Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Social control projects must take privacy into account

06.09.2007
Modern projects related to social control can only succeed if they respect modern ideas about privacy, according to Pieter Spierenburg in his inaugural lecture 'Apegatje's pursuers.

Social control between shifting violence thresholds and changing ideas of privacy'. Spierenburg describes the historical background to violence and criminality. There was certainly greater acceptance of violence in the past than there is today, says the new professor. Ideas about privacy differed, too.

On Friday 7 September 2007 Spierenburg will accept the chair of extraordinary professor in historical criminology at the Erasmus School of Law from the EUR Trust Fund Association.

Modern projects related to social control can only succeed if they respect modern ideas about privacy, according to Pieter Spierenburg in his inaugural lecture 'Apegatje's pursuers. Social control between shifting violence thresholds and changing ideas of privacy', in which he looks at the historical background of violence and criminality.

There was certainly greater acceptance of violence in the past than there is today, says the new professor. Ideas about privacy differed, too. On Friday 7 September 2007, Spierenburg accepts the chair of extraordinary professor in historical criminology in Erasmus School of Law from the EUR Trust Fund Association.

For centuries, there was greater acceptance of violence than there is today. As Spierenburg shows, three hundred years ago citizens were much more violent when arresting a shoplifter, for example, and no one questioned this. Apegatje, from the title of the lecture, was a shoplifter at the beginning of the 18th century, who was severely beaten up. Shifting violence thresholds as well as changing ideas about privacy affect the nature of informal social control, according to Spierenburg.

Some four centuries ago, the arsenal of social control was considerably extensive, both at community level and by organisations like guilds and churches. Punishments for offences included sitting the perpetrator backwards on a donkey and driving him through the streets with a great fanfare, or excluding him from the communal dinner, or just calling him to order through the grapevine. The legitimacy of this was rarely called into doubt by anyone concerned: the phenomenon was not considered an invasion of privacy, even if the person punished did not like it.

Such forms of community control continued to exist until the middle of the twentieth century, but then declined all over Europe. In the Netherlands, the Roethof committee called for new cooperation between police and community organisations. For pioneering projects in this field, the Hein Roethof prize is awarded every year.

But can we transplant the informal control of the past to our modern society?

In the past, informal control was based on the acceptance of neighbourhood spying and on maintaining the norms regarding marriage and personal lives. Spierenburg points out that neighbourhood control often continued long after industrialisation. Informal social control suffered, however, as a result of individualisation and modern ideas about privacy: everyone should mind their own business and street life disappeared. Modern projects in the field of social control can therefore only succeed if modern ideas about privacy are respected.

This lecture is part of the joint inaugural lecture 'Control: about the dynamics between criminality and social control', held by three professors of Erasmus School of Law. Besides Spierenburg, René van Swaaningen (International comparative criminology) and Henk van de Bunt (Criminology) will also be accepting their chairs on this day.

Yvette Nelen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.eur.nl/english/pressroom

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Sibling differences: Later-borns choose less prestigious programs at university
14.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung

nachricht Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ
09.11.2017 | Vanderbilt University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Optical Nanoscope Allows Imaging of Quantum Dots

Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.

Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rutgers scientists discover 'Legos of life'

23.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Seabed mining could destroy ecosystems

23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Transportable laser

23.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>