This exercise asks us to imagine in producing our work that we are a Secretariat, or a group of people who have the responsibility for learning these theories so well—including through probing their assumptions & implications, and systematically developing our viewpoints in relation to these—that we can be relied upon, as an expert collective, to present these ideas clearly to each other (standing in for an imagined educated but uninformed public who must act upon our counsel, itself representing our own intellectual development over time).
Analysis should be discussed fully—presented stepwise and clearly, with sociological framing, in the Analysis section. Unpack claims: Pose a claim, show how.
Examples of great statements for analysis:
– “The carceral state has replaced the welfare state because there are electoral incentives for increased criminalization. For example relying on short-term punitive fixes increases the costs of investing in better education and health care systems, therefore investing in long-term punitive fixes is viewed as the better option.”
Explain. For example, is “investing in long-term punitive fixes” the same as Murakawa’s suggestion, decriminalization, or Myerson & Smith’s (2014) economic (employment, wealth & taxation) reforms?
– “Liberals and Conservatives used the idea of the black criminal figure as a way to justify exploitative labour, segregation and the maintenance of white supremacy.”
The point of the assignment’s subheaded and bullet point format is not to substitute for clarity and logical development.
The point of this format is to prioritize developing your argument step-wise, in close relationship/fealty to the reading, in the “Analysis & Alternatives” section.
1) Produce a reliable review through fealty to the text. This does not necessarily mean agreement. It means a rigorous reading and reporting.
2) Exercising our logical faculties, thinking in terms of conveying ideas clearly as well as efficiently.
The point of using this format is to prioritize systematic, step wise analysis (including dialectical analysis) that is very clear, thorough, and easy to follow.
Key Messages should be clear, brief “take-away” restatements of the description of the theory & implications, the argument built carefully, fully, step-wise, and rigorously in the Analysis section.
Cite these sorts of things:
“Even relatively short prison sentences have negative effects on those who are incarcerated, these effects include decreased wages and impaired health over the long term.”
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