Dr. Gary Potter - Recent Scholarship
Recent Scholarship > Dr. Gary Potter
State Crime and Arms Trafficking: The United States and the Merchants of Death
- This research focuses on the international market for weapons and the illicit provision of arms to meet that market demand.
- We will focus on the known sources of illicit arms; the types of arms most commonly trafficked in the illicit market, the activities of three major arms traffickers, and the role of the U.S. state in facilitating the illegal trafficking of arms.
Constructing Crime in an Era of Globalization
For three decades scholars in mass communication and criminology have called our attention to the role of the media in the social construction of crime. Study after study has documented how media representations in both the entertainment and news arenas has created a social reality of a dangerous world, full of danger and risk, populated by stereotyped “others” (Jewkes, 2010; Marsh and Melville, 2009). A flood of mediated images emanating from our televisions, computers, books, newspapers and magazines, movies and even popular music instruct us on the seemingly natural order of the social world. It is through this incessant institutionalized attack on our senses that we come to experience what Jock Young (2007) calls the vertigo of modern society. But, the irony of all this is that our fears, prejudices, stereotypes, and pervasive impulses toward meanness and retribution are something less than real. They are created, mediated images offered ...
Wilson and van den Haag:
Conservative Theories of Crime Control
Theoretical Assumptions of the Conservative Model
Crime control policy in the United States is grounded in two basic conservative traditions. The first is an assumption that traditional, hierarchical forms of social organization organized around established values have positive impacts on society. The second assumption is that any reform is subversive and radical reforms are anarchistic.
The Criminal Justice System in Late Modernity
A number of noted scholars in the fields of criminology and criminal justice including Zygmut Bauman, David Garland, Pat O’Malley, John Lea, Jonathan Simon, and Jock Young have tried in recent years to develop coherent theories which might explain recent trends in crime, incarceration rates, citizens’ fear of crime and shifts in criminal justice system policies by suggesting that these sometimes dramatic changes are part of macro-social changes occurring in late modern society. The suggestion is that seemingly incoherent and often draconian changes in criminal justice policy are simply reactions and adaptation to social conditions emanating in late modernity.
Capitalist Markets and Crime
There are many different economic systems operating in the world today: capitalism, feudalism, socialism, communism, etc. Virtually none of those systems are pure ideal types. Additionally there are variations in each type. For example, Vietnam practices market socialism, while Cuba relies more heavily on the state in its version of socialism. So too are there wide variations in capitalist societies. Clearly, the United States is a capitalist society, but so are other countries in which capitalism has a distinctly different face. For purposes of comparison and critical discourse we will compare two different versions of capitalism. I would love to also make a comparison between the U.S. and socialist states. But the kind of data we need, which is sparse enough as it is, is produced by U.S. government agencies. They simply do not include socialist states in their data. Because I want to avoid any charge of bias I will use only U.S. state-produced numbers so that any bias will favor the U.S.
Deviant Places, Deviant Networks:
An Ethnographic Understanding of Underground Criminality in Rural Kentucky
ABSTRACT: Integral to a basic understanding of the criminal organization of illicit markets is the concept of social networks. Those networks are usually conceived of as interactions between people which form identifiable nodes. This research seeks to extend the conceptualization of criminal networks to include Rodney Stark called “kinds of places.” For two years, this research involved extensive observation and informal interviewing of employees and customers at several businesses in a rural Kentucky community. It was found that those "places" created physical nodes for an intricate network of underground criminality, involving prostitution, drug trade, and gambling, in which the various actors aided and protected one another.
The Bush Family: A Continuing Criminal Enterprise?
During the 1980's hundred of Savings and Loan Banks failed. Those bank failures cost U.S. taxpayers over $500 billion to cover federally insured losses, and much more to investigate the bank failures (Pizzo, Fricker, and Muolo, 1989; Brewton, 1992; Johnston, 1990). More than 75% of the Savings and Loan insolvencies where directly linked to serious and often criminal misconduct by senior financial insiders (Pizzo, Fricker and Muolo, 1989: 305). In fact, less than 10 percent...
