Pyrrhic Defeat Thesis Statements

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Term
Definition
only defined through the male side of the family; therefore, any daughters included in that family cannot receive inheritances. In matrilined systems of descent, the family is only defined through the female side of the family, so any sons in that family cannot receive inheritances. Patrilined- family is defined only through the male side of the family, daughters aren’t considered. In bilineal, the family is defined by both sides of the family, mom and dad’s side.
Term
Definition
SNAF: Standard North American Family defined by sociologist Dorothy E. Smith.
- two adults in a heterosexual relationship, with their biological children
- also defines roles/relationships in household
(man’s responsibility to money/providing source of income)
(woman’s responsibility to household, children, and husband)
Term
How does the contemporary structure of the family compare with structures of the family throughout history in the U.S.?
Definition
We see a lot of variations of the SNAF model, but generally, the US has and will continue to conform to the standard model of the family. There are multigenerational families (Grandma lives with the family, foster families, adopted families, single parent families), but we still generally follow the SNAF model.

1950s SNAF is still used as model of united states families today
- yet statistics show, most adults in United States do not live in nuclear families
(1998 - only 26%... compared to 46% in 1976)
(56% of white American children are part of a traditional nuclear family)
- only 28% of African American families
- statistics show that 1950s model is not realistic model for today, lead to societal/institutional bias

However, cultural ideas of husbands and households have changed a lot. Both husbands and wives spend more time on childcare than in the past (49% of couples say they share childcare equally), and women are getting jobs more often as well.

The idea of SNAF first appeared in the early 19th century and came from the middle to upper class technology. SNAF was then transferred to the 20th century, and everyone thought it was normal.
Term
What is significant about the time period during the 1950s for notions of the family in the U.S.? Why should it not be considered “traditional”?
Definition
Superficial sameness of the family was achieved in the 1950s through censorship and dishonesty in the government. However, there was a rise in unwed childbirth and unhappy marriages during this time as well (women were seen as property, and domestic violence wasn’t taken seriously).

Consider economic boom of 1950s after WWII
- one wage-earner had ability to provide for entire family
- concept of SNAF existed before, but economic stability extends opportunity to more families
But opportunity to rise to middle class still not available to all (many children still not living in SNAFs)
- but institutions/government programs perpetuate/aid growth of SNAF
- programs only aid certain kinds of families
- so, becomes model on basis of coercion and discrimination - should not be considered traditional

Only 60% of Americans spent their entire childhoods in a traditional family.

