Illicit economies and the carceral social zone

Vincenzo Ruggiero

in Criminalisation and advanced marginality

Published by Policy Press

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9781447300014
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781447307587 | DOI:
Illicit economies and the carceral social zone

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Vincenzo Ruggiero questions the centrality of Wacquant's account of the symbolic functions of punishment and argues that what is feared about the poor is less their criminal capacity than their indolence. The claim is that it is not primarily a question of the criminality of the poor that leads to their criminalisation but their implicit challenge – just by being there – to the work ethic and exposure of the failure of capitalism to produce secure employment for all. Ruggiero refers to traditions of urban social theory - Walter Benjamin, and Henri Lefebvre on the design of the city to render invisible the ‘socially useless’. He also considers the role of disorder and resistance in the structuring of the city

Keywords: Criminality and poverty; Social disorder; Resistance; Work ethic; Punishment

Chapter.  8246 words. 

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