Vertigo and the global Merton

Young, Jock (2008) Vertigo and the global Merton. Theoretical Criminology, 12 (4). pp. 523-543. ISSN 1362-4806. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1177/1362480608099771) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1362480608099771

Abstract

Vertigo is the malaise of late modernity: a sense of insecurity, of insubstantiality, and of uncertainty, a whiff of chaos and a fear of falling. The signs of giddiness are everywhere, some serious, some banal; once acknowledged, a series of separate seemingly disparate facts begin to fall into place. The obsession with rules, an insistence on clear uncompromising lines of demarcation between correct and incorrect behaviour, the decreased tolerance of deviance, a disproportionate response to rule-breaking, an easy resort to punitiveness and a point at which simple punishment begins to verge on the vindictive. Some of these things are quite blatant, they are the major signposts of our times, the rise in the United States of a vast Gulag of 2.2 million people in prison and 1 in 34 of the population in prison, on probation or parole at any one time, the draconian drug laws, the use of terrorist legislation to control everything from juvenile gangs to freedom of speech. Some are quite banal, the obsession with the politically correct, the policies of zero-tolerance, the shenanigans of New Labour over the control of undesirable behaviour, ASBOs enters the English language (even becoming a verb: ‘to be ASBO’d’), and a British Home Secretary stands up at the 2005 Labour Party Conference and announces his intention ‘to eliminate anti-social behaviour’ by 2010 (a statement of Canutelike munificence). Moral panics abound …

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Criminology
Depositing User: Mita Mondal
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2013 09:28 UTC
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2014 13:34 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/34551 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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