Coercive normalization and family policing : the limits of the psy-complex in Australian penal systems

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McCallum, David (2006) Coercive normalization and family policing : the limits of the psy-complex in Australian penal systems. Social and Legal Studies, 16 (1). pp. 113-129. ISSN 0964-6639


Much contemporary social and historical research on problem children and families focuses on the different kinds of power deployed in a complex of legal and non-legal settings. This paper reviews socio-legal studies in Europe, Australia and the UK, and additional archival evidence in Victoria, Australia, in relation to a shift towards positivist and welfarist approaches to the problem of child criminality and family regulation from the turn of the 20th century. The aim is to assess the applicability for Australia of trends in European social theory that emphasize non-coercive, non-legal correction of families, a productive rather than repressive form of power which incites families to seek to align their conduct to social norms. The paper argues that coercive normalization - systems of knowing and acting upon children and families arising from the penal system and Coercive normalization and family policing Final Draft to Social and Legal Studies May 2006 p. 1 images of threat is a significant presence in the complex of power relations that make up a genealogy of family and child regulation in Australia.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1177/0964663907073452
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1608 Sociology
Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > College of Arts
Keywords socio-legal studies, juvenile justice, juvenile delinquency, social work, coercive normalization, Australia
Citations in Scopus 8 - View on Scopus
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