Criminal Justice And Popular Culture Cultural Studies Essay

This essay explores the common land between cultural and condemnable patterns in modern-day societal life — that is, between corporate behaviour organized around imagination, manner, and symbolic significance, and that categorized by legal and political governments as condemnable. As we will see, assorted intersections of civilization and offense have defined the development of public contentions past and present, and progressively determine the experience and perceptual experience of mundane life. Zoot suiters and gangbangers, Robert Mapplethorpe and blame music, mediated muggings and televised anti-crime runs – all demonstrate that cultural and condemnable procedures continually interweave along a continuum of marginality, illegality, and public show.

The many modern-day meetings of cultural and condemnable kinetic force us to reconsider traditionally distinct classs of “ civilization ” and “ offense ” in our research and analysis. Many societal groups and events traditionally conceptualized as “ condemnable ” are in fact defined in their mundane operations by subcultural significance and manner. At the same clip, assorted groups and events conventionally placed under the header of “ civilization ” on a regular basis suffer criminalization at the custody of moral enterprises, legal and political governments, and others.

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[ 1 ] Further, the criminalization runs launched against assorted subcultures and subcultural activities themselves operate non merely by building legal legislative acts and enforcement processes, but by deploying mediated symbols and mobilizing powerful cultural mentions. To account for the civilization and subcultures of offense, the criminalization of cultural and subcultural activities, and the political relations of these procedures, so, we must travel toward an integrating of cultural and criminological analysis — that is, toward a cultural criminology.

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Crime as Culture

Anyhow, I got in a batch of problem with the constabulary over the motorsickles and my engagement with packs…So the people that interested me were the existent hard-boiled felons, who were ever dragging me into problem. But they had manner. If you know about the outsider creative writing.

creative person Robt. Williams [ 2 ]

Condemnable behaviour is, more frequently than non, subcultural behaviour. From the interactionist criminology of the Chicago School and Edwin Sutherland to the subcultural theories of Cohen, Cloward and Ohlin, and others, criminologists have long acknowledged that actions and individualities labelled “ condemnable ” are typically generated within the boundaries of pervert and condemnable subcultures. [ 3 ] In this sense, much of what we take to be offense is basically corporate behaviour ; whether carried out by one individual or many, peculiar condemnable Acts of the Apostless are frequently organized within and instigated by subcultural groups. Though the boundaries may stay unclear, and the rank may switch in gross Numberss and degree of committedness, these subcultures constitute unequivocal human associations for those who participate in them. Biker, streetwalker, Blood and Crip, procurer and cocotte — all name subcultural webs every bit much as single individualities.

As Sutherland and the Chicago School knew a half century ago, and as countless instance surveies have since confirmed, condemnable subcultures incorporate far more than simple propinquities of personal association. To talk of a condemnable subculture is to acknowledge non merely an association of people, but a web of symbols, significance, and cognition. Members of a condemnable subculture learn and negociate “ motivations, thrusts, rationalisations, and attitudes ; ” develop luxuriant conventions of linguistic communication, visual aspect, and presentation of ego ; and in so making participate, to greater or lesser grades, in a subculture, a corporate manner of life. [ 4 ]

Much of this subcultural significance, action, individuality, and position is organized around manner — that is, around the shared aesthetic of the subculture ‘s members. As earlier research workers have found, nuances of corporate manner specify the significance of offense and [ End page 26 ] aberrance for subcultural participants, agents of legal control, consumers of mediated offense images, and others. [ 5 ] If we are to understand both the panic and the entreaty of bootboyss, Bloods and Crips, graffiti “ authors, ” zoot suiters, rude male child’s, drug users, and others, we must be able to do sense non merely of their condemnable Acts of the Apostless, but of their corporate aesthetics as good.

Katz ‘s research, for illustration, has linked condemnable Acts of the Apostless and aesthetics by analyzing the manners and symbolic significances which emerge inside the mundane kinetics of condemnable events and condemnable subcultures. [ 6 ] By paying attending to dark dark glassess and white singlets, to precise manners of walking, speaking, and otherwise showing one ‘s condemnable individuality, Katz has sketched the “ alternate aberrant civilization, ” the “ coherent pervert & lt ; a & gt ; esthetic ” in which badasses, cholos, punks, young person pack members, and others participate. [ 7 ] In these instances, as in other signifiers of offense on and off the street, the significance of criminalism is anchored in the manner of its corporate pattern. The biker ‘s ceremonially reconstructed bike, the pack member ‘s athleticss vesture and tattoos, the graffiti author ‘s cryptic street images, and the skinhead ‘s violently provocative music constitute the indispensable cultural and subcultural stuffs out of which condemnable undertakings and condemnable individualities are constructed and displayed. Once once more, engagement in a condemnable subculture, or in the “ civilization of offense, ” means engagement in the symbolism and manner, the corporate aesthetic environment, of criminalism. [ 8 ]