The stability of these 1950s families did not guarantee good outcomes for their members
Almost a third of American children lived in poverty during the 1950s
Divorce rates dropped, fertility soared, the gap between men’s and women’s jobs widened, making women more dependant on marriages.
Wife battering rates were low, but that was because wife-beating was seldom counted as a crime
Term
What is the divorce rate and how is it typically discussed? What data should be actually used?
Definition
- The divorce rate is how we measure how many marriages end in divorce each year.
- But why would we measure marriages in a year against divorces in a year? You can’t compare them because it doesn’t take into consideration how many couples were married before the year you are measuring.
- We should use data not on a year-by-year basis, but on how many people have been divorced during their lifetime.
-50%
Term
What is the technocratic model of childbirth?
Definition
- Birth in the U.S. increasingly conducted under a set of beliefs, a “paradigm”.
- “paradigm” meaning both a conceptual model of reality and a template for reality.
-(delineated and enacted through the rituals of hospital birth, and to consider its sociocultural and folkloristic implications.)
Term
How is this “rite of passage” conducted in the U.S.?
Definition
- Rite of passage is based off of a society’s rituals.
- In the United States, the rituals have to do with the authority of the hospitals (during childbirth) and the use of technology and science. Rite of passage is being replaced by the use of technology & science (because of the use of drugs, scheduling, doctor selections, the actual placement on a hospital bed is devaluing a woman’s body)
Term
What is the most common surgery for women in the U.S.?
Definition
C-Section
Second most common surgery for women is a hysterectomy.
Term
What is a homunculus, and how does this concept relate to the history of notions of birth?
Definition
-an artificially made dwarf, supposedly produced in a flask by an alchemist.
-a fully formed, miniature human body believed, according to some medical theories of the 16th and 17th centuries, to be contained in the spermatozoon.
- Any representation of a human being/human body is in the miniature form of a sperm/egg
- all human species are found in the male body and the women carry them
- how science defines male or female
Term
Where does the U.S. stand in comparison with other nations across the globe for paid parental leave?
Definition
US has no paid maternity leave.
Sweden and Norway: “Use it or lose it” policy
- For each child parents may divide up a year of paid leave
- Mothers can use only 11 months, fathers get 1 month paid leave, if they don’t use it they lose that paid leave
Term
How does the U.S. compare with France and Switzerland in terms of child care?
Definition
- In France every child between 3 and 6 years old is guaranteed placement in daycare, almost 100% of parents enroll their children in daycare at age 3.
- These daycares are considered early education programs and no political party opposes them.
- France targets entire areas as well, so the poor children aren’t singled out. This is in opposition to the United States “Free Lunch” programs
- France GDP = $1.8 Trillion
- United States GDP = $14 Trillion
- World GDP = $58 Trillion (So the U.S. is roughly 25% of the World’s GDP)
- GDP = Gross Domestic Product
Switzerland:
- unstructured curriculum gives children more time to “hang out”
- “Listening to the children” is one of the government’s five principles
- Emphasize “looking at everything through the child’s perspective”
Danish system is only offered to children with working parents, because it is used to aid parents and not educate children
Term
What is the U.S. child poverty rate? How does this compare on the global scene with other nation states?
Definition
- U.S. Child poverty rate: Nearly 15 million
- 21% of children live in low-income families (below federal poverty rates), compared to 14% in Australia
- United States has the highest rate of child poverty out of industrialized nations
Term
What is the infant mortality rate for the U.S.?
Definition
-3.3 million annual newborn deaths
-5.98 per every 1,000 live births
Infant mortality and prenatal care: US is doing bad.
Term
What is the second shift?
Definition
Having to do unpaid work when getting home from a paid job (ex: parenting, cleaning, cooking)
Term
Does the hours worked or the amount of money earned by men influence their willingness to contribute to the second shift? What does?
Definition
No, a man’s willingness to contribute to the second shift is based on whether the woman has a pressing job as well as her income and amount of hours worked.
Term
How much time are husbands and wives spending with their children? Has it grown or decreased since 1965?
Definition
There has been a decrease in the number of children per family and an increase in individual attention. Mothers spend twice as much time with their children than they did in the 1920’s
It has grown since 1965.
Term
How much extra work a year can be attributed to the second shift?
Definition
Term
What is cultural capital?
Definition
Wealth of knowledge and ideas; which legitimates status of power
Ex.) Households that may have a lot of books in their homes will have access to excess knowledge than households without books
- All this cultural capital is institutionalized, taught and socialized in the home
Term
Is there a motherhood penalty for potential job seekers?
Definition
Yes, people feel they should not take a job that requires a lot of time if they are planning on having children because it is then not easy to find another job and get back in the work force if they wanted to.
Term
How did Thomas Jefferson contribute to theories of race in the United States?
Definition
He said that white people were more intelligent; it can be argued that he was the first person to truly articulate the idea of race in the United States. Blacks are inferior to whites in both body and mind. Jefferson was the first to say that science would be able to find the answer behind what made blacks different from whites.
Term
How did the concept of liberty contribute to the ideology of white supremacy?
Definition
It’s ironic because according to Jefferson, “all men are created equal.” We promoted a society of liberty, freedom, and democracy, yet we owned slaves and exploited those that were not white, and we tried to justify this by simply saying that the idea of all men being equal only applies to certain people.
Term
What about the expansionist practices of the United States during the 19th century and the Native Americans and Mexican Americans already settled in these areas? How did science fit in?
Definition
- The Louisiana Purchase expanded the country, but many Native American peoples were already there. The Cherokees are considered to be the success of the civilization policy. Many were farmers, owned slaves, and learned “white religion.”
- In 1827, an auction giving whites the right to Cherokee land was held, and the Indian Removal Act was passed in 1830. After the original practice of the civilization policy, the Cherokees were now being told to embrace their culture. The Trail of Tears forced 70,000 Native Americans into the west by 1840, and it killed ¼ of their population.
- The US then annexed ⅓ of Mexico’s land in 1848, claiming that “the west belongs to white Americans.”
- At the time, there was scientific speculation that there were many different types of races, not just the human race. White Americans were “scientifically proven” to be the smartest race on Earth in the eyes of white Americans, followed by the English, the French, other Europeans, and then blacks at the bottom of the list. Yet the Englishmen discovered that they were smarter than Americans and then the French, while the French discovered that they were smarter than both. This proof was clearly flawed, as results were biased towards one country in every study.
Term
What is meant by the statement that race is based on your cultural lens?
Definition
Race is defined by each person, socially. Physical differences don’t make race and it is not scientifically defined.
Term
What is important about the Supreme Court decisions regarding: Takao Ozawa (October/November 1922)? Bhagat Singh Thind (January/February 1923)?
Definition
Ozawa- supreme court ruled that only caucasians are white. according to science, he is mongolian.
Thind- supreme court says: it doesn’t matter what science says. white= what the common white man says it is. Thind may be caucasian, but he is not white.

