Constructing Crime examines the central question: Why do we define and enforce particular behaviours as crimes and target particular individuals as criminals?
To answer this question, contributors interrogate notions of crime, processes of criminalization, and the deployment of the concept of crime in five radically different sites. Two studies of fraud against welfare recipients and physicians illustrate that uneven enforcement of the law can leave the privileged with a sense of entitlement and the marginalized with an imposed criminal self-concept. An examination of the enforcement of laws against Aboriginal harvesting practices offers yet another example of how the threat of prosecution can be used to criminalize cultural practices, while a study of public housing reveals that its form can influence how residents respond to disorder. Lastly, a case study on gambling reveals just how malleable the criminal law and definitions of crime can be.
By demonstrating that how crime is defined and enforced is connected to social location and status, these interdisciplinary cases and an afterword by Marie-Andrée Bertrand challenge us to consider just who is rendered criminal and why. This timely volume will appeal to policy makers and students and practitioners of law, criminology, and sociology.
This book will appeal to policy-makers and students and practitioners of law, criminology, and sociology.
[This book] seeks to critique the current state of scholarship and policy making in criminology and law, with a particular concern for how crime is produced as an object of regulation and punishment. These are crucial questions for Canadian scholars, policy makers, and citizens.
Janet Mosher is an associate professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University. Joan Brockman is a professor at the School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University.
Contributors: Colin S. Campbell, Lisa Chartrand, Timothy F. Hartnagel, Joe Hermer, Frédéric Lemieux, Nadège Sauvêtre, Garry J. Smith, Cora Weber-Pillwax
With an Afterword by Marie-Andrée Bertrand
Introduction / Janet Mosher and Joan Brockman
1 Welfare Fraud: The Construction of Social Assistance as Crime / Janet Mosher and Joe Hermer
2 Fraud against the Public Purse by Health Care Professionals: The Privilege of Location / Joan Brockman
3 Pimatsowin Weyasowewina: Our Lives, Others’ Laws / Lisa Chartrand and Cora Weber-Pillwax
4 Incivilities: The Representations and Reactions of French Public Housing Residents in Montreal City / Frédéric Lemieux and Nadège Sauvêtre
5 The Legalization of Gambling in Canada / Colin S. Campbell, Timothy F. Hartnagel, and Garry J. Smith
Afterword / Marie-Andrée Bertrand
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