From early work within the British cultural surveies tradition to Katz and other modern-day criminologists, research has shown that symbolism and manner non merely shape condemnable subcultures, but intertwine with the broader societal and legal dealingss in which these subcultures are caught. [ 9 ] Criminal subcultures and their manners both grow out of category, age, gender, cultural, and legal inequalities, and by bends reproduce and defy these societal mistake lines. [ 10 ] And this interplay of subcultural manner, inequality, and authorization in bend reminds us of Becker ‘s authoritative criminological injunction, that we must analyze non merely condemnable subcultures, but the legal and political governments who construct these subcultures as condemnable. [ 11 ] When we do, we find these governments both responding to subcultural manners, and themselves using symbolic and stylistic schemes of their ain against them. The criminalisation attempts of legal and political candidates display once more the [ End page 27 ] power of cultural forces ; in criminalizing cultural and subcultural activities, and runing for public support, moral enterprisers and legal governments manipulate legal and political constructions, but possibly more so constructions of mass symbolism and perceptual experience.

To understand the world of offense and criminalization, so, a cultural criminology must account non merely for the kinetics of condemnable subcultures, but for the kinetics of the mass media every bit good. Today, mediated images of offense and condemnable force wash over us in moving ridge after moving ridge, and in so making aid determine public perceptual experiences and policies in respect to offense. But of class, these modern-day instances build on earlier mediated buildings of offense and control. The criminalization of marihuana in the United States a half-century ago was predicated on “ an attempt to elicit the populace to the danger facing it by agencies of `an educational run depicting the drug, its designation, and evil effects. ‘ ” [ 12 ] Aggressive rabble behavior and constabulary assaults on zoot suiters in the 1940s were “ preceded by the development of an unambiguously unfavorable symbol ” in Los Angeles newspapers. [ 13 ] In the mid-1960s, lurid media histories of colza and assault set the context for a legal run against the Hell ‘s Angels; and at about the same clip, legal onslaughts on British mods and bikers were legitimated through the media ‘s deployment of “ affectional symbols. “ [ 14 ] In the 1970s, the “ mutual dealings ” between the British mass media and condemnable justness system produced a perceptual experience that mugging was “ an awful new strain of offense. “ [ 15 ] And during the 1980s and early 1990s, mediated horror narratives legitimated “ wars ” on drugs, packs, and graffito in the United States, and produced minutes of mediated “ moral terror ” over child maltreatment and kid erotica in Great Britain. [ 16 ]

Clearly, so, both the mundane corporate pattern of criminalism and the criminalization of mundane life by the powerful are cultural endeavors and must be investigated as such. That being the instance, criminological research and analysis must integrate an apprehension of media, linguistic communication, symbolism, and manner — that is, a grasp of cultural procedures and subcultural kinetics. Put more merely: doing the sense of offense and criminalization agencies paying to attend to civilization. [ End page 28 ]

Culture as Crime

Further, Mapplethorpe ‘s controversial Honey, 1976 is said to portray a bare kid “ merely as 1000s of other child molesters/pornographers before and after him… . The exposure advertises the handiness of the kid ( and, by extension, all kids ) for photographic assault and colza. ”

Richard Bolton, citing a Washington Times editorial [ 17 ]

In the same manner that mundane offense and criminalisation operate as cultural endeavors, mundane popular cultural projects — those societal activities organized around art, music, and manner — are on a regular basis recast a offense. Surely much in the universes of art, music, and manner gets caught up in contentions over “ good gustatory sensation, ” public decency, and the alleged influences of popular civilization. In some instances, the manufacturers of art or music themselves stoke these contentions in order to advance ingestion of their cultural trade goods ; in other instances, rightist involvement groups, spiritual fundamentalist, and others promote these cultural struggles as portion of their theo- political docket. Frequently, these two kineticss intertwine in dry, symbiotic relationships of common elaboration. Of involvement here, though, are the many instances in which such struggles promote non merely contention, but besides reconstruct cultural production, distribution, and ingestion as both condemnable and criminogenic.