Important, as the supreme court contradicted itself.
Term
How does the concept of whiteness relate to New Deal policies? How does this process challenge the so-called ‘openness’ (i.e. ‘pulling yourself up by your bootstraps’) aspect of the economic order in the U.S.?
Definition
Race mattered in housing. Blacks could decrease values of neighborhoods. All minority communities were created. Integrated neighborhoods were financially unstable.
Term
Definition
An institutionalized way of putting value to neighborhoods. Banks would not lend or invest money to areas marked due to the fact that they may be financially risky because they were integrated neighborhoods or neighborhoods of minority populations.
Term
How does this (redlining) relate to housing opportunities for U.S. residents?
Definition
Redlining caused...
most mortgages to go to suburban America
integrated neighborhoods were unstable; FHA ratings would drop
there was $100,000 in the housing market but only
Term
What did DuBois mean by double consciousness and seeing oneself through a veil?
Definition
- Double consciousness comes from African Americans viewing themselves, individually and as a group, through the eyes of the society they live in.
- Double consciousness: Viewing oneself through the eyes of others
- This produces what Du Bois calls a "twoness, - an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body
Term
Human trafficking victims – who are they? Are popular sporting events involved? How?
Definition
- 80% of human trafficking victims are women and children
- Main types of human trafficking: Involuntary servitude, debt bondage, involuntary domestic servitude, factories, hotels
- Popular sporting events are involved, a lot of sex trafficking happens during big games around the perimeter of the stadium.
Term
Which U.S. state does not currently have any legislation regarding human trafficking?
Definition
Term
What is Peggy McIntosh trying to argue in her article?
Definition
Those who benefit from existing social inequalities are usually oblivious to the privileges they enjoy that are not available to others.
Term
How is unearned privilege unrecognized?
Definition
Partly because of culture- we’re carefully taught and raised not to recognize unearned privilege, so we don’t realize how privileged we are. We are taught to think that our lives are morally neutral, normative, average, and ideal- that we work to benefit others.
Term
What is white male privilege?
Definition
- White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions.
- (everyday things in life white males take for granted)
- White Privilege: advantages that white people accrue from society as on the disadvantages people of color experience
Term
What is meant by aspects of unearned advantages that derive chiefly from social class, economic class, race, religion, region, sex, or ethnic identity are both distinct and interlocking?
Definition
All of these factors together determine the privileges one gets, but each is its own distinct factor.
Term
Why does Peggy McIntosh suggest we need to redesign social systems?
Definition
I think we first need to make white males aware of the undeserved privileges they receive. The first step is to make the inequality known then everyone has to pitch in to make the system more fair.
Term
What is eugenics and how did this movement perform boundary maintenance in the early 20th century in the U.S.?
Definition
Eugenics is the role of scientists and biologists in the history of US society. They looked at science to determine the hierarchy of society. This way of thinking resulted in sterilization laws in populations with physical ailments and handicaps in order to produce a “superior” population. This also included criminals and African American women. The biologists also went to Congress about immigration and asked them to keep some people from immigrating because they would “tarnish the population.”
Term
How is gender an influential factor in the medical market for ‘sellable’ egg and sperm donors?
Definition
Gender is a very influential factor in sellable egg and sperm donors. For males looking to donate sperm, the requirements include a degree from a 4 year university, responsibility, reliability, high sperm count, they must be tall, have a good personality, etc. For women looking to donate eggs, the requirements include education, physical attractiveness, and more social characteristics/physical information.

The women seemed to donate more out of an altruistic desire, while the men saw it more as a job.

