CULTURAL EXPLANATION OF CRIME

“Language brings with it an identity and a cultural, or at least a perception of it.”

-Trevor Noah.

INTRODUCTION

The term “cultural criminology denotes specific perspectives and broader orientations that have emerged in criminology, sociology, and criminal justice in recent years.” More specifically, “cultural criminology is a perspective developed by Ferrell and Sanders (1995)[1] and also employed by Redhead (1995)[2] and others (Kane 1998a)[3]” that weaves together specific knowledgeable threads to study the “convergence of cultural and criminal processes.” In a broader sense, “cultural criminology refers to the increasing analytical attention that many criminologists today are devoting to famous culture constructions, particularly media constructions, of crime and crime control.”



In turn, the subject underscores the appearance of this overall “area of culture and media studies as a relatively distinct domain within criminology, as evidenced, for example, by the number of recently published collections dealing with media, culture, and crime (Anderson and Howard 1998, Bailey et al. Hale 1998,).[4]“More generally, the existence of a concept such as that of “cultural criminology” underscores the steady infiltration of media and cultural analysis into the traditional areas of criminological research in recent years, with “criminological conferences and journals providing increasing space and legitimacy for such analysis, regardless of context.” Furthermore, while it considers existing work that could now be reflectively gathered under criminal social science, it centres around later exploration for the most part. Hence, right now, criminal social science can be seen less as a traditional worldview and more as an arising set of viewpoints connected by aversions to picture importance and portrayal in the investigation of wrongdoing and wrongdoing control.



EXISTING PARTS OF INVESTIGATION

Outlined through these theoretical and methodological orientations, cultural criminological research and analyses have arisen in several overlapping content areas in recent years. The initial two can be considered through an all too simplistic but perhaps revealing contradiction among “crime as culture” and “culture as a crime.”


⮚ Crime as Culture

To discuss wrongdoing as culture is to recognize at any rate that a lot of what we call criminal ways of behaving is, simultaneously, subcultural conduct, all in all, coordinated around organizations of image, custom, and shared importance. “Taken into a mediated world of increasingly dislocated communication and dispersed substance, this insight further implies that deviant and criminal subcultures may now explode into universes of symbolic communication that transcend time and space in many ways, following Hebdige. D’s (1979[5])” “classic exploration of subculture: the meaning of style” and “cultural criminologists” have explored style by utilizing both the “internal characteristics of deviant and criminal subcultures and their external constructions.”



More generally, “Ferrell (in Ferrell and Sanders 1995:169-89)[6] has examined style as the fabric that binds cultural and criminal practices and examined how subcultural style shapes not only aesthetic communities but also official and unofficial responses to subcultural identity.” Finally, “Lyng and Bracey (1995)[7] have documented the multiple ironic processes by which the style of the outlaw subculture first meant class-based cultural resistance and then evoked the kind of media reactions and scrutiny that actually reinforced and validated its meaning and finally appropriated and marketed in such a way that their political potential is nullified.” Significantly, this and other studies “(Cosgrove 1984)[8] confirm the integrative methodological framework outlined above by showing that the meaning of style lies not in the dynamics of criminal subcultures or the political and media constructions of their purpose but the contested interaction of both.”




⮚ Culture as a Crime

In present-day civilization, such reconstructions permeate popular culture and transcend traditional high and low cultural boundaries. “Fine art photographers Robert Mapplethorpe and Jock Sturges, for example, faced highly composed campaigns accusing them of producing obscene or pornographic images” also, an arts center that exhibited Mapplethorpe’s photographs was charged with “indulgent obscenity,” and local police and the “FBI raided Sturges’ studio (Dubin 1992).[9]

More generally, “several television shows, films, and cartoons have been the target of public campaigns claiming that they incite crime, lead to impressionist crime, and serve as criminalizing social forces (Ferrell 1998, Nyberg 1998).[10]“These many cases positively fall inside the domain of criminal social science because the objectives of criminalization “picture takers, performers, TV journalists, and their items” are “social in nature,” yet in addition, because their criminalization unfurls as a social cycle.



It makes pictures as well as pictures of thoughts, that is to say, endeavours by legal counsellors, cops, strict pioneers, media laborers, and others to foster condemned pictures from the photos recently made by artisans, artists, and producers. In this way, the criminalization of mainstream society is a well-known and social venture, less oppositive than participating in mainstream society and assisting with developing the implications and impacts it indicates to answer. Against this foundation, social crime analysts have extended the idea of “criminalization” to incorporate more than the basic creation and utilization of criminal regulation.

