, punishment and social control

  • Step 2. Understanding how emotions work and what are the reasons

  • Step 3: Analyzing the phenomenological basis, placing emotions in the context of situations, aesthetics and social interaction



Jack Katz, How Emotions Work, 1999:

  • Jack Katz, How Emotions Work, 1999:

  • Emotions are: on one hand – outside our control (hysteric)

  • On the other hand – ‘make up a part of our lives’ (subjective)

  • Analysis of emotional condition or experience – understanding background (power, gender, social class, ethnicity)



Cultural criminologists apply ethnographic research methods

  • Cultural criminologists apply ethnographic research methods

  • It often fails, but if successful…

  • Excellent to research culture, motives, backgrounds, perceptions, internal and external relations, functions, relations with street crime, with economy and with social context. Also good for the mundane and common (everyday life)





Something ‘unknown’ – means must be discovered, revealed, understood.

  • Something ‘unknown’ – means must be discovered, revealed, understood.

  • Nikolai Miklucho-Maklai (1846-1888) – Indonesia and Australia – ethnography

  • Bronislav Malinowski – Trobriand Islands – participant observation







Chicago School

  • Chicago School

  • Robert Park, William Thomas and Florian Znaniecki

  • Criminological research:

  • Ned Polsky (1969) – ‘hustlers’

  • William Chambliss (1978) – corrupt officials

  • Patricia Adler (1985) – drugs dealers



Physical threat, violence

  • Physical threat, violence

  • Carolyn Nordstrom and Ton Robben, 1995, Fieldwork Under Fire.

  • Fear, uncertainty, (on frontline, conflict area, dictatorship)



Being a female researcher:

  • Being a female researcher:

    • Contradiction in cultural perceptions
    • Doing research in a ‘men’s world’






Frank Bovenkerk and Yucel Yesilgoz - The Turkish Mafia

  • Frank Bovenkerk and Yucel Yesilgoz - The Turkish Mafia

  • Informants – ‘babas’ (leaders of the Turkish heroin trafficking networks) and drug couriers

  • Participant observation in coffee-houses, informal settings

  • Most important conclusions: second generation migrants serve the heroin traders, this is the chance for poor young Turks to climb up on a social ladder in the Netherlands.



Damian Zaitch:

  • Damian Zaitch:

  • Informants: cocaine dealers, Colombian prostitutes

  • Participant observation: salsa clubs; Red light district; informal settings

  • Important conclusions: no cartels, demand/supply, no violence



Research in 1999-2004, as a result of

  • Research in 1999-2004, as a result of

  • contract killings of Russian criminals in the

  • Netherlands

  • Informants: Russian businessmen: legal;

  • semi-legal; and criminal.

  • Participant observation: Russian restaurants, informal settings.

  • Important conclusion: Russian Mafia did not present a threat to the Dutch economy and democracy, Russian mafia is not embedded in the Russian immigrant community. Activities in the Netherlands: extortion, money laundering, women trafficking, car theft



Time and efforts demanding

  • Time and efforts demanding

  • Hidden nature  'off' the streets

  • Violent nature  dangerous

  • Good training is necessary (Utrecht University provides)



Ethical perspective (‘coming too close means identify with…’)

  • Ethical perspective (‘coming too close means identify with…’)

  • Too much seduction (moral considerations)

  • (Sluka, 1990; Sutherland and Cressey, 1967; etc.)



  • Seems to be more successful in some activities (drugs), aspects (underground), location (public) and groups (young, groups, ethnic minorities)  more and more done in the area of human trafficking, corporate crime and in prisons



Lyrics (gangster rap, favela funk , narcocorridos, tango, etc.)  content analysis, context

  • Lyrics (gangster rap, favela funk , narcocorridos, tango, etc.)  content analysis, context



Paintings and photos

  • Paintings and photos



Films (film noir, Yakuza, Gangster films, Latin American realism, etc.)

  • Films (film noir, Yakuza, Gangster films, Latin American realism, etc.)



Literature (Cervantes, Shakespeare, Quincey Baudelaire, London, Chandler, etc.)

  • Literature (Cervantes, Shakespeare, Quincey Baudelaire, London, Chandler, etc.)



Comics

  • Comics



Advertising

  • Advertising



Videogames

  • Videogames





Images, art and music in Cultural Criminology

  • Images, art and music in Cultural Criminology





Difficult but not impossible…

  • Difficult but not impossible…

  • ‘The data is there, the problem that criminologists are not…’ (Chambliss)

  • Make you hands dirty!

  • Questions?





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