Women were more likely to be chosen to donate based on their physical appearances, while men were chosen to donate based on their level of education and other traits.
Term
How can we measure the existence of a class-based society in the U.S.? What models were discussed in class?
Definition
Income ( the amount of resources one has) and wealth (how income is distributed in the nation-state)
- Marx classified society as proletariat and bourgeoisie.
- Look at income, wealth, and resources and how they are distributed.

-Power Elite Model
1) Formal Similarity (bureaucratically arranged)
2) Ramifications (decisions have large significant aspects on society)
3) Coined Primary Interest (one best serves another)
4) Administrative Backing (largely make these influences on society)
-Marx Model ( Class Structure of Society)
- Capitalists (Bourgeoisie, those who own the means of production)
- Workers (Proletariet, those who work for the capitalists)
- Inconsequential Others (beggers, etc.)
Term
How is wealth and income distributed in the U.S.?
Definition
- The top 20% are getting 51% of our income
- The next 20% are getting 22% of our income
- The next 20% are getting 15% our our income
- The bottom 40% share 12% of the income
- The top 10% of the population has 70% of our wealth
- The bottom 90% have access to the other 30% of our wealth
- The top 1% has 33% of our wealth
Term
What are the proletariat and the bourgeoisie?
Definition
- The proletariat are the workers/lower class, those who work for the capitalists. They don’t own anything other than their labor, have very limited power, and are subjected to the decisions of the bourgeoisie.

- The bourgeoisie are those who own the means of production-- the middle and upper classes.
Term
What is the ‘bourgeoisie mode of production’ and how does this connect with the ‘instruments of production’ within Marx’s theory?
Definition
- The bourgeoisie mode of production is a type of production that pushes itself to reinvent or annihilate itself by looking at new modes of production. This type of production will improve parts of the economy but over time the economy will collapse on itself. The whole process is given by the need or want of new products.
Term
What is the proletariatization of society?
Definition
The proletariat will grow in absolute numbers as the relations of society continually change throughout the process. The proletariatization of society will ultimately serve as the catalyst for gaining critical consciousness amongst the proletariat. This is when the revolt will occur; for Marx, this is the only revolutionary group.
Term
When will class antagonism end?
Definition
Never! Whenever the working class eventually rises above, someone lower than them will eventually rise up against them as well, and the cycle will repeat itself.
Term
What is the power elite? How is this model different from Marx?
Definition
The power elite consists of interwoven interests of the leaders of the military, corporate (economic), and political elements of society and suggests that the ordinary citizen is a relatively powerless subject of manipulation by those entities.
Term
How did uneven economic growth in primarily poor and black communities contribute to disparities in environmental quality in these communities?
Definition
Areas of uneven economic growth, especially in poor black communities are where most of the nation's toxic waste compounds are located. Resulting in poor environmental quality due to the toxins being released into the environment.
Term
What type of criminal offense increased the most during the decade between 1985 and 1995 in federal and state prisons?
Definition
Drug use decreased so anti-drug policies became harsh when views about drugs and their usage were declining based on societal views; more drug arrests for nonwhites; 1) more activities (drug dealing) occur on streets in certain neighborhoods, 2) undercover cops easily penetrate networks in minority neighborhoods
Term
What are the common excuses for high crime rates and why are they not accurate according to Reiman and Leighton?
Definition
We are too soft=
Violent crime rates have declined since 1992, but crime rates are still very high. The US has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world, so we are not too soft in terms of punishment; something else is to blame.

Modern life=
Industrialization, urbanization, and other characteristics of modernization do not adequately explain the high crime rates in industrialized societies like the US. Other industrialized countries have not experienced similar trends in prison population growth.

Youth=
It is true that youth 25 years and younger comprise 44% of the US murderers, and 75% are responsible for street crimes. However, crime rates have grown at rates without a corresponding correlation with the growth of the youth percentage of the population.
Term
What are the known sources of crime?
Definition
Known sources of crime=Poverty and inequality, prison, guns, and drugs.

Pyrrhic defeat theory= argues that the failure of the criminal justice system yields such benefits to those in positions of power that it amounts to a success.
Term
What is the carnival mirror and the social reality of crime?
Definition
The criminal justice system is like a mirror reflecting reality; a perfect mirror will accurately and consistently reflect an image of reality, but the image that we see when we look into the mirror of our criminal justice system is distorted. The criminal justice system doesn’t accurately show what is truly harmful and what is crime in the US.