Abstract: Gives students a clear understanding of organized crime from social, political and economic perspectives: what it is, how it has evolved, where it stands, where it is headed, and how societies can respond to it. The authors dispel long-standing myths surrounding organized crime, and consider the phenomenon in all its forms. This logically-organized, highly-readable book promotes learning with extensive pedagogical features, including chapter objectives, critical thinking projects, summaries, key terms, discussion points, and suggested readings. This edition’s extensive new coverage includes updated discussions of drug trafficking and terrorism, as well as organized crime groups from China, Nigeria, Albania, Central America, Japan, and the Tri-Border area.
Country Comfort: Vice and Corruption in Rural Settings
This article provides an in-depth examination of rural organized crime. Organized crime studies traditionally have focused on urban criminality; this study discusses its rural form. Types of participants, patterns of criminality, and relationships with political and law enforcement corruption are detailed. Although there are differences between urban and rural organized crime, it tends to exhibit some similarities regardless of setting.
The Mythology of Crime and Criminal Justice
Abstract: Now in its fourth edition, this widely used and superior alternative to traditional criminal justice books continues both effectively and clearly to debunk myths cited in the popular literature regarding the problems of criminality in the U.S. It serves as a solid foundation for readers to probe beneath popular notions of crime, criminals, and crime control. Each well-written chapter provides a distinct avenue for exploring...
Controversies in White Collar
Abstract: Original writings explore the issue of white-collar crime and the controversies that surround it, focusing on the vastness of state-corporate and white-collar crime, the victimization that results, and the ways these crimes affect society environmentally, politically, economically and personally.
Wicked Newport: Kentucky's Sin City
Abstract: Controlled by the heavy hand of the mob and fueled by government corruption, Newport evolved through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries into a notoriously robust center of criminal activity. With top political and law enforcement officials often on the take, the seedy status quo became so excessive that a May 1961 issue of Time magazine declared, Newport has developed such a gaudy brand of gambling and prostitution that it stands today as one of the nation s most blatant sin centers. Eastern Kentucky University Professors Gary Potter and...
Drugs in Society: Causes, Concepts and Control
Abstract: This work focuses on the many critical areas of America's drug problem, providing a foundation for rational decisionmaking within this complex and multi-disciplinary field. Broken into three sections: Understanding the Problem, Gangs and Drugs, and Fighting Back, topics covered include the business of drugs and the role of organized crime in the drug trade, drug legalization and decriminalization, legal and law enforcement strategies, an...
Constructing Crime: Perspectives on Making News and Social Problems
Abstract: This intriguing collection of articles explores the many actors, practices, and techniques involved in constructing the social reality of crime. The first section offers an overview of the issues associated with studying crime and the media. The next section explores the making of crime problems from gang rituals to less mature constructions of crime like road warriors. The final section looks at the effects of media constructions of crime. The frames through which crime is projected increase fear and shape perceptions of the amount of crime committed, the types of crime, who commits crimes, and what crimes are social...
Criminal Organizations: Vice, Racketeering and Politics in an American City
Abstract: This book answers many questions about organized crime by presenting a detailed investigation of the organization & delivery of illegal goods & services in "Morrisburg" (a pseudonym for a city in a mid-Atlantic state).
The Porn Merchants
The Antecedents of Organized Criminality in Kentucky
Abstract: This Kentucky Justice & Safety Research Bulletin examines the antecedents of modern-day organized crime in Kentucky. The question to be addressed is whether the genesis of organized crime in a predominately rural, southern state, such as Kentucky, follows well-established patterns of development found in historically analyses of Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, and other north-eastern and midwestern locales. This question is addressed by an examination of primary and secondary historical
Prostitution and the Sex Industry in Kentucky
Abstract: he provision of sexual services for profit has become a major illicit industry in the hidden economy of Kentucky. Prostitution on the streets, in massage parlors, through escort services, and in bars and strip clubs is common throughout much of the Commonwealth. The evidence shows that criminal organizations ranging from individual entrepreneurships, to small crime networks, to international sex trafficking organizations are active in the provision of illicit sexual services in Kentucky.