The recent history of Western popular music provides an on-going array of such instances. The outgrowth of hood music in Great Britain during the 1970s, for illustration, incorporated both contention and criminalization. When London belowground interior decorator and store proprietor Malcolm McLaren recruited singer John Lydon ( Johnny Rotten ) and helped form the unequivocal hood set — the Sexual activity Pistols — he was besides piecing an intentionally confrontational and distressing manner. Pulling on the violently baffled imagination of sadomasochism, bondage, fascism, and lawlessness, McLaren, Lydon, and the Sex Pistols produced a possibly predictable public reaction. The British media condemned the set, and the larger hood motion, as violent menaces to British society ; and British politicians raged against this sensed menace to civil order and morality. The Sexual activity Pistols — who [ End page 29 ] themselves each carried anterior felon records — now came under violent onslaught ( stabbings, whippings ) , and were forced to engage organic structure guards and to get down playing club day of the months under assumed names. In add-on, British governments ruled the set ‘s promotional shows to be obscene; local governments prosecuted record stores transporting Sexual activity Pistols albums and related stuffs ; and legal governments fined the caput of the Sex Pistols ‘ record company at the clip, Virgin Records, for go againsting lewdness legislative acts. Subsequently, U.S. imposts functionaries delayed a U.S. circuit by denying the Sexual activity Pistols entry visas, supposedly because of their condemnable records; and throughout the 1980s, British constabularies continued to bust record stores and impound “ obscene ” hood and alternate records. [ 18 ]

Contemporary popular music contentions in the United States mirror the British hood experience. During the early 1990s, for illustration, Florida ‘s governor urged the province prosecuting officer to indict the Black blame group 2 Live Crew under racketeering legislative acts. Failing this, a local sheriff took the set to civil tribunal over lewdness charges, sent his deputies and other clandestine officers into record stores, and finally arrested Black record store proprietor Charles Freeman on lewdness charges. ( Freeman was later convicted of lewdness by an all-white jury. ) Florida governments besides conducted a highly-publicized apprehension of 2 Live Crew ‘s members on lewdness charges following a unrecorded public presentation by the set. [ 19 ]

Meanwhile, back in the United Kingdom, legal governments confiscated 24,000 transcripts of an album by blame group N.W.A. ; and in the U. S. , Nebraska governments clamped down on five concerns for selling blame music. [ 20 ] Local, province, and national associations of constabulary officers — with the support of so Vice President Dan Quayle and others — attempted to disrupt both distribution and public presentations of rapper Ice-T ‘s vocal “ Cop Killer, ” reasoning in the mass media that “ the publication of such despicable rubbish is conscienceless. This vocal does nil but arouse the passions of the condemnable component… . ” [ 21 ] Virginia governments responded by collaring a record shop proprietor for selling Ice-T ‘s album “ Body Count, ” and big record-store ironss followed suit by taking the album from their shelves. [ 22 ]

But if the “ low civilization ” universes of hood and blame have non escaped criminalization, neither have the “ high civilization ” echelons of gallery and museum art. During 1990, San Francisco constabulary and the FBI raided [ End page 30 ] the studio of Jock Sturges, a lensman whose plants hang in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and other acclaimed galleries and museums. Police besides seized Sturges ‘ associate Joe Semien, interrogating him for two yearss before his release. On the footing of a series of insouciant exposure that Sturges had taken of friends while on a bare beach in France, federal prosecuting officers accused both work forces of engagement with child erotica. [ 23 ]

In Cincinnati, the Contemporary Arts Center ( CAC ) faced similar legal jobs in relation to an exhibit of ( homosexual ) lensman Robert Mapplethorpe ‘s plants. Expecting such jobs, CAC restricted admittances to the exhibit, developed voluntary disclaimers and even filed a pre-emptive case bespeaking legal protection. Nonetheless, a local expansive jury indicted CAC and its manager Dennis Barrie on charges of “ gratifying lewdness and for the usage of a minor in stuffs related to the nude. ” Though a county tribunal jury subsequently found Barrie and the CAC non guilty, a figure of similar instances have emerged, and have been publicized, in the United States over the past few old ages. [ 24 ]

From hood and blame to ticket art picture taking, these instances embody non merely the criminalisation of popular civilization, but the political relations of civilization and the kineticss of the mass media every bit good. Significantly, the criminalisation of popular civilization is both a politicized onslaught on peculiar media signifiers like popular music, and itself a signifier of media. Like those who work publically to criminalize the lives of drug users, zoot suiters, and rockerss, those who run to criminalize the universes of music and art do so by mobilising powerful cultural resources in the building of mediated morality dramas. When Jesse Helms and Patrick Buchanan publically declare “ cultural war ” on the National Endowment for the Humanistic disciplines and homosexual and sapphic creative persons ; when Tipper Gore and her Parents ‘ Music Resource Center, and the Rev. Donald Wildmon and his American Family Association ( AFA ) , decry the criminogenic effects of “ obscene ” words and images ; when Cincinnati ‘s Citizens for Community Values, and local sheriffs and politicians, effort to criminalize alternate art and music, all employ their political and media webs to circulate choice images and precise cultural mentions. [ 25 ]

