Social class and crime



hi you're 13 this lecture is looking at the relationship between social class and crime this is a unit we won't spend much time on because we have talked about classroom crimes quite a lot of quite at that extent in the other topics we've looked at and we looked at the theoretical perspectives in crime so what I'd like to do is read through the summary of this article and published in May 2013 and I've given you some questions that allow you to answer five questions summarize the events of the article what does this tell you about law enforcement who are the victims according to the police and maybe you could consider who do you really think is the victim here who is the power to label the homeless as deviant that's something that Howard Becker would be very interested in and just by looking at this article what has your class got to do with how you encounter the law so you can pause the lecture now so what do the official statistics show this is something we've discussed in class most crimes committed by the working class according to official statistics so how do sociologists try to explain this pattern you have already completed the blue a3 sheet that I help you answer this type of question so you might want to say consider what Merton said and his strain theory how did he explain why working-class people commit crime as well as a subculture theorists like Albert Cohen Cloward and Olin and Miller you also have Lee and Jung and the left realist who did explain why working-class people commit crime things like marginalization and relative deprivation and right realists Wilson and also Kelling when you think about a broken windows theory so how do these people all try and explain why crime it seems to be committed generally by the working class and again usually worksheet to help you answer that the other side of the argument is to question whether the official statistics are actually accurate so you might want to set you could make an essay arguing it yes work class people commit more crime however the other side of the argument is why do they actually appear in statistics more than middle or upper classes here you want to consider the ideas of traditional Marxist like shamless possibly even Loren Snyder as well member shaunb lists his study on the Saints and the Roughnecks although it's useful for the labeling theory it also helps to demonstrate why working-class people are much more likely when they encounter the law to actually be arrested they're more likely to be convicted whereas middle class people or the Saints they can use their cultural capital to talk their way out of trouble and their economic capital such as hiring lawyers in order to keep them out of trouble and again this links very much so to the labeling theorists like Becker you know how do they end up getting labeled negatively who is it who has the power to do that Braithwaite and here's a disintegrative and reintegrator shaming shaming Young and his Steven see amplification and Stan Cohen the moral panics so you can use these sociologists to actually criticize the validity of official crime statistics and this is just a summary of some of the areas I've just mentioned – oh and it's also got the neoliberal asan they're like the horse – all Paul Gilroy and Taylor Walton in young and they're critical criminology so types of crimes that we know about official statistics dominate our knowledge about both offenders and the types of offenses as a result we know much less about white-collar crime state crime Occupational crime and corporate crime than when you compare this with street crime why do you think this might be so in an essay about why working-class people seem to commit more crime you can also include a section about actually there is unreported white-collar that's ignored so as a result as a result of stereotypes about what is criminal and what crimes are being committed are being distorted by the fact that some of these crimes in front of you now are very hard to trace they're hard to catch and they're definitely hard to convict so let me go through these in a little bit more detail you have got occupational crimes now these are crimes committed against an organization by the employees generally this would be what we call a proper white-collar crime where someone might embezzle funds from their employee they might funnel funds into their own personal accounts they might steal from their employee sorry employer and and make money from their job within that within that industry so this is when the employees actually commit crimes against their employers now there is a reason why we don't actually hear much about occupational crimes particularly amongst banks and Investment Banking and this is generally because the banks themselves don't want the general public finding out that they haven't got the right controls within their industry to prevent their employees committing a crime so generally if someone does get caught committing this very complicated type of crime the actual employer themselves will rarely report it to the police but instead maybe deal with it in-house by firing someone and giving them a bad reference corporate crimes we know a little bit more about these are crimes committed on behalf of an organization you've got the example of Foxconn in China who makes all of Apple's products you can look at the example from the Erin Brockovich movie and the company she was challenging was Pacific Gas and Electric Company that's a fantastic movie based on life events and is a very good example of corporate crime against the very deprived neighborhood and obviously you've got Bhopal in India that we know quite a about one that we haven't touched on much is state crime a Marxist in particular interest in then in this these are crimes committed by the state or its agents so for example the police the army the Secret Service all sorts and examples here conclude torture war crimes genocide state sponsorship of terrorism that should be and bribery or corruption by governments themselves you may well think that this is something that only developing countries where the state might commit these sorts of crimes but as we're going to look at there are plenty of examples or maybe our government and especially the American government have been involved in a range of these sorts of crimes there is an article and white-collar