The social reality of crime= the dominant image of crime and the threats that these acts indicate are NOT the most threatening to our wellbeing. In this way, the criminal justice system has a part in creating the image of the social reality that we are presented with. Medical malpractice, occupational injuries, and disease are all activities that may pose the same or even greater threats to our chances of being killed than by aggravated assault or homicide.
Term
How is the public’s notion of crime created?
Definition
Decisions of the legislators (definitions of criminal law)
Decisions of police officers and prosecutors (arrests and charges)
Decisions of judges and juries (convictions)
Decisions of sentencing judges (length and severity of sentences)
What the media identifies as a “crime” vs. an “accident”
ALL of these decisions together (criminal justice policy and media representation)

The decisions present an image of the most dangerous activities that are causing harm to society are coming from the poor, and popular media representations reinforce this image.
Term
What are the defenders of the legal order for objections?
Definition
Purposeful action=more evil (intentionality),
Direct harm from another individual is more terrifying than impersonal or indirect harm,
Illegitimate and self motivated actions are more evil than consequence of socially acceptable behaviors (profit seeking behavior--productive activity),
Typical crimes are imposed on their victims (occupational harm is a risk assumed by the employee).
Term
How are Americans really murdered and what are the objective social harms facing society according to Reiman and Leighton?
Definition
Medical malpractice, occupational injuries, disease, and unnecessary surgery are all activities that may pose the same or even greater threats to our chance of being killed than by aggravated assault or homicide. Some other examples of social harms include pollution, cigarette smoking, food additives, poverty, and unpaid medical bills.
Term
What is significant about the Triangle Shirtwaist Co and the Imperial Food Products, Inc?
Definition
Many people were killed, but the companies were acquitted and didn’t have to go to jail even though they hurt and killed a lot of people. Both companies had similar, obvious problems... Triangle Shirtwaist Co. employees died in the fire because the doors remained locked, the fire escape collapsed, no sprinkler system existed, and there were no fire drills. Imperial Food Products employees died in the fire because the doors were also locked, there was no sprinkler system, and fire alarms were non-existent.
Term
How did North Carolina’s self-description of fostering an ‘attractive business environment’ contribute to the state’s economic growth?
Definition
A good business environment includes low business taxes, cheap land, cheap labor, and minimum business regulations. This lead to economic growth in urban areas where skilled laborers lived but in the black belt regions the unskilled laborers were separated and forced to work in “dirty industries”
Term
What is significant about North Carolina’s OSHA program?
Definition
In regards to the Imperial Food Products Inc. fire, USDA was in violation of OSHA regulations. However, the plant was never officially inspected by OSHA during its 11-year existence. It’s believed that had the plant been investigated at any point prior to the fire, it may have never happened.

North Carolina operates its own OSHA program to provide low cost worker safety and health training to employees.
Term
What are Reiman and Leighton’s suggestions for seriously reducing crime in the U.S. in regards to poverty, prisons, guns and drugs?
Definition
Not enough to think about the wealthy controlling our society; we need to think about the entire population. The criminal justice system has a sense of authority to it, and every participant needs to participate in the system, and that is how the criminal justice system exists. Exploitation must be believed as minimally existent and not creating more harms in society, and known sources of crime need to be reconstructed in our society.

If we want to stop crime, we need to have those objectively harmful actions treated, we need to help those in need and not punish them, and we need to treat drug addicts as medical patients and legalize illicit drugs. Punish the wealthy more for white collar crimes and the poor less for crimes that don’t harm anyone. Make it harder to obtain guns.
Term
What is the pyrrhic defeat theory?
Definition
Pyrrhic defeat theory= argues that the failure of the criminal justice system yields such benefits to those in positions of power that it amounts to a success.
Term
How is poverty experienced in the U.S.?
Definition
Poverty is a source of crime. The gap between the rich and the poor is worsening. Poverty groups have unemployment rates approaching 50%. This group has no realistic chance of entering college, amassing sufficient capital (legally), starting a business, or getting into the union-protected high wage skilled job market. Nothing is done to reduce or eliminate the amount of crime committed by poverty stricken Americans. Furthermore, black Americans are disproportionately poor and reside in inner city areas.

