ANT433H5S Advanced Seminar in Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology (SSc)

Topic Title: Wrongdoers: Socio-Cultural Discourses and Public Representations on Crime

  • Instructor: Salvatore Giusto
  • Day/Time: Friday 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM in the Winter 2023 "S" term at UTM
  • Prerequisite: ANT204H5
mural painting of cartoon mouse holding a gun with smoke coming out of it
Photograph of mural of a cartoon mouse holding a smoking gun. Photo © Salvatore Giusto. All rights reserved.

“I am like any other man. All I do is supply a demand.” (Al Capone)
“Just as every cop is a criminal, […] and all the sinners [are] Saints.” (The Rolling Stones)

This class will examine public discourses on crime through anthropological lenses. As such, it will explore classic and current studies in the socio-cultural and linguistic anthropology of crime and security, in order to debate how public representations of “the wrongdoers” intersect issues of political power, public violence management, and socio-economic marginalization. In this course, students will be requested to:

  • Explore how the anthropology of crime and security has historically emerged, while evaluating its influence on mainstream interpretations of what is considered legit in today’s society (and what it is not!).
  • Examine how criminal activities (as well as the way in which they are publicly defined and represented) regularly intersect, reproduce, and/or challenge local and global political economies.
  • Debate how and why contemporary visual and socio-linguistic representations of "the criminal" rely on controversial forms of neoliberal and postcolonial stereotype and privilege, which the anthropologists of crime and security can (and should!) actively challenge through their research work.

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