Short Legal Analysis (COMS)
Legal Analysis (COMS): Purpose of assignment: For this paper, pick any law since the 1980s to critically deconstruct and analyze via a philosophical lens or concept from our Pollock, Davis, or Foucault readings. The purpose is to use the scholar’s philosophical lens or concept as a framework to explain 2 reasons why the law perpetuates dangerous ideologies or beliefs. Find at least 3 scholarly sources to use in your definitions and application (1 of the sources can be our texts).
Organization: The first page of your paper should be a cover page. The next 2-3 pages of analysis will be exactly 5 paragraphs. The first paragraph should be a very brief introduction that provides a short background of the law (5 sentences, including a thesis statement, and preview of what the paper will discuss; A preview should sound like this: “In this paper, I will discuss … .”). The second body paragraph should be a definitional paragraph about your selected framework – the philosophical lens or concept. The third and fourth body paragraphs will discuss the 2 reasons why the law perpetuates dangerous ideologies or beliefs. Be detailed. The last paragraph should be a concise conclusion. The 4th page of your paper should be the Works Cited/References page.
Grammar: Your paper should be written in complete and grammatically correct sentences. Paragraphs should begin with concise and direct topic sentences. Quotations should be brief and appropriately cited. Proofread constantly before submitting your paper.
The United States‘ 1994 Crime Bill can be examined in light of Michel Foucault’s theory of power and knowledge. Due to this law, the jail population increased and communities of color were disproportionately locked up.
According to Foucault, power is ingrained in cultural norms, ideals, and institutions as well as being used by people in positions of authority. In this regard, the Crime Bill upholds perilous ideologies and beliefs by portraying the criminal justice system as an impartial device for upholding order, when in fact it serves to accentuate already-existing disparities.
In order to defend its practices, the law also relied on the creation and transmission of knowledge concerning crime and punishment. This knowledge was based on opinions and stereotypes about particular groups, especially communities of color, rather than on actual information.
The Crime Bill used its authority to establish a dominating discourse about crime and punishment, thereby sustaining hazardous ideologies and beliefs that supported its growth of the prison system, as highlighted by Foucault’s concept of the power/knowledge nexus. As a result, communities of color were criminalized and subjected to disproportionate punishment, which fueled institutional racism and social inequality.
In conclusion, Foucault’s concept of power and knowledge may be used to evaluate the 1994 Crime Bill in the United States, showing how it reinforces existing inequalities and creates a dominating discourse that promotes hazardous ideologies and beliefs.