In this new cultural context, popular music becomes an obscene and incendiary accelerator for vernal noncompliance and societal decay ; and ocular art is [ End page 31 ] transformed into a lewd offense against societal decency, a sort of high-class erotica. Therefore in the Cincinnati instance, for illustration, Citizens for Community Values mailed about 18,000 letters to “ Cincinnati leaders ” — letters which called for “ action to forestall this adult art from being shown in our metropolis. “ [ 26 ] The Washington Times argued that Mapplethorpe portrayed bare kids “ merely as 1000s of other child molesters/pornographers before and after him… . ” And more by and large, Wildmon ‘s AFA continues to use an one-year budget of $ 5 million to publish in national newspapers full-page advertizements avering the criminogenic influence of popular music and telecasting, and to direct its newssheet to 400,000 endorsers. [ 27 ]

Not surprisingly, these criminalisation runs, like those seen antecedently, disproportionately aim cultural minorities, homosexuals and tribades, immature people, and other foreigners. It is surely no accident that, historically, marihuana users, Black and Latino/Latina zoot suiters and pack members, and working category rockerss in the United States and Great Britain have been the focal point of extremely publicized criminalisation runs ; and it is no accident that, among all the assortments of modern-day artistic and musical production, extremist hood sets, Black blame groups, and cheery ocular creative persons have been most sharply recast as felons. In all these instances, the marginality of these groups — and the brave manners through which they celebrate and confront their marginality — endanger the caretakers of moral and legal control. [ 28 ]

Clearly, both the corporate production of art and music, and the mediated responses to cultural production by legal and moral governments, incorporate the on-going political relations of offense, criminalization, and legal control. That being the instance, research into art, music, and civilization must integrate a critical apprehension of mediated criminalization runs, legal process, and even the criminological theory. Put more merely: doing the sense of civilization means paying attending to offense and criminalization.

Collisions of Culture and Crime: Toward a Cultural Criminology So far we have examined three wide class of societal and cultural experience: condemnable individualities and events that incorporate dimensions of cultural significance [ End page 32 ] and manner, artistic and musical universes caught up in the kinetics of offense and criminalisation, and the mediated procedures by which both subcultural and popular cultural universes are criminalized. But exactly where are the boundaries between this class of mundane life? What, for illustration, of the elegant, luxuriant manifestations of Latino/Latina street life? The stylishly condemnable zoot suiters of the 1940s, the manus crafted low riders of today whose slow cruising attracts the attending of both walkers and constabularies – – are these manifestations of cultural heritage and cultural inequality chiefly cultural or condemnable? And what of the Sex Pistols? Are they best understood as convicted felons or cutting-edge instrumentalists, as purveyors of lewdness or public presentation creative persons? Answers to these inquiries are, of class, every bit equivocal as are the boundaries between civilization and offense — boundaries which are in bend-shaped and blurred by the power and prestigiousness of those involved. When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1991 to continue a legal prohibition on bare saloon dance, for illustration, it stressed that bare dance in other cultural contexts – like “ an opera at Lincoln Center ” – would non be banned, but protected as art. [ 29 ]

These kinds of politically charged confusions of civilization and offense pervade modern-day societal life, and therefore demonstrate clip and once more the demand for a critical cultural criminology. Those caught up in the day-to-day mix of civilization and offense — rockerss, street pack members, and creative persons, but every bit much so legal governments, media reformers, and media consumers — interact inside the equivocal intersections of symbolic production, situated significance, and criminalism. In so making, these societal histrions and actresses experience civilization and offense non as categorical abstractions, nor as distinguishable spheres of societal being, but as emergent procedures twisted together in the texture of mundane life. If we are to do sense of their experiences, so, we as criminologists must besides travel beyond the dichotomy of “ civilization ” and “ offense ” to analyze the many ways in which civilization and offense non merely clash, but co-produce one another.

As this brief essay already demonstrates, a figure of cardinal subjects run through this integrating of cultural and criminological concerns. First is the indispensable function of the media in determining the intersections of civilization and offense. It is non merely that the mass media study in certain ways on condemnable events, or supply stylish fresh fish out of which condemnable subcultures construct corporate manners. For [ End page 33 ] good or bad, postmodern society exists good beyond such distinct, additive forms of action and reaction. Rather, condemnable events, individualities, and manners take life within a media-saturated environment and therefore exist from the start as minutes in a mediated spiral of presentation and representation. Condemnable events and public perceptual experiences of criminalism are reported on by the media less than they are constructed within the media; their being is necessarily confirmed more by evaluations points than by rates of offense. Condemnable subcultures in bend reinvent mediated images as located manners, but are at the same clip themselves reinvented clip and once more as they are displayed within the day-to-day drove of mediated presentations. In every instance, as cultural criminologists, we study non merely images, but images of images, an infinite hall of mediated mirrors.

