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Quite the con- trary: while the systems put in place do indeed shore up the class power of the privileged from criminal justice to education to the economy and government, contradictions therein continue to mount as the cultural values of capitalism and the democratic prom- ises of the American Dream clash with the exclusionary edicts of market structures at levels of intensity that increase with each new crisis.

The massive personal and business bankruptcies of , the hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people whose homes were foreclosed, the working and middle classes who found themselves furloughed, and more: these were, and are, entirely predictable social injuries of a system intrinsically unstable and incoherent as Merton, , foresaw going back to the s. Downloaded from tcr. At the same time, new models of population management in the services of capital are put into place through social actors at various levels of the hierarchy complicit in their design and implementation.

New bureaucrats, state agents and entrepreneurs of many occupational shades build careers out of the actuarial imaginaries of risk and threat that characterize the neo-liberal organization. Yet, and here is the rub: Young insists that he not be misinterpreted as an advocate of historical dualisms. Mechanical interpretations of this transition should be avoided, he insisted, and he emphatically rejected any evolutionary valorization of this historical process see his response to Yar and Penna, Young, The bulimic condition, therefore, is a process in which people assimilate the values of their host country but are rejected by it through prejudice, racism and structural exclusion.

In an attempt to maintain dignity, respect and identity facing the overwhelming forces of structural exclusion and cultural integration, the victims of the processes of Othering and bulimia attempt to reverse them. Thus, the othering discourse on Orientalism, that is, assigning to it the attributes of irrationality, violence, disorder, backwardness and an anti-modern stance, is met with an Occidentalist discourse, an essentialist position that places its own values above what is seen as the deficits and vices of western culture: its materialism, decadence, hypocrisy, lack of honor and respect for tradition, community and family values.

This essentialism, Young argues, is occurring on both sides and does not automatically result in violence. Like Marx, Young was never content to simply interpret the world but wanted dearly to change it: for him, as the following examples show, what was important about the bulimic thesis was its conceptual utility.

Young argued that cultural globaliza- tion intensely affected the Third World, spreading western values and consumer aspira- tions, images of material comfort and abundance while stressing meritocracy and equality of opportunity.

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These images and messages powerfully contrast with a material reality that can no longer be concealed, making these blatant injustices visible and the experi- ence of denial intensely emotional Young, For how conceivable can one justify on a meritocratic basis such disparities of income which occur merely become of the arbitrary factor of place of birth? Thereby lines between conventional warfare and terrorism are obscured and, as Young points out, similarities between the two entities often outweigh their differences.

While there is no doubt that people of the developing world experience a constant stream of denigration and humiliation visited upon them by the West, as Merton argues, individu- als may adapt to the state of anomie and its impacts in different ways. Such reactions are diverse, Young argues, as are responses to Othering in developed societies, that is, ste- reotypical attributions can be accepted, assimilated or acted out by those affected by them.

As it is shown, the cultural and economic overlap of the First and the Third Worlds, leading to revulsion and resentment, is a process happening throughout all levels of society. Young, Immigration As already observed, bulimia is particularly evident in processes of immigration under conditions of globalization. For he or she is an alien other, a carrier of problems into the First World rather than a group who are most blatantly exposed to the problems inherent in the First World.

Young takes the concept of bulimia and applies it to the immigration policies of New Labour in the UK in the s. Here, Labour policies were the leitmotif of social inclu- sion, embracing the benefits of immigration both in terms of the economy and of cultural diversity, while insisting on the control and management of the immigrant population to prevent disturbances. The reversal of structures of tolerance that occurs in the transition from modernity to late modernity becomes evident with cultural difference incessantly absorbed, sanitized and incorporated.

Further, Young pointed out that within these immigration policies are two models of entry: the economic and the right to asylum for those who are subject to political perse- cution in their home countries.


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Here, the immigrant population is widely seen as the source of crime, disorder and vio- lence—an image that contrasts with recent research showing that first generation immi- grants have generally lower crime rates than the indigenous population see, for example, Sampson, As Lea and Young had already argued in What Is to Be Done about Law and Order, it is the second generation immigrants, those who are more assimilated to the values of the host society, who experience relative deprivation most intensely and acutely.

Here, the discontent produced by the disparity between cultural inclusion and structural exclusion leads to higher crime rates.


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  6. Education Young argues that education is a major part of the bulimic process. In The Exclusive Society, he states that notions of meritocracy and equality of opportunity are at the core of the narrative of the American Dream and that mass education plays a critical role in the dissemination and inculcation of these messages.

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    Thus, children are prepared for work and participation in the labor market with a staple part of this socialization contained in the interlocking imagery of earned success, achievable careers, the principles of hard work and just rewards. Cultural isolation from these processes is difficult to experience. However, the role of mass education as a major institutional and ideological site of cultural inclusion leads to discontent when accompanied by structural exclusion.

    As Young argues, the state of anomie in the bulimic society would not exist if cultural inclusion did not occur and the socialization into the American Dream and the dreams of Europe and Australia were not all pervading and successful. While youth are inculcated with the cultural message that higher education offers a safe pathway to upward mobility and a comfortable, secure lifestyle, they face the reality of a highly precarious labor market, stagnant rates of social mobility and insufficient financial returns to pay back their mushrooming student indebtedness.

    The frustra- tion, disenchantment and discontent expressed by these students come directly from their experience of the social bulimic condition and shows again the highly provocative nature of the concept and its widespread applicability. We argue that Young was always engaging the various contradictions of capitalist society, working Downloaded from tcr. A profound appreciation of theory and for examining the claims of empirical evidence was apparent from the beginning, dem- onstrating a criminological imagination that has rarely been equaled.

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    The concept of social bulimia can be applied fruitfully to both sociology and criminol- ogy, and we have discussed several instances where he used this lens to illuminate what he felt were the driving forces of the phenomenon. But, like Young, we do not feel paralyzed by such seem- ingly endless contradictions of a system often at war with the majority of its subjects. Although Young fully comprehended that these bulimic pushes and pulls were hard to negotiate, a reasonable chance nonetheless exists to move beyond them.

    He was clear that rights or freedoms were not sim- ply ordained and granted but came from principled scholars encouraging and articulating both individual and collective agency to re-imagine the present and the past. But what is the meaning of inclusion if we are ever to get there? As usual, Jock left us pondering this profound paradox along with an extraordinary legacy of ideas, commentary, observations and insights into the human condition that that we will surely need as we go forward.

    We are convinced that social bulimia is one of the insights that will grow old with use as we strive to follow in his huge footsteps. The European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information con- tained in this publication.


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    References Feeley M and Simon J The new penology: Notes on the emerging strategy of corrections and its implications. Criminology 30 4 : — In: Nelken D ed. The Futures of Criminology. London: SAGE. New York Times, 25 July, A1. New York: Melville Housing Printing. Crisis in the Nineties. Related Stories. This finding represents one of the first examples of a genome-wide significant genetic factor to be identified for binge Now, researchers report success with functional neural networks derived from Translating Proteins Into Music, and Back.

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