“Crime” Is a Social Construct

This quote reminds me of an article I once wrote an academic paper arguing that “crime” is merely a culturally relative social construct. I’m told it’s one of the most widely cited papers in the field of critical criminology even though it was never actually published in a formal academic journal.
“Before our white brothers came to civilize us we had no jails. Therefore we had no criminals. You can’t have criminals without a jail. We had no locks or keys, and so we had no thieves. If a man was so poor that he had no horse, tipi or blanket, someone gave him these things. We were to uncivilized to set much value on personal belongings. We wanted to have things only in order to give them away. We had no money, and therefore a man’s worth couldn’t be measured by it. We had no written law, no attorneys or politicians, therefore we couldn’t cheat. We really were in a bad way before the white men came, and I don’t know how we managed to get along without these basic things which, we are told, are absolutely necessary to make a civilized society.”
– RedHawk – Seeker Of Visions

Categories: Law/Justice

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