This impression of corporate imagination, and the corporate production of shared symbolism and significance points to a 2nd subject woven into cultural criminology: manner. As creative persons and instrumentalists run afoul of lewdness legislative acts and those that choose to implement them, as street bulls find mistake with the drooping bloomers or shaved caputs of pack members, they jointly engage in “ offenses of manner ” — offenses which reveal the power of shared manners in building non merely condemnable individuality, but legal authorization and the boundaries of societal control. [ 30 ] This essay possibly begins to show the importance of manner in the development of condemnable and subcultural individualities. But when legal governments, moral reformers, and others push for new legal countenances and more aggressive enforcement to cover with these individualities, their perceptual experiences and responses are shaped by their ain stylistic jussive moods every bit good. Legal and moral governments operate within an “ aesthetics of authorization ; ” from inside a set of aesthetic premises and legal controls that define the beauty and desirableness of “ nice ” public art, “ clean ” metropolises, and “ appropriate ” personal manner, these governments condemn and criminalize controversial art, street graffitos, stateless populations, and “ tough looking ” childs. [ 31 ] And they do so non merely because these individualities and manners threaten legal or moral control as such, but because they undermine the stylistic certainty and aesthetic preciseness indispensable to the broader operation of legal authorization and societal control. In this procedure of disapprobation and criminalisation, as we have seen, governments are furthermore able to mobilise their ain powerful stylistic resources to reshape the public significance of tough childs [ End page 34 ] or disputed art. Manner in this sense constitutes the sod over which immature punks and old governments, street corner street fighters and street-wise bulls, alternate creative persons and anti-obscenity candidates conflict. And as they engage in these aesthetic sod wars, the battlers continually negotiate the boundaries of civilization and offense.

To talk of “ turf wars ” is of class to indicate to a 3rd subject sewn into the cloth of cultural criminology: the demand to take into history power, struggle, subordination, and insubordination, and therefore to develop a critical cultural criminology. Contemporary contentions demonstrate that the connexions between civilization and offense are on a regular basis crafted out of societal inequality. As we have already seen, powerful political-economic, legal, spiritual, and media forces shape the runs to criminalize popular civilization and peculiar subcultures, and direct these runs at foreigners of all kinds. These foreigners — whether pack members, hood instrumentalists, or gallery creative persons — in bend concept and reconstruct alternate subcultures and manners that provide corporate individuality and demonstrate opposition to the really powers that criminalize them. [ 32 ] And as these powers so react to such shows of opposition, they in many instances set up a spiral of amplified criminalization, and in others a moral force by which such shows come finally to be coopted and commodified. [ 33 ] Subordination and insubordination define the interplay between civilization and offense; and it is through this interplay that power is both implemented and resisted.

This critical focal point on the complex interplay of power, inequality, and insubordination besides means that cultural criminologists must pay close attending to the peculiar features of governments and foreigners likewise. Young people, and particularly minority young person, for illustration, find themselves on a regular basis entangled in the intersections of civilization and offense. Punk and blame instrumentalists, graffito authors, badasses and pack members — most come from backgrounds of cultural favoritism and poorness, and most all are immature. This correlativity between young person, civilization, and offense points us down two related lines of enquiry. First, we must look into young person civilizations as primary scenes for the production of alternate manner and significance, and hence as the primary marks of legal, political, and moral governments threatened by the audaciousness of these cultural options. Second, and more by and large, we must critically research young person as a [ End page 35 ] class of societal, cultural, and condemnable stratification intertwined with the more constituted stratification class of societal category, ethnicity, and gender. [ 34 ]

The development of the kind of cultural criminology imagined here — a criminology which accounts for subcultural manners, media kinetics, aesthetic orientations, societal and cultural inequalities, and more — will ask journeys beyond the conventional boundaries of modern-day criminology. If we are to analyze the many intersections of civilization and offense, we will necessitate a assortment of analytic and methodological resources. This will probably affect either raising or reinventing a figure of theoretical strands within criminology — labeling/interactionist theories, critical theories, and newer constituent and newsmaking criminologies, for illustration — and at the same clip pulling on exterior Fields of inquiries like cultural surveys and the sociology of civilization. [ 35 ]

