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VARIATIONS OF "CRIME"

Student’s Name, Dragan Milovanovic Ph.D.*

B.A. in Criminal Justice

The objective of this research project is to examine various ways criminal activity is defined and viewed. In the strict static sense, criminal activity is considered to be any infraction of local, state, or federal legislation. In this research, criminal activity will be defined and viewed in four very different areas. First, crime will applied to Sarah Hoagland’s "Sabotage Thesis" to examine certain types of crime as a form of resistance. Second, crime will examined as a form of creating one’s own subjectivity through law. Third, crime will be examined utilizing Henry and Milovanovic’s four cornered entity of criminal activity as passive, social, environmental, and biological. This entity will expose the limitations of modernist views of criminality. Fourth, crime will be examined as it is used in such metaphors as "War on crime," or "Crime is a virus." Here, I will utilize J. Dor’s semiotic analysis of metaphor to examine what is included and excluded in a metaphor.

The primary significance of this research is an insight to the various ways crime is defined and viewed. This research will also show how variations of crime have very different effects on forms of punishment. I will also examine to see who or what is included and excluded by these various forms of criminality. This research will show how some forms of crime privilege some groups while de-privileging others, while still maintaining an underlying ideology. This research should also show who or what has helped to construct these views of criminality. Finally, this research will examine what alternatives exist to these variations of crime.

The methodologies I will use consists of the work of several theorists. I will utilize Richard Quinney’s thesis of "Crime and the Development of Capitalism." I will apply Sarah Hoagland’s "Sabotage Thesis," and her various forms of resistance. I will also apply Henry and Milovanovic’s analysis of modernist criminological theory. J. Dor’s semiotic analysis of metaphor, and various applications of the psychoanalysts Jacques Lacan will be applied to metaphors of crime, as well as criminal subjectivity, and social constructions of crime. This research project will be thorough in its application of key concepts to varying definitions of crime. A correlation will be drawn between varying definitions of crime, and their effects upon subjects involved.

The conclusions of this research will show how the conceptual framework in which crime is defined has a profound effect on the criminal justice system. I intend to show that crime is not static, but rather disapative and fluid. Crime has both subjective and objective elements inherent within it that become consolidated to one side or the other through strict definitions of crime. These applications of crime to other theories will show how crime exists in various forms, with various effects on society, subjectivity, and the criminal justice system.