Progressively, they inspected the more extensive course of “social criminalization,” the intervened recreation of importance and discernment around culture and wrongdoing. At times, this social criminalization fills in as an end, effectively dehumanizing or delegitimizing casualties even though no formal charges are brought against them. In every situation, the media elements characterize the criminalization of mainstream society.



“Cultural criminalization, in this sense, reveals another set of connections between subcultural styles and symbols and mediated constructions and reconstructions of them as criminal or criminogenic.” Furthermore, as a process that primarily takes place in the public space, cultural criminalization contributes to popular perceptions and panics, thereby increasing the marginalization of those in focus. When successful, it generates a degree of social uneasiness that is reflected in popular culture and the practice of everyday life.


CONCLUSION

As an emerging perspective within “criminology, sociology, and criminal justice, cultural criminology draws from a broad spectrum of intellectual orientations.” Examine and perhaps reinvent existing paradigms in cultural studies, “new criminology, interactionist sociology, and critical theory; integration of ideas from postmodern, feminist, and constructivist thinking; and incorporate aspects of news making, constitutive, and other evolving criminologies, cultural criminology seeks less to synthesize or summarize these diverse perspectives than to incorporate them into a critical and multifaceted study of culture and crime.” Concerning these numerous knowledgeable magnitudes and their associated approaches of descriptive anthropology and manuscript/broadcasting examination stands the predominant apprehension of “cultural criminology” with the status of “corruption and crime-fighting.” Approximately three decades ago, “Cohen (1988:68, 1971:19)[11] wrote about “placing” issues of “subjective meaning” and “deviance and delinquency as meaningful action” on the outline of “socially well-versed criminology.” “Cultural criminology encompasses and extends this plan by examining the complex construction, attribution,” and assumption of meaning within and between media and political formations, criminal subcultures, and audiences around crime and crime-fighting issues.



[1] FERRELL J, SANDERS CR, eds. 1995. CULTURAL CRIMINOLOGY. Boston: North-eastern Univ. Press. [2] REDHEAD S ed. 1995. UNPOPULAR CULTURE: THE BIRTH OF LAW AND POPULAR CULTURE. Manchester, UK: Manchester Univ. Press. [3] KANE S. 1998a. REVERSING THE ETHNOGRAPHIC GAZE: EXPERIMENTS IN CULTURAL CRIMINOLOGY. See FERRELL & HAMM 1998, pp. 132–45. [4] ANDERSON SE, HOWARD GJ, eds. 1998.INTERROGATING POPULAR CULTURE: DEVIANCE, JUSTICE, AND SOCIAL ORDER. Guilderland, NY: Harrow & Heston. [5] HEBDIGE D. 1979. SUBCULTURE: THE MEANING OF STYLE: London: Methuen. [6] FERRELL J, SANDERS CR, eds. 1995.CULTURAL CRIMINOLOGY. Boston: North-eastern Univ.Press, pg: 160-89.


[7] LYNG S, BRACEY ML. 1995. SQUARING THE ONE PERCENT: BIKER STYLE AND THE SELLING OF CULTURAL RESISTANCE. See Ferrell & Sanders 1995, pp. 235–76. [8] COSGROVE S. 1984. THE ZOOT-SUIT AND STYLE WARFARE. Radical Am. 18:38–51. [9] DUBIN S. 1992. ARRESTING IMAGES: IMPOLITIC ART AND UNCIVIL ACTIONS. London: Rout ledge. [10] FERRELL J. 1998. CRIMINALIZING POPULAR CULTURE: See BAILEY & HALE 1998, pp. 71–83/ Nyberg AK. 1998. COMIC BOOKS AND JUVENILE DELINQUENCY: A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE. See BAILEY & HALE 1998, pp. 61–70. [11] COHEN S. 1988.AGAINST CRIMINOLOGY. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.

REFERENCES

SANCHEZ- TRANQUILINO M. 1995. SPACE, POWER, YOUTH, AND CULTURE: Mexican American graffiti and Chicano murals in East Los Angeles, 1972–1978. In Looking High and Low: ART AND CULTURE IDENTITY, ed. BJ Bright, L Bakewell, pp. 55–88. Tucson, AZ: Univ. Ariz. Press

TUNNELL KD. 1995. A CULTURAL APPROACH TO CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, bluegrass style. See FERRELL & SANDERS 1995, pp. 80–105.

WILLIS P. 1990.COMMON CULTURE: SYMBOLIC WORK AT PLAY IN THE EVERYDAY CULTURES OF THE YOUNG. Milton Keynes, UK: Open Univ. Press



This article is written by Qamrush Zehra of Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad.

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