crime that we'll be looking at in lesson this is an extract from one of the articles can you have a quick read through it and can you identify which of those three types of crime occupational corporate or state crime is this okay what types of people are best placed to commit this type of fraud I want to consider their class and their gender and their ethnicity and do you think this type of crime gets reported to the police and what impact will that have on our stereotypes about crime um so state crime a good example is the Holocaust in 1930s Germany not only was that a state crime but that's been a very widely criticized state crime and he very hard-pressed to find someone who didn't find the Holocaust absolutely horrifying and the people who are responsible for the Holocaust many of them have been held to account they've been they've been put on trial however when you look at bit closest to home particularly the behavior of the British Army in Ireland during when the British Army had to occupy Northern Ireland to prevent the sort of the wave of violence that was there because of the differences between the unionists and the IRA in particular there is a movie that we'll look at in class and in title ludie Sunday where a peaceful protest on a Sunday 1972 was actually fired upon by the British Army and many innocent civilians were hurt and a number of them were killed as well no one has ever stood trial for that and no one has ever been arrested for that and arguably it links to this idea that it was an act against civilians but by the agents of the state and because our state controls of judiciary and the police if they don't want there to be a case to be answered for therefore there is no case so no one's ever been held to account for that killing on Bloody Sunday in 1972 another case a bit further away Latin America is Pinochet in Chile very much responsible for the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of his people no trial torture and again we'll look at this clip in class you could look at the structural workings of apartheid in South Africa as a good example where the structure of the state discriminated wholly against the black community they didn't have equal pay they lived in shanty towns they didn't get treated the same by the the police force or the judiciary and when apartheid came to an end when Nelson Mandela was elected they never pressed charges against anyone responsible for apartheid it was something that happened but because the state did it there doesn't seem to be any criminal responsibility a much more recent case with serious use of chemical weapons on civilians in August 2013 this has been documented and learned confirmed by United Nations and that was against its own civilians and arguably America's war on terror has been something of a state crime when you look at the number of civilians killed in Iraq and Afghanistan it is tens or hundreds of times more than the number of US soldiers and British soldiers that have been killed and looking at our government there was a case against Tony Blair in the dodgy dossier that convinced our Parliament to vote for war in Iraq when actually it turns out that dossier was almost a work of fantasy Iraq did not have nuclear capabilities they did not have the the missile capability to fire on Great Britain and in fact Iraq was very much open to UN nuclear inspections and it complied to a wide range of demands by the United Nations and that's why the UN never supported us going to war in Iraq it was America and Britain who wanted to go to war in Iraq some would link it to possibly oil revenue and Marx probably quite interested in that finally when we consider torture it's worth mentioning that Supreme Court in America does not define waterboarding as torture if you're not sure waterboarding is google it you can you can see an example of it or just a look at on the images but it's effectively gives you the sense of being drown it can to an extent suffocate you and it's extremely terrifying particularly if you're someone being waterboarded who doesn't have the information to hand people want so how are these different types of crimes dealt with well one feature of white-collar crime is that they're treated very differently by the criminal justice system when compared to street crime Heusen lennon say it's due to four factors and we have touched on these before low visibility generally what crime doesn't media focus on will Germany its street crime because it's newsworthy it's interesting and generally quite exciting and white-collar crimes are very complex and quite difficult to catch let alone convict you've also got diffusion of responsibility so who was responsible for us going to war was it Tony Blair was it mi6 was it CIA but even within corporations you got a bp's oil spillage no i went to jail for that they have been fined but you they they haven't sent the entire corporate bored of BP to jail for the for the oils village instead they've use of economic sanctions to punish them for it because there's a diffusion of responsibility there's no one individual who they can pin the blame on even though eleven people also killed in that oil spillage finally got diffusion of victimization if people aren't aware that they're victims of a crime like tax avoidance or tax evasion it's really difficult to get them report it to the police if you've got so many victims and maybe everyone's been affected just slightly but a vast number of people it is quite difficult to identify the fact that there's a crime taking place so what happens to these types of crimes and why might they not even get reported to the police now at this point I'd like to lead you to consider an AO to point in a valuation point does our media only focus on street crime these days or are we seeing more white-collar crime being recorded by our media are we seeing like the heads of corporations being grilled by select committees about their tax surveillance and tax avoidance and see if you can find an example of that so another one good example is the expensive scandal okay our media actually we're responsible for detecting the fact that our MPs were charging expenses for all kinds of things like I think a good example was a toilet roll holder a duck house a Mars bar bar and we the people at the bathroom paying tax of paying for all these things here's some of the sentences that were