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Sociology synopsis - To what degree is torture considered cruel and unnatural?

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Siobhain Bowen Sociology Synopsis 3/11/03 AOC12MA Within Foucault's article we see the horrific ways in which Damien's was punished and tortured for the killing of the king in 1757, giving the gruesome details of his torture Foucault is showing us the changes in which punishment and discipline has changed over the past 250 years. Regardless of what a person does for a crime no one has the right to treat one of Gods creatures in such a cruel and vicious manner. Damien's case was and still is a popular case that is studied in many areas but to what degree is torture considered cruel and unnatural? Who has the right to say no! After viewing Damien's account of the public ways in which punishment is dished out we get an example of a typical daily routine for a prisoner in the early 19th century. The "police" or the high courts may see themselves as having the last and final word but under no circumstances can someone have the so called "right" to treat the human body in such a manner just to prove a point. Public executions were a big thing back in the 16th to late 19th century. They were there for personal amusement and game. They were there to make a standpoint as to what happens if certain crimes were committed or if you killed someone. Throughout the history of public executions we see a pattern that occurred regularly and that continues today. The rich were spared torture and instead got beheaded to spare the family shame. When all torture was concluded, the criminals were just beheaded, for this was a movement away from the "body" of the criminal suffering and the repenting of the "soul" of the criminal instead. No one should ever have to go through such torture just because a crime they have committed. I am not saying that I don't agree with the crimes that were committed or whom they were committed by but indeed people do ...read more.


Each one within the dominant class has its own worldviews and way of living and mode fo living. The fractions have different interests, careers, and even habitus. All which are issues of taste. Their conflicts represent attempts to impose the dominant principle of domination as well as secure the conversion rate for the type of capital, which each group id best provided. Currently, there are still remaining tensions between the old bourgeoisie and the new. Today's credit economy best accommodates the new bourgeoisie, who consume greatly and are the vendors of symbolic goods and services such as cinema and fashion. Whereas the old bourgeoisie represents formality and conservatism, the new one is relaxed, highly educated and active. Bourdieu often uses a graphical representation of the statistical correlation between lifestyle practices and objective life-chances. He uses this term social space to refer to this schematic representation. "Social space," writes Bourdieu, "is constructed in such a way that agents or groups are distributed in it according to their position in statistical distributions based on the two principles of differentiation which, in the most advanced societies, such as the United States, Japan or France, are undoubtedly the most efficient: economic capital and cultural capital." On one hand, social agents closest in the amount of overall capital they possess are closest in social space, that is, closest in the probability of life chances, of sharing comparable lifestyles and tastes and of associating with one another. On the other hand, the composition of capital, or the relative importance of cultural and economic capital, connects or separates social agents. "The differences stemming from the total volume of capital almost always conceal, both from common awareness and also from 'scientific' knowledge, the secondary differences which, within each of the classes defined by overall volume of capital, separate class fractions, defined by different asset structures, i.e., different distributions of their total capital among the different kinds of capital." ...read more.


public opinions. Now we have, Habernas says, a "quasi feudal type of society. Where the majority of the population is excluded from the decision making process. Here Thompson says that "critical principle of publicity is the core concept of a theory of democracy and of democratic will formation which, at the time of writing Structural Habernas was just beginning to formulate. Using the example that the media campaigns for presidential and general elections in the age of TV are such a persuasive feature nowadays. The decline of the bourgeois public sphere was the result of overlapping trends. There was the separation of state and society which had created an institutional space for the public sphere began to gradually break down. As things started to break down, states started to take on an increasingly interest for managing the welfare of citizens. The salons and coffee houses declined in significance and the periodical press became a range of media institutions . Habernas wanted to argue that the bourgeois pubic sphere embodied certain ideas and principles which retain their relevance. Habernas' work offers an historical narrative of the changing forms of public life which in many ways is quite compelling. It combines a perceptive historical account for the political culture of early modern Europe with a sharp critical perspective on the degradation of public life in our societies today. Habernas' arguments are both in historical and general terms; so which arguments hold up the most. In the preface of 'Structure to Transformation' Habernas explained his account work to be limited to the 'liberal model of the bourgeois public sphere' and that he would leave aside that 'variant of the liberal model; eventually became the plebeian public sphere. To some it was clear that this schematic way of characterizing popular social and political movements was not satisfactory. It was clear to Habernas that this model was regarded as an idealization of actual historical processes; although the bourgeois public sphere was based on the principle of universal access. ...read more.

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