Sunday, July 29, 2012


SURCultural Criticism of 19th C. Angl0-French Criminology: A Review Essay Excerpts, en route MA Essay Mentor. Dr. Mary Gibson John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY Graduate Center 2000, All Rights Reserved TO AND FOR LOVE RECUREDO NON NULL HYPOTICUS-TRIPARTA -QUADRELEMMA-OF ALL THING SQUARED, ERGO PROPTER EGO MY LEGO= TRILATERAL-MIT-HARVARD-COLLECTIVE TRANSANALTYTIC INTELL-INST.--SEOUL NATIONAL UNIVERSTIY, COLLEGE OF COMMERCE, CLASS OF 17' FOR SANCTA DEUS-MATER Y PEDRINO-SUN YAT SEN & INTERNATIONAL CHURCH & SOCIETY OF SUN YAT SEN-SIR HAK OEON DOENG-PEARL S. BUCK-SPIRITUAL AND LIITERRY BENEFRACOTOR OF RICHARD EUN GOOK KIM, FOR JOHN WOO-"HARD BOILED"-AND HOLY REV. BROTHER O-BRIAN AN-ORDER OF ST. FRANCIS ASSISI, IRELAND, ST. PHILIP NERI, BX, GRAND COURSE, PRINCIPAL, AND JOE INYNN=PRIMATUS PATROLOGIA, ORDER AND HISTOIRE SOCIETAS DE SS. THOMAS & BARTHOLOMEW, & THOMAS, & SS. METHODIUS, & ST. ANDREW D.G. KIM. 1823, A.D.E.,MOST HOLY REV FR. BISHOP, AND PATRIARCH, JOYE INYHN SIC ANON HOLY REV. PRIEST-ORDER OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY-BR. TIMOTHY-SUPRA-OP.CITE, THE MARYTRED*****THE INNOCENTS, COLONIAL BOY DAYS-CAPTAIN ROK ROTC-ROK MC-SIGMA PI RO DELTA FORCE-----SPECIAL FORCES-AND TO L.B.PD- G.M.G IBBONS, & CBBCH BYJK, ML; NB,JRM, ‘Criminal Science’ towards the mid-nineteenth century in England and France developed within the confines of medical-psychiatric discourses and practices to contain the perceived biological and social pathologies that posed a threat to the health of the state within urban populations. The spread of disease signifying social degeneration and criminality greatly alarmed the medical, legal, and penal establishment, which used medical discourses to diagnose and treat social maladies. Crime and deviance were not only indicative of symptoms that were produced by the disease of degeneration and the effects of bad heredity, but were reduced to biological theory and social commentary which speculated about the cause of criminality. One point of Foucault’s observation of how the formation of discourses is linked to the operation of a particular kind of social power. Discourses not only exhibit immanent principles of regularity, they are bound by regulation enforced through the social practice of appropriation, control and policing. At the same time during this period, the integration of criminal justice and the processing of criminals underwent radical transformation. The perception of crime, the criminal, and the legal and penal process also became systematized into both social and cultural machinery that would handle the increasing problem of crime; modes of punishment were redefined with the expansion of prisons. The police were shaped into national networks that were based on surveillance; and the law transformed the control of the delinquent behavior. A cultural criticism of the medical and scientific discourses, law, and criminal policy, and the literary and mass media production of deviance represent a move toward epistemologically conceiving criminology as inevitably the effect of power exercised by social, political and scientific institutions which construct perceptions of criminality and deviance vis-à-vis discourses. Most public consciousness of crime comes from a myriad of sources other than official statistics: journalistic reportage, literature, theatre, personal experience, and informal narratives, which were transmitted by society to mass audiences. This essay will first examine the contingent cultural representations of criminality in the nineteenth century in Martin J. Weiner’s Reconstructing the Criminal; and second, investigate the medical and psychiatric theory of degeneration in a social and political context in Daniel Pick’s Faces of Degeneration. Moreover, the essay will examine and situate the social, moral, and scientific rationality that shaped how criminality and deviance. These two pioneering texts of the past decade have been chosen for analysis because they provide a broad historical context in which to examine how criminality have been shaped through a myriad of cultural representations, and through powerful scientific language of nineteenth century medicine. The two texts innovatively interpret and reconstruct the images and perceptions of criminality, and how they relate to cultural anxieties about moral restraint, social disorder, and political upheaval. Martin J. Weiner’s Reconstructing the Criminal: Culture, Law and Policy in England, 1830-1914, take an interpretive approach to Victorian and Edwardian cultural history of English Law and criminal policy, and of the literary, popular culture in representing criminality against the powerful moral influences of notions about individual responsibility and behavioral control. Weiner argues that the decade after 1820 perceived a heightened concern with unregulated human power, both personal and collective. The advancing individualism of the age had a dark, anarchic side. On a psychological level, the underlying concept governing Victorian moral behavior was that of moral restraint. The leading mid-century manual of psychiatric medicine observed that “there is a latent devil in the heart of the best of men; when restraint and religious feeling of prudence and self-esteem are weakened and removed by the operation of mental disease, the fiends break loose and whole of the character of the man seems to undergo complete transformation.” The lack of social control was the source of insanity, as the forces of anarchy and disorder was thought to be a universal presence. On a sociological level, the fateful predictions of Thomas Malthus caused a general anxiety about the conditions of society. The Malthusian fear of population growth not only pointed to the evil consequences of population growth, but also