This motion beyond disciplinary frontiers, this synthesis of divergent rational positions, this focal point on located cultural kineticss — all point to possibilities non merely for a critical cultural criminology, but a kind of postmodern cultural criminology every bit good. Contemporary societal, feminist, and cultural theories are progressively traveling beyond disciplinary restraints and distinct classs to make man-made, postmodern positions on societal and cultural life. Though marked by their eclectic and divergent constituents, these positions portion some general thoughts, among them the impression that the mundane civilization of persons and groups incorporates powerful and conflicting dimensions of manner and significance. The symbolism and manner of societal interaction — the civilization of mundane life — in this manner forms a contested political terrain, incarnating forms of inequality, power, and privilege. And these forms are in bend intertwined with larger constructions of mediated information and amusement, cultural production and ingestion, and legal and political authorization. As the kind of cultural criminology outlined here develops, it can incorporate criminology into these man-made lines of located enquiry now emerging under wide headers like “ postmodernism ” and “ cultural surveies. ”

Cultural criminology therefore provides criminologists the chance to heighten their ain positions on offense with penetrations from other Fieldss, while at the same clip supplying for their co-workers in cultural [ End page 36 ] surveies, the sociology of civilization, media surveys, and elsewhere priceless positions on offense, criminalisation, and their relationship to cultural and political procedures. Bending or interrupting the boundaries of criminology in order to build a cultural criminology in this sense undermines modern-day criminology less than it expands and enlivens it. Cultural criminology widens criminology ‘s sphere to include universes conventionally considered exterior to it: gallery art, popular music, media operations and texts, manner. In the same manner, it introduces criminology into modern-day arguments over these universes, and defines criminological positions as indispensable to them. The specific relationships between civilization and offense, and the broader relationship between criminology and modern-day societal and cultural life, are both lighted within cultural criminology.


1. Howard S. Becker, Outsiders: Surveies in the Sociology of Deviance ( New York: Free Press, 1963 ) , Chapter Eight.

2. Quoted in Michelle Delio, “ Robt. Williams: Esthetician of the Preposterous, ” Art? Alternatives 1 ( April 1992 ) , p. 45.

3. Edwin Sutherland and Donald Cressey, Criminology, 10th erectile dysfunction. ( Philadelphia: Lippencott, 1978 ) ; Albert Cohen, Delinquent Boys: The Culture of the Gang ( New York: The Free Press, 1955 ) ; Richard Cloward and Lloyd Ohlin, Delinquency and Opportunity: A Theory of Delinquent Gangs ( New York: The Free Press, 1960 ) ; see Walter Miller, “ Lower Class Culture as a Generating Milieu of Gang Delinquency, ” Journal of Social Issues 14 ( 1958 ) , pp. 5-19 ; Marvin E. Wolfgang and Franco Ferracuti, The Subculture of Violence ( Beverly Hills: Sage, 1982 ) ; Lynn Curtis, Violence, Race, and Culture ( Lexington, MA: Heath, 1975 ) .

4. Sutherland and Cressey, Criminology, p. 80. Of class, societal acquisition, strain, and other criminological theories besides incorporate assorted positions on the civilizations and subcultures of offense. And see likewise Jeff Ferrell, “ The Brotherhood of Timber Workers and the Culture of Conflict, ” Journal of Folklore Research 28 ( 1991 ) , pp. 163-177, for an application of this statement to labour and brotherhood subcultures. [ End page 37 ]

5. Among earlier plants, see for illustration Harold Finestone, “ Cats, Kicks, and Color, ” in Howard S. Becker, ed. , The Other Side: Positions on Deviance ( New York: The Free Press, 1964 ) , pp. 281-297 ; Stuart Hall and Tony Jefferson, eds. , Resistance Through Rituals ( London: Hutchinson, 1976 ) ; Dick Hebdige, Subculture: The Meaning of Style ( London: Methuen, 1979 ) ; Stuart Cosgrove, “ The Zoot-Suit and Style Warfare, ” Radical America 18 ( 1984 ) , pp. 38-51. See besides William Sanders, Gangbangs and Drive-bys: Grounded Culture and Juvenile Gang Violence ( Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter, 1994 ) . And for more on condemnable subcultures, legal control, and manner, see Jeff Ferrell, “ Style Matters, ” in Jeff Ferrell and Clinton R. Sanders, eds. , Cultural Criminology ( Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1995, forthcoming ) .

6. Jack Katz, Seductions of Crime: Moral and Animal Attractions in Making Evil ( New York: Basic Books, 1988 ) . 7. Katz, Seductions, p. 90. 8. See Jeff Ferrell, “ Making Sense of Crime, ” Social Justice 19 ( 1992 ) , pp. 110-123 ; Jeff Ferrell, Crimes of Style: Urban Graffiti and the Politicss of Criminality ( New York: Garland, 1993 ) ; Jeff Ferrell and Clinton R. Sanders, Cultural Criminology ( Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1995, forthcoming ) .