Despite Trinidad and Tobago’s wealth, experts say 25% live below the poverty line. According to Sookram (2008)[1] more than a ¼ of the population of oil-rich Trinidad lives below poverty line. Sookram said that 27.32% live below the poverty level despite the fact that Trinidad and Tobago has been classified as a high income country by the World Bank. “Is this why the crime rate in Trinidad and Tobago is probably the highest in the Caribbean?”[2] David Garland (1996), posits that the group that suffer the most from crime tend to be the poorest and the least powerful members of society and will usually lack the resources to but security or the flexibility to adapt their routines or organized effectively against crime.[3] This disparity between the rich and the poor which overlaps with the developing divisions between property- owning classes and those social groups who are deemed a threat to property will tend to propel us towards criminal behaviour.[4]

The term ‘rich’ may be defined as “the possession of material wealth, having abundant supply of desirable qualities or substances especially natural resources, having control of such assets and benefiting from the legislation.”[5] In contrast, ‘poor’ refers to the lack of specific resources, qualities or substances, with little or no possessions or money, having less than adequate in relation to the upper classes/the rich and wealthy.[6] Socio-economic status is an economic and sociological combined measure of a persons work experience and of individual’s or family’s economic and social position relative to others based on income, education , wealth, occupation and social status in the community. As a result of this unequal distribution issue that arises between the rich and the poor, Clarke, Twoey (2001),[7] has put fort the equitable solution arguing that one must eliminate the differences of rich and poor, and all man should be treated equally in the eyes of the law.

The distribution of wealth has always been uneven in Trinidad and Tobago. There are also extremes of wealth and poverty. The wealthy minority is made up of those with interest in the private sector manufacturing and it is widely rumoured in politics state co operations. The richest citizens in Trinidad are to be seen in the hill side suburbs of Port-of-Spain, where large villas boast satellites dishes and swimming pools. Trinidad and Tobago’s rich tend to live a transnational lifestyle, with assets and interest in the US.

The other extreme is to be found in deprived inner-city ghettos such as Laventille, where the poorest members of society live. It is here in the areas of ramshackle shacks and self built cinder-block houses, which the worst problems of poverty, unemployment and crime grow unabated. ‘Unemployment is worst among the 15-19 age groups, of which an estimated 43% are out of work.’[8] This has contributed to an alarming rise in violent crimes, much of it connected with drugs and gang warfare.

Trinidadian society is not hugely stratified on color-lines, although there are often considerable racial tensions between the African- Indian descended sectors of the community. Social mobility is possible, but there is often little opportunity for poor families to improve their economic status due to the unequal distribution of income in the society. This situation tends to propel to criminal behaviour. Ramdhanie (2002)[9] estimated the total prison population in Trinidad and Tobago 4,449 (convicted adults inmates only excluding Juvenile institutions). “The vast majority of inmates (97%) belong to the lower social class grouping…which comprises the unemployed and the poor.”[10]

Marxist and the Conflict theory is based upon the view that the fundamental causes of crime are the social and economic forces operating within society. According to this perspective the Criminal Justice System and Criminal law are thought to be operating on behalf of the rich and powerful social elites, with resulting policies and it is aimed at controlling the poor. The Criminal Justice establishment aims at imposing standard of morality and good behaviour created by the powerful from have-nots who would steal from others and protecting themselves from physical attacks. In the process the legal rights of the poor folks might be ignored.

The Conflict perspective also holds that crime is a weapon of the haves over the have-nots (Siegal 2001).[11] Marxists refer to this power-differential as the instrumental view, where the Capitalists impose their standards onto the poor. The Marxists approach sees crime as a representation of class struggle. The poor are driven to crime and the wealthy are more than eager to impose harsh sentences on the poor. In Marxist approach, the political economy considers class and economic structure as contributors to crime. The idea is that capitalism and corporate wealth for some, increases economic inequality which in turn increases crime by weakening the social bond.

Durkheim and the Functionalists perspective described the progression to a large, urban organic society as creating anomie or societal strain. This is related to the conflict view of crime, where law appears to be written by the haves to protect themselves from the have-nots. Likewise, this perspective argues that the poor are given stiff sentences while the wealthy are given leniency for even serious crimes. The Interactionist view of crime holds that crime and deviance is defined in terms of those in power and crime is given meaning by the way people react to it.

