Criminal Justice-COAS | Alternative Social Control Systems
P202 | 4307 | Nickels
Course Synopsis: The purpose of this class is to take a broad view
on the nature and operation of social control, examining the
interrelation of the form and function of particular institutions in
constituting the normative structure of Western society as a whole.
This class is grounded in social theory, relying on a series of
paradigmatic models of social organization to explore the dimensions
and evolution of social control over the centuries with particular
emphasis on the last century.
Particularly, we will explore such paradigms as bureaucracy (as
exemplary of the process of rationalization), the Panopticon
(modernization), McDonald’s (commoditization), and Disneyland
(postmodernization). With each transition in the overarching social
organization of society, brought about by the processes represented
in these paradigms, so too changes the dominant strategies of social
control as employed in the various social institutions of religion,
family, education, work, leisure, health, etc. Understanding
these “trans-institutional” forms of social control, and the social
and historical conditions upon which they are contingent, is the key
project of this course.
The format for this class will be largely based upon the seminar
model, meaning we proceed through reading and structured discussions
of scholarly materials. Formal evaluations for the course will
depend upon participation in these discussions, the keeping and
periodic review of reading notes, and a short essay due at the end
of the term on a topic related to the course.
Readings: There are three required texts for this course, listed
below. Additional readings (short articles) will be made available
Michel Foucault (1991). Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the
Prison. New York, Vintage Books.
George Ritzer (2000). The McDonaldization of Society (New Century
Edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.
Inside the Mouse: Work and Play at Disney World (1995). The Project
on Disney. Durham: Duke University Press.
Class meeting: 9:30-10:20, Daily, SB 159
Instructor: Ernest Nickels, Criminal Justice Department