9. Among early British cultural surveies plants, see for illustration Hall and Jefferson, Resistance ; Paul Willis, Learning to Labor ( New York: Columbia University Press, 1977 ) ; Hebdige, Subculture. See besides Neil Nehring, Flowers in the Dustbin: Culture, Anarchy, and Postwar England ( Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1993 ) . For modern-day criminological positions, see Ferrell and Sanders, Cultural Criminology.

10. See Ferrell, “ Style Matters. ”

11. Becker, Outsiders, p. 163.

12. Becker, Outsiders, p. 140. [ End page 38 ]

13. Ralph H. Turner and Samuel Surace, “ Zoot-Suiters and Mexicans: Symbols in Crowd Behavior, ” American Journal of Sociology 62 ( 1956 ) , pp. 14-20.

14. Hunter S. Thompson, Hell ‘s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga ( New York: Ballantine, 1967 ) ; Stanley Cohen, Folk Devils and Moral Panics ( London: MacGibbon and Kee, 1972 ) , pp. 31, 54.

15. Stuart Hall, Chas Critcher, Tony Jefferson, John Clarke, and Brian Roberts, Patroling the Crisis: Mugging, the State, and Law and Order ( London: MacMillan, 1978 ) , pp. 74, 71.

16. See for illustration Cohen, Folk Devils ; Simon Watney, Patroling Desire: Pornography, AIDS, and the Media ( Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987 ) ; Philip Jenkins, Intimate Enemies: Moral Panics in Contemporary Great Britain ( Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter, 1992 ) ; Victor Kappeler, Mark Blumberg, and Gary Potter, The Mythology of Crime and Criminal Justice ( Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland, 1993 ) ; Philip Jenkins, Using Murder: The Social Construction of Serial Homicide ( Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter, 1994 ) ; Philip Jenkins, “ `The Ice Age ‘ : The Social Construction of a Drug Panic, ” Justice Quarterly 11 ( 1994 ) , pp. 7-31 ; Erich Goode and Nachman Ben-Yehuda, Moral Panics ( Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1994 ) ; Ferrell and Sanders, Cultural Criminology. Interestingly, an scrutiny of the “ drug messenger profiles ” incorporated in the U.S. war on drugs indicates that these profiles target alleged “ messengers ” every bit much on the footing of personal manner as ethnicity — and that, in many instances, they target personal manner as a lived manifestation of ethnicity ; see Ferrell, “ Style Matters. ”

17. Richard Bolton, “ The cultural contradictions of conservativism, ” New Art Examiner 17 ( June 1990 ) , pp. 24-29, 72.

18. See Tricia Henry, Break All Rules! Punk Rock and the Making of a Style ( Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1989 ) ; Hebdige, Subculture ; Catherine McDermott, Street Style: British Design in the 80s ( New York: Rizzoli, 1987 ) ; David Holden, “ Pop go the censors, ” Index on Censorship 22 ( 1993 ) , pp. 11-14 ; Nehring, Flowers. [ End page 39 ]

19. See Entertainment Weekly, “ Do the Rights Thing ” ( March 30, 1990 ) , pp. 38-39 ; Holden, “ Pop ” ; Associated Press, “ Shop proprietor takes blame on blame album, ” Rocky Mountain News ( October 4, 1990 ) , p. 2 ; Gene Santoro, “ How 2 B Nasty, ” The State 251 ( July 2, 1990 ) , pp. 4-5. Possibly significantly, Steven Dubin, Arresting Images: Impolitic Art and Uncivil Actions ( London: Routledge, 1992 ) , p. 10, studies that an helper province lawyer involved in prosecuting the 2 Live Crew instance was upset that a retired sociology professor was included on the jury!

20. See Adam Dawtrey and Jeffrey Jolson-Colburn, “ Scotland Yard confiscates blame album, ” Rocky Mountain News ( The Hollywood Reporter ) ( June 7, 1991 ) , p. 111 ; American Civil Liberties Union, “ The Arts Censorship Project ” ( booklet ) ( New York: ACLU, 1992 ) .

21. Rocky Mountain News, “ Police expression to halt `Cop Killer ‘ ” ( June 18, 1992 ) , p. 86 ; see Mark S. Hamm and Jeff Ferrell, “ Rap, Cops, and Crime: Clarifying the `Cop Killer ‘ Controversy, ” ACJS Today 13 ( 1994 ) , pp. 1, 3, 29.

22. See Arts Censorship Project Newsletter, “ Attacks on Rap Music Continue as Paris and ACLU Launch Affirmative Free-Music Campaign ” ( New York: ACLU, Winter 1993 ) , p. 4. Punk musician Jello Biafra and his Alternate Tentacles label, rocker Ozzy Osbourne, vocalist Bobby Brown, and legion other popular instrumentalists have besides late come under legal onslaught ; and mediated runs have progressively laid criminogenic incrimination on blame music, movie and telecasting images, and other popular cultural signifiers. For more on these and related issues, see Jeff Ferrell, “ Criminalizing Popular Culture, ” in Donna Hale and Frankie Bailey, eds. , Criminal Justice and Popular Culture ( forthcoming ) .

