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The past 30 years have seen vast changes in our attitudes toward crime. More and more of us live in gated communities; prison populations have skyrocketed; and issues such as racial profiling, community policing, and "zero-tolerance" policies dominate the headlines. How is it that our response to crime and our sense of criminal justice has come to be so dramatically reconfigured? David Garland charts the changes in crime and criminal justice in America and Britain over the past twenty-five years, showing how they have been shaped by two underlying social forces: the distinctive social organization of late modernity and the neoconservative politics that came to dominate the United States and the United Kingdom in the 1980s.

Garland explains how the new policies of crime and punishment, welfare and security—and the changing class, race, and gender relations that underpin them—are linked to the fundamental problems of governing contemporary societies, as states, corporations, and private citizens grapple with a volatile economy and a culture that combines expanded personal freedom with relaxed social controls. It is the risky, unfixed character of modern life that underlies our accelerating concern with control and crime control in particular. It is not just crime that has changed; society has changed as well, and this transformation has reshaped criminological thought, public policy, and the cultural meaning of crime and criminals. David Garland's The Culture of Control offers a brilliant guide to this process and its still-reverberating consequences.
In this path-breaking book, David Garland argues that punishment is a complex social institution that affects both social relations and cultural meanings. Drawing on theorists from Durkheim to Foucault, he insightfully critiques the entire spectrum of social thought concerning punishment, and reworks it into a new interpretive synthesis.

"Punishment and Modern Society is an outstanding delineation of the sociology of punishment. At last the process that is surely the heart and soul of criminology, and perhaps of sociology as well—punishment—has been rescued from the fringes of these 'disciplines'. . . . This book is a first-class piece of scholarship."—Graeme Newman, Contemporary Sociology

"Garland's treatment of the theorists he draws upon is erudite, faithful and constructive. . . . Punishment and Modern Society is a magnificent example of working social theory."—John R. Sutton, American Journal of Sociology

"Punishment and Modern Society lifts contemporary penal issues from the mundane and narrow contours within which they are so often discussed and relocates them at the forefront of public policy. . . . This book will become a landmark study."—Andrew Rutherford, Legal Studies

"This is a superbly intelligent study. Its comprehensive coverage makes it a genuine review of the field. Its scholarship and incisiveness of judgment will make it a constant reference work for the initiated, and its concluding theoretical synthesis will make it a challenge and inspiration for those undertaking research and writing on the subject. As a state-of-the-art account it is unlikely to be bettered for many a year."—Rod Morgan, British Journal of Criminology

Winner of both the Outstanding Scholarship Award of the Crime and Delinquency Division of the Society for the Study of Social Problems and the Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Sociological Association's Crime, Law, and Deviance Section
First published in 1985, this classic of law and society scholarship continues to shape the research agenda of today’s sociology of punishment. It is now republished with a new Preface by the author.

Punishment and Welfare explores the relation of punishment to politics, the historical formation and development of criminology, and the way in which penal reform grew out of the complex set of political projects that founded the modern welfare state. Its analyses powerfully illuminate many of the central problems of contemporary penal and welfare policy, showing how these problems grew out of political struggles and theoretical debates that occurred in the first years of the 20th century.

In conducting this investigation, David Garland developed a method of research which combines detailed historical and textual analysis with a broader sociological vision, thereby synthesizing two forms of analysis that are more often developed in isolation. The resulting genealogy will interest everyone who works in this field.

“… a brilliant book … the main arguments of Punishment and Welfare are undoubtedly some of the most tenacious and exciting to emerge from the field of criminology in many years.”
— Piers Bierne, Contemporary Sociology

“… one of the most important pieces of work ever to emerge in British criminology. It is a study of depth, subtlety and complexity … Garland’s integration of close historical details with a broader sociological vision provides a model methodology….”
— Stan Cohen, British Journal of Criminology

“This study shows how early 20th-century penal policy was a function of the nation’s social welfare practices. Garland’s theory is as applicable to the 21st century as it is to that earlier era: A tour de force.”
— Malcolm Feeley, University of California–Berkeley

Over the past three decades, the United States has embraced the death penalty with tenacious enthusiasm. While most of those countries whose legal systems and cultures are normally compared to the United States have abolished capital punishment, the United States continues to employ this ultimate tool of punishment. The death penalty has achieved an unparalleled prominence in our public life and left an indelible imprint on our politics and culture. It has also provoked intense scholarly debate, much of it devoted to explaining the roots of American exceptionalism.
America’s Death Penalty takes a different approach to the issue by examining the historical and theoretical assumptions that have underpinned the discussion of capital punishment in the United States today. At various times the death penalty has been portrayed as an anachronism, an inheritance, or an innovation, with little reflection on the consequences that flow from the choice of words. This volume represents an effort to restore the sense of capital punishment as a question caught up in history. Edited by leading scholars of crime and justice, these original essays pursue different strategies for unsettling the usual terms of the debate. In particular, the authors use comparative and historical investigations of both Europe and America in order to cast fresh light on familiar questions about the meaning of capital punishment. This volume is essential reading for understanding the death penalty in America.
Contributors: David Garland, Douglas Hay, Randall McGowen, Michael Meranze, Rebecca McLennan, and Jonathan Simon.
Publicado originalmente en 1985 y traducido por primera vez al español, este libro se cuenta –a la par de Vigilar y castigar, y Cárcel y fábrica– entre los clásicos para pensar la historia de la penalidad y, a partir de ella, entender las formas que asume el castigo en las sociedades contemporáneas. David Garland pone el foco en el pasaje de la penalidad del siglo XIX a la del siglo XX: ese momento de transición entre un sistema que concebía a los infractores como individuos libres y responsables que, sin importar sus condiciones de vida, habían elegido apartarse de las normas, y un sistema que, al identificar las razones del delito en un orden social problemático que debe ser reformado, contempla, más que el castigo, la posibilidad de rehabilitar y corregir a los desviados. El autor explica el surgimiento de lo que llamará "el complejo penal-welfarista", toda una serie de prácticas e instituciones específicas (desde las escuelas reformadoras e industriales hasta los asilos especializados para ebrios, desde la suspensión del juicio a prueba hasta los institutos para menores) que, entre el Estado y las organizaciones de caridad, se ocuparán de seguir los casos especiales: los jóvenes, los niños, los enfermos mentales, los alcohólicos, los discapacitados, los inaptos para el trabajo. Garland propone aquí un trabajo fascinante y preguntas que tocan el presente: ¿por qué el programa reformista fracasó en su propósito de rehabilitar a los delincuentes y de prevenir el delito? ¿Hasta qué punto resignó su impulso inicial de cambio social para convertirse en un sistema de control burocrático y profesional de la criminalidad? ¿En qué medida obturó otras alternativas, ligadas a la redistribución básica de la riqueza y el poder, o a formas de previsión social basadas en derechos? ¿Cómo podría construirse hoy un sistema penal progresista que no caiga en las mismas contradicciones?
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