the dangers of bodily and youthful energies. The fear of ineradicable sexual instinct and passion that increased the population would absorb any increase in the food supply, preventing any lasting improvement of society. Moreover, in social policy this question underlay efforts to moralize the rapidly growing and youthful populace. Moreover, Weiner believes that the images of the criminal reflected the rising anxieties about impulses and the human will out of control; whereby, crime was a central metaphor of disorder and loss of control in all spheres of life. Criminal and penal policy articulated the efforts to counter this perception by fostering disciplined behavior and a broad ethos of respectability. Vagrants, drunkards, and other “immoral” and “disorderly” persons, on the one hand, and white-collar offenders were brought more fully under the purview of criminal policy. At the same time, judicial interpretation of criminal liability tied the law the law more closely to the task of inculcating moral character by narrowing the grounds of excuse. With these changes, punishments was reconstructed so that its discretionary, public, and violent character yielded to forms more calculated to promote the development of inner behavioral controls. In convicted criminals, this reorientation was accomplished through uniform and impersonal disciplinary regimes of the new prisons. The guiding vision of this reconstructed system of criminal justice was that of the responsible individual. Underlying the early Victorian reform of criminal policy was the supposition that the most urgent need and possibility of the age was to make people self-governing and that the way to this was to hold them, sternly responsible for the consequences of their action. Not least, however, Weiner observes that the latter period of the 19th century, the cultural substructure of criminal policy began to shift again very differing patterns of concern began to shape among the policy making elite. Although fears of both social and personal disorder were steadily allayed by the success at early Victorian efforts at control, this very success taking place while scientific and social thinking were profoundly altering, nurtured this new anxiety. As technology and economic advances kept extending the scale and complexity of life, and as the natural science put forth new deterministic models of understanding—the human world, and the Victorian image of the individual weakened. Consequently, “fears of a bursting anarchy began to be replaced by the opposite fears of a disabled society of ineffectual, devitalized, and over controlled individuals molded by environmental and biological forces beyond their control.” Moreover, Victorian social order and moral discourses aimed to master popular impulsiveness and develop character----“moral order implanted in the individual.” This sense of developing character was also intermixed with a utilitarian ethos of calculation as a means of gauging the consequences of one’s action. Utilitarianism thus sought to situate men to consequentialist thinking, which did not come naturally or easily, that required and promoted impulse control. The problem of crime and punishment was also approached in the context of reforming criminal law. Crime was essentially seen as the expression of fundamental character defect stemming from refusal or inability to deny wayward impulses, or to make a proper calculation of long-run self-interest. As the Prison Discipline Society had concluded in 1818, what needed dealing with were not criminal deeds per se, but the “habits and inclinations” of criminals, that if uncorrected, would only generate more future offenses. Weiner observes, “since crime was a central metaphor of disorder and loss of control, criminal law was occupied what might be called the cultural high ground…..the interpretation of criminal law came to reflect the new reigning assumption that the members of the general public were to be considered more rational and responsible than they the hitherto been.” And by treating criminals in light of such moral and social thinking, the early Victorians believed that they would behave more responsibly and rationally. High and expansive legal standards of personal liability----even Strict liability---were thus not alternatives to a stand of personal fault, but part of a moral agenda. The conception of criminal law epitomizing a moralizing influence was an expression of faith in individual will power. Importantly, by the 1860’s, however, scientific approaches led to a subtle weakening of the moral individual. If the criminal were only an instrument of society or the victim of defective psychology, the early 19th century, traditional role of criminal justice appropriating blame and misdeeds would be called into question. Weiner argues that there was a cultural shift in which the criminal was no longer judged in moral terms but in natural categories. As faith in power of the individual waned, the image of the criminal deviant---the exemplar of the individual will unchecked---weakened. Through out the second half of the century, physiological psychologists and alienists were making news claims for both understanding and treating social problems. An expanding range of social problems seemed to require medical expertise. It was the period in which the psychiatric science had revealed the affinity between crime and such disorders as insanity, alcoholism, and epilepsy. Psychological roots had been revealed for a wide array of moral defects. Science had powerfully suggested that these defects were fundamentally hereditary. Havelock Ellis’ The Criminal, noted that “a strong feeling is spreading that there are physical or physiological criminals to whom short punishments are of no use.” Similarly, the Reverend William Morrison, a prison chaplain