Banished: The New Social Control In Urban America

Oxford University Press
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With urban poverty rising and affordable housing disappearing, the homeless and other "disorderly" people continue to occupy public space in many American cities. Concerned about the alleged ill effects their presence inflicts on property values and public safety, many cities have wholeheartedly embraced "zero-tolerance" or "broken window" policing efforts to clear the streets of unwanted people. Through an almost completely unnoticed set of practices, these people are banned from occupying certain spaces. Once zoned out, they are subject to arrest if they return-effectively banished from public places. Banished is the first exploration of these new tactics that dramatically enhance the power of the police to monitor and arrest thousands of city dwellers. Drawing upon an extensive body of data, the authors chart the rise of banishment in Seattle, a city on the leading edge of this emerging trend, to establish how it works and explore its ramifications. They demonstrate that, although the practice allows police and public officials to appear responsive to concerns about urban disorder, it is a highly questionable policy: it is expensive, does not reduce crime, and does not address the underlying conditions that generate urban poverty. Moreover, interviews with the banished themselves reveal that exclusion makes their lives and their path to self-sufficiency immeasurably more difficult. At a time when more and more cities and governments in the U.S. and Europe resort to the criminal justice system to solve complex social problems, Banished provides a vital and timely challenge to exclusionary strategies that diminish the life circumstances and rights of those it targets.
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About the author

Katherine Beckett is Professor in the Department of Sociology and the Law, Societies, and Justice program at the University of Washington. Her research and teaching focus on the politics of crime, punishment, and social control. She is the author of Making Crime Pay and The Politics of Injustice. Steve Herbert is Professor in the Department of Geography and the Law, Societies, and Justice program at the University of Washington. His research and teaching focus on the legal regulation of space, especially as practiced by the uniformed police. He is the author of Policing Space and Citizens, Cops, and Power.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
Nov 12, 2009
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Pages
216
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ISBN
9780199741342
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / Criminal Law / General
Law / Government / State, Provincial & Municipal
Social Science / Criminology
Social Science / Sociology / Urban
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Albert J. Bergesen
The religious imagination is alive and well in the movies. Contrary to those who criticize Hollywood, popular movies very often have metaphorically represented God on the screen. From Clint Eastwood as an avenging angel in "Pale Rider and "Nicolas Cage as a love-sick angel in "City of Angels, "to Jessica Lange as an angel of death in "All That Jazz, "and from George Burns as God in "Oh God! "to Audrey Hepburn in "Alwaysto "pure white light in "Fearless "and "Flatliners, "God is very much present in the movies. Images of angels and God used by movie makers are explored here.

This intelligent, insightful volume is an exercise in urban anthropology. Religious imagination is the subject and the movie house is its location. The authors show that the religious imagination is irrepressible, and shows up in our best-known example of popular cultures, movies. Contrary to conservative opinion that suggests that Hollywood is anti-religious, Greeley and Bergesen find just the opposite. Ordinary movies, not explicitly about religion and not made by particularly religious individuals often demonstrate some basic religious theme, point, or message. "God in the Movies "does not judge or approve, recommend or criticize; the authors simply alert the reader to the great variety of metaphors for God, angels, heaven, and hell, from beautiful women to white light at the end of the tunnel to Groundhog Day. They are not concerned with explicitly religious movies. This is not a study of "Ben Huror The Last Temptations of Christ, "but rather of ordinary mass-release movies, including "Field of Dreams, Always, All That Jazz, Commandments, Babette's Feast, Fearless, Breaking the Waves, Jacob's Ladder, Flatliners, Ghost, Pale Rider, Star Wars, 2001, Dogma, "and even Japanimation, like "Ghost in the Shell."

The authors' vivid explication of various cinematic metaphors for God is accompanied by an analysis of what these movies tell about our sociological attitudes toward life and death. They also discuss the social conditions that give rise to various kinds of imagery and forms of movies. In a real sense, this book is for both the professional concerned with religion, sociology, cultural studies, anthropology, media and cinema studies, and the layperson interested in how popular movies also contain religious imagery.

Katherine Beckett
With urban poverty rising and affordable housing disappearing, the homeless and other "disorderly" people continue to occupy public space in many American cities. Concerned about the alleged ill effects their presence inflicts on property values and public safety, many cities have wholeheartedly embraced "zero-tolerance" or "broken window" policing efforts to clear the streets of unwanted people. Through an almost completely unnoticed set of practices, these people are banned from occupying certain spaces. Once zoned out, they are subject to arrest if they return-effectively banished from public places. Banished is the first exploration of these new tactics that dramatically enhance the power of the police to monitor and arrest thousands of city dwellers. Drawing upon an extensive body of data, the authors chart the rise of banishment in Seattle, a city on the leading edge of this emerging trend, to establish how it works and explore its ramifications. They demonstrate that, although the practice allows police and public officials to appear responsive to concerns about urban disorder, it is a highly questionable policy: it is expensive, does not reduce crime, and does not address the underlying conditions that generate urban poverty. Moreover, interviews with the banished themselves reveal that exclusion makes their lives and their path to self-sufficiency immeasurably more difficult. At a time when more and more cities and governments in the U.S. and Europe resort to the criminal justice system to solve complex social problems, Banished provides a vital and timely challenge to exclusionary strategies that diminish the life circumstances and rights of those it targets.
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