Social learning theory, credited to Albert Bandura and Ronald Akur, holds that if an individual (particularly a child) lives in a poor neighbourhood surrounding by crime, he is at a high risk for acting out the same behaviours that he sees everyday. This is the process of behaviour modelling or reinforcement. Albert Cohen[12] wrote of subculture theory that subculture are often subcultures of deviance. Subcultures develop among members of the poor who are certainly suffering from poverty or unemployment. These people having abandoned the norms of society seek belonging, opportunities and money making and otherwise rebel against the dominant culture as a group.

According to Fitzgerald (2008)[13] “One thing is sure and nothing surer is the rich get richer and the poor get children…and most of them end up in prison.” The conservatives have now re-established a firm lead on issues of law and order and argue that it was often with penal policy and with the views on crime which is linked to economic deprivation (poor). The social democratic view of crime believed that the great majority of criminal offences were committed by individuals who were economically desperate. Social democrats argued that labour is in danger of imprisoning itself in a policy cycle which increases the severity of sentencing which leads to more people being committed to prison.[14]

Reiman (1979)[15] identify with commendable empirical support the mechanisms by which the Criminal Justice system “weeds out the wealthy” and grinds down the poor. Reiman calls the “Pyrrhic defeat theory”- the thesis that the criminal justice system is design to fail to reduce crime precisely because it wins. The winners in this enterprise are those persons who could change the system but they do not, the winners are the rich and powerful. They win by having their positions and the status quo maintained by crime control. In other words Reiman argues the failure to reduce crimes sends out an ideological message that crime is a threat from the poor who are poor and powerless.

This ideology can be mirrored in Trinidad’s society and within the Criminal Justice system. As a result the Criminal Justice policy creates the ‘reality’ of crime as the work of the poor and projects an image that serves the interest of the rich and powerful. Reiman has argued that society fails to protect people from crimes they fear, and refuses to alleviate the poverty that breeds such crimes. He takes the position that the Criminal Justice system fails to protect the general population by not defining as crimes the dangerous acts of those who are rich and by failing to enforce the law vigorously when the well-to-do commit crimes. For this same reason, these failures help the criminal justice system not only in Trinidad but throughout to create the image that crime is almost exclusively the work of the poor, an image that serves the interest of the powerful.

Reiman (2001)[16] argues that the government spend little or nothing to address poverty, slums and unemployment which we know to be sources of crime. The same lack of financial support causes prisons to produce more criminals than they cure, largely because the government fund prisons in ways which allows them to provide little or no job training and preparation for a normal life upon release. This reality is also present in Trinidad society and the government fund the prisons in the same way.

[...]



[1] Sookram, Sandra, (2008), Research at SALISES, Sir Authur Lewis Institute of Socio and Economics. (Nov 28th 2008)

[2] Ibid.

[3] Garland, David (1996), British Journal of Criminology; The limits of the Sovereign State. Bjc.oxfordjournals.org.

[4] Bauma et al (1987) ‘Crime and in security in the City. Paper presented at the International Society of Criminal International Course, Leciven, Belguim, and May.

[5] www.wordnetweb.princetonedu/perl/webwn.

[6] www.thefreedictionary.com/poor.

[7] www.twoey.com

[8] Trinidad and Tobago, “Poverty and wealth” information about Poverty and wealth IN T&T. http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/economies/Americas/Trinidad-and-Tobago-POVERTY-AND-WEALTH.html#ixzz11opEHEwi

[9] Ramdhanie, Ian. (2002) p. 126. “Prison Recidivism in Trinidad and Tobago: results from a baseline study”, Published by the Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice, UWI St Augustine Campus Trinidad and Tobago, WI.

[10] Ibid

[11] Siegal, L.J. (2001) Criminology: Theories, Patterns and Typologies (7th Ed.), Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

[12] Cited in Williams III, F. P., & Mc Shane, M. D (1999) Criminological Theory (3rd Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

[13] Cited in Commentary: The rich get richer and the poor get prison, The political Quarterly, Vol. 79, No. 1 (Jan-March 2008)

[14] Ibid

[15] Reiman, Jeffrey (1979) The Rich Get Richer and the Poor get Prison: Ideology, Class and Criminal Justice, Allyn and Bacon, Boston.

[16] Reiman, Jeffrey (2001) The Rich Get Richer and the Poor get Prison: Ideology, Class and Criminal Justice, Allyn and Bacon, Boston

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