23. See Bruce Shapiro, “ The Art Cops, ” The State 251 ( July 9, 1990 ) , pp. 40-41, 57 ; Robert Atkins, “ A Censorship Time Line, ” The Art Journal ( Fall 1991 ) , pp. 33-37.

24. Steven Mannheimer, “ Cincinnati joins the censoring circus, ” New Art Examiner 17 ( June 1990 ) , pp. 33-35 ; New Art Examiner 18, “ CAC, Barrie win in tribunal ” ( November 1990 ) , p. 13 ; David Lyman, “ Post-Mapplethorpe blues in Cincinnati, ” New Art Examiner 18 ( January 1991 ) , p. 56 ; see Ferrell, “ Criminalizing Popular Culture. ” And in a different vena, see John Conklin, Art Crime ( Westport, CT: Praeger, 1994 ) . [ End page 40 ]

25. See for illustration Associated Press, “ 2,000 Christian conservativists hearten anti-abortion address, ” Rocky Mountain News ( September 12, 1993 ) , p. 34A ; Carole Vance, “ The War on Culture, ” Art in America 77 ( 1989 ) , pp. 39, 41, 43 ; Tipper Gore, Raising PG Kids in an X-Rated Society ( Nashville: Abingdon, 1987 ) .

26. Mannheimer, “ Cincinnati, ” p. 34.

27. Bolton, “ Cultural Contradictions, ” pp. 25, 26.

28. Nadine Strossen, “ Academic and Artistic Freedom, ” Academe 78 ( November/December 1992 ) , pp. 8-15, likewise notes the societal category prejudice of recent Supreme Court opinions on lewdness and free address. See besides Michael Bronski, “ It ‘s Not the Flesh, It ‘s the Flowers: The `Art Wars ‘ Fury On, ” Radical America 23 ( 1989 ) , pp. 47-55, on Mapplethorpe ‘s “ out ” cheery gender ; Hall and Jefferson, Resistance ; and Ferrell, “ Criminalizing Popular Culture. ”

29. Strossen, “ Academic and Artistic, ” p. 15.

30. See Ferrell, Crimes of Style.

31. See Ferrell, Crimes of Style.

32. See for illustration Hall and Jefferson, Resistance ; James Scott, Domination and the Humanistic disciplines of Resistance ( New Haven: Yale, 1990 ) ; Ferrell, Crimes of Style.

33. See for illustration Stephen Lyng and Mitchell Bracey, “ Squaring the One-Percent: Biker Style and the Selling of Cultural Resistance, ” in Ferrell and Sanders, Cultural Criminology ; Sarah Thornton, “ Moral Panic, The Media and British Rave Culture, ” in Andrew Ross and Tricia Rose, eds. , Microphone Fiends: Young person Music and Youth Culture ( New York: Routledge, 1994 ) , pp. 176- 192 ; Anthony Barnett and Andrew Puddiphatt, “ Ruled Britannia, ” The State 260 ( February 6, 1995 ) , pp. 153-154.

34. Among authoritative plants on young person, civilization, and offense, see for illustration Cohen, Folk Devils ; Hall and Jefferson, Resistance ; David Greenberg, “ Delinquency and the Age Structure of Society, ” Contemporary Crises 1 ( 1977 ) , pp. 189-223 ; Hebdige, Subculture ; Dick Hebdige, Hiding in the Light ( London: Routledge, 1988 ) ; Mike Brake, The Sociology of Youth Culture and Youth Subcultures ( London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1980 ) ; Herman Schwendinger and Julia Schwendinger, Adolescent Subcultures and Delinquency ( New York: Praeger, 1985 ) . [ End page 41 ]

35. In other words, as criminologists, we may wish to do usage non merely of Becker ‘s Outsiders, but his Art Worlds ( Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982 ) every bit good. See Ferrell and Sanders, Cultural Criminology, for more on this.


Jeff Ferrell is associate professor of sociology at Regis University, Denver. He is writer of Crimes of Style: Urban Graffiti and the Politicss of Criminality ( New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1993 ) , and editor, with Clinton R. Sanders, of Cultural Criminology ( Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1995, forthcoming ) . [ End page 42 ]

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Criminal Justice And Popular Culture Cultural Studies Essay. (2020, Jun 01). Retrieved from

Criminal Justice And Popular Culture Cultural Studies Essay

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