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May 10, 2018 / C H Thompson

Postmodern perspective of crime – revision notes with evaluative points

Postmodernists argue that society is changing rapidly and constantly, resulting in a society fragmented into a large number of diverse social groups. These uncertainties undermine the certainties, traditional social theories such as Marxism and Functionalism, attempt to establish.

  • For example the certainties surrounding social class, work, media (as needing to be high culture) which help form our identity or sense-of-self are no more

As these social structures are collapsing there’s a growing level of individualism (Beck’s rise-of-individualism) which is expressed through consumer culture, meaning that people are free to make their own choices rather than have them imposed by social structures.

Subsequently the act of defining crime is in an outdated metanarrative because they’re an outdated expression of those groups who hold power in society who want to establish rules on how people should behave.

  • for example laws are mere expressions of just one view of how things should be rather than what they could be

Instead postmodernists argue the law should reflect the diversity of identities in society – which calls for a judicial system which moves beyond law-breaking to a develop concept of crime tailored to individual lifestyles and identities. For example you no longer have male and female prisons, but prisons for transgender.




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