dished out to these fraudulent MPs what likely to do is have a look at these offences particularly the the severity of them some of this guy for example Eliot Morley thirty two thousand pound thirty two thousand pounds but when you're actually looking at sentence yes he was jailed for sixteen months but you only actually served a quarter of his term which is four months so this is someone who's probably quite posh who has been convicted so in terms of law enforcement it has been enforced against him but when you look at the severity of the sentencing you can see there's a huge discrepancy between the number and amount of money he basically got away with almost stealing and the amount of time he spent in jail people who cheat on benefits I very much doubt would get out that quickly another example David Chater eighteen thousand pounds jail for eighteen months only served a third of his sentence and Lord Taylor of Warwick and claiming eleven thousand pounds but was released after three months under the home detention curfew so under house arrest so I do want you to consider yet great these guys have been pulled up our media is maybe highlighting white-collar crime much more but what sort of punishments are they being given or they've been given accurate punishments in relation to the crimes they're committing or not we've also had a lots more tax evasion in the headlines you Bart please has been in the news very recently Vodafone is another one to Gary Barlow down on the right hand side and I'm sure I shown you the clip with Amazon Starbucks and Google being grilled by Margaret Hodge and the Select Committee what's interesting again about all of these organizations is not one of them including Gary Barlow has got been given a criminal record for what they've done all they've been done well Gary Barlow has anyway it's been asked to pay back the money and that is it so what are the effects of white-collar crime again you see your notes in traditional Marxist approach so Lauren Schneider argues that the losses on corporate crime are 20 times greater than the losses due to street crime okay that's probably in terms of financial impact yet the chances of prosecution in penalties are very small and Williams Chambliss quite famously said that power is the key factor the corpse and the jail's are filled with the poor in the powerless while organized crime is operated by the economic and political elite and they don't generally go to jail or appear in lipsticks so therefore white-collar crime can have serious effects for the individual injury and death etc but minor consequences so there's an example of a show that I'm going to hopefully try and get the clip to work for in class just below there but on the back of this handout that you've got there is a Pinto disaster article I'd like to have a quick read of that article particularly the sort of the calculation that the car manufacturer made when thinking whether they should improve the car or just pay for the all the damages from the accidents it's quite cold and quite calculating when you weigh up that to the cost of human life and injury that was as a result the Pinto disaster is worth mentioning that between 2009-10 there were six hundred nineteen murders in Great Britain and we're well aware of this because of the way the media reports on murder however official it figures indicate that five hundred people died in work related to their job at 1,000 people in the same time period died while driving as part of their job and tens of thousands of people die every year as a result ill health linked to work but these sorts these aren't considered murders are not considered manslaughters even these are considered you know deaths as a result of individuals as opposed something to do with the company they work for so how is white-collar crime explained can you make some notes on how strain theory can explain about it how can subcultural theory explain what color crime and how does marxist theory explain white-collar crime it is worth taking a step back and thinking about the complete hypocrisy that exists in our judicial system when it comes to white-collar crime and this is a quote from a bank robber others defaulting the government of hundreds of thousands of dollars merely get a letter from a committee asking them to come in and talk it over maybe it's justice but it's a bit puzzling to a guy like me okay so what does this suggest now particularly what aspects on firm traditional Marxism could you link in here finally from a methodological point of view it is worth considering why it's so difficult to study corporate crime well you've got to start off thinking what methods are actually possible could you do an ethnographic study could you immerse yourself in the culture and observe all aspects of the corporate environment and you've got to think about the practical problems are trying to immerse yourself particularly Investment Banking where a certain level of qualifications is required and if you conducted interviews and questionnaires you'd obviously back to be quite open about the fact that you're doing research now what would be the problem with the responses you might get to some of your questions on corporate crime perhaps actually the most useful source of data on corporate crime and the police do find this is secondary data it's business records its account its emails even however what's the limitation in getting hold of all this data because who does it really belong to and perhaps you could even look at secondary data in terms of Diaries of employers and employ these are loads of people actually keep Diaries anymore who knows perhaps a more interesting and ruse that it would mainly be things like their social media pages and what-have-you all of this snowballs into the same effect we know less about corporate crime and street crime so what impact does this have on perception well clearly other perception is that we have far higher levels of street crime than white-collar crime despite the fact that the reality is very very significantly different to what the official statistics are telling us so when evaluating observations interviews question is secondly data and Diaries please apply the pervert analysis because this is a part of the course we're going to start turning to quite soon ok thank you very much here 13




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