who was to become a leading critic of the penal system, argued in Crime and its Causes (1891) for shifting attention from criminal acts in themselves to biological and social forces that shaped criminals. Importantly, at the heart of this reconstruction of the criminal along these naturally deterministic lines was a new diminished sense of the power of the individual will. Weiner writes, “Post-Victorian interventionism, increasingly welfarist and administrative, arose with the diminution of the mid-Victorian individual of the moralistic individual.” An organic model of deviance was also the prevailing paradigm, which explained the cultural anxiety and social instability from mid to late nineteenth century in France. Daniel Pick’s Faces of Degeneration: A European Disorder c.1848-c.1918 focuses on the multivalent roles of pathology in its relation to culture and politics in France. Moreover, he traces the origins of the theory of degeneration to Benedict Augustin Morel’s Trait de degeneresence physiques, intellectuals et morales de l’spece humaine in 1857. Morel’s work had significant influence in later nineteenth century psychiatry, criminology and anthropology, and across a very large range of social commentaries and debates. Degeneration as a medical model of deviance was concerned with infinite network of diseases and disorders. Morel put together an array of physical, social, and moral habits, from hernias, goiters, pointed ears, absence of secondary teeth, stunted growth, cranial deviation, deaf and dumbness, blindness, albinism, club-feet, albinism, elephantitis, scrofula, tuberculosis, rickets and sterility to the effects of toxins like alcohol, tobacco and opium. He explored disturbances of the intellectual faculties and the noxious tendencies of certain forms of romanticism, which resulted in languorous desires, effeteness, reveries, impotence, suicidal tendencies, inertia, melancholy and apathy. Since there was no symptomlogy in which such forms of degeneration could be defined as a disease, it was as I would argue characterized by any physiological and mental deviation from the norm of society under the rubric of general pathology. The underlying basis for the theory was uncompromisingly materialist. For Morel, physical degeneration could not but lead to eventual intellectual and moral collapse, and vice versa. Thus, degeneration was the name for a process of pathological change from one condition to another in society and the in the body. There were other elements of social anxiety that related to Morel’s concern about the criminality of the masses. The social ramification of degeneration theory had broad implications to the understanding, and the construction of cultural meaning for the growing problem of the so-called “dangerous classes.” Pick writes, “The tension between image of the degenerate and the unseen essence of degeneration rejoined a tension inherent in earlier discourses on the ‘dangerous classes’ of the city. At the same time, Pick analyses that there was also an amalgam of budding social tensions about urban poor and influx of alien population in the city. Degeneration was deployed as though an instrument of social differentiation, a means of attributing criminality to populations that was more heterogeneous than what discourses classes depicted. In terms of demographics, Pick points out that number of vagabonds apparently rose through out the year of the July Monarchy in both countryside and the town. According to the official statistics of 1842, there were four million beggars out of a total population of thirty four million, and further four million were poor. The first half of the century witnessed the growth of an urban population, but also of an unemployed “floating population” within the cities. The numbers in Paris are said to have doubled during the first half of the century. The vast influx could only intensify, the mass squalor, overcrowding, misery and disease of city life. Thus, Morel’s work is seen to reflect that crisis to offer a solution of benevolent social medicine. Moreover, Pick’s political understanding of the representation of degeneration intertwines hereditary pathology with revolutionary inheritance. The French medico-psychiatric representation of Morel’s theory of degeneration reflected both the political instability, and social upheaval of the times. Bourgeois protest in 1789 had undergone metamorphosis and culminated in Terror; the Revolution of 1830 had its counterpart and its legacy in the anarchy of 1848. The political disturbances had also vitiated the social boundaries between the dangerous classes and masses. In Morel’s theory, the degenerate family did not simply reproduce one morbid transmutation----successive bodies manifesting the ravages of alcoholism, hysteria, prostitution, criminality and revolution. The Revolution of 1848 was perceived by Morel contemporaries to constitute a historical rupture. For Morel, the Revolution of 1848 was understood in relation to 1789 and 1839. The biological and hereditary fatalism belabored a tragic irreversible fact of the body and revolution. Following the socio-biological claims of Morel’s exemplary discourse, which pointed to inherent problems of the political and social order believed to be caused degenerescence, late 19th century doctors, politicians, and journalists demanded that the dangerous, habitual criminal, the prostitute, and the anarchist be removed from circulation. The course of political events in 1848 to 1851 had confused liberals who had envisioned modern history as an inexorable advance. Degeneration signaled a deterioration of human progress, ironically amidst the technological development of science, medicine, and liberal government. VEILLANCE, CRIME & PHILOSOPHY & CULTURE

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