The gangster in the american culture
This discussion concerned much more than the causes of lawbreaking, for participants used the issue of criminality to grapple with some of the most troubling cultural dilemmas of their time.
The criminal served as an important cultural resource for men and women working to understand and shape the structure of their society and place of the individual within it.
We will see that David Ruth, the auhor of the book, explored how Americans of the 1920s and 1930s used the criminal to understand their society. The book, Inventing the Public Enemy tells about a lot of gangsters « invented » by the media according to the gangster stereotype of the 1920s and 1930s. The numerous accounts given by the media help the reader understand what the dilemmas of the society were at that time.
We will then wonder :
How the gangsters, the public enemies convey the problems of the society back in the 1920s/1930s.
First of all, we will see the different points of view on criminality and its causes, which will lead us to study the criminal as a businessman and then the consumer society and what it implied on men’s and women’s behaviours.
Let us first dwell upon the different points of view explaining the reasons for criminality :
The determinists and the moralists tried to explain and epxress their point of view and their arguments about the causes of crime during the twenties.
What is the criminal responsibility ? What is the line that defines the individuals ?
For the determinists, criminals are governed by external forces, whereas the moralists’ counterarguments during the middle-twenties is that criminal are responsible for their actions.
In pronouncing the criminial’s irresponsibilty, many determinists voiced broader concerns about the diminution of individual competence in a mass society.
Many Americans thought that