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Durkheim's Two Laws of Penal Evolution

Explained through examples found in the Game of Thrones' Universe

Sally M

on 9 March 2014

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Transcript of Durkheim's Two Laws of Penal Evolution

But these laws are at the whim of those who create and implement them.
You don't always see lower societies being harsh and higher societies being merciful.
In conclusion,
The Law of Qualitative variations
On the other side of the Narrow Sea, you have Westeros.
1. THE LAW OF quantitative VARIATION
Durkheim's two laws of penal evolution
Like most medieval-based fantasy societies, you find that the nobility love using dungeons which are a freedom-restricting means of punishment.
These laws are not black and white. They show the
typical trends
that societies follow.
Explained through examples found in the Game of Thrones' Universe
2. The Law of Qualitative Variations
Punishments are more severe in less advanced societies.
More advanced societies tend to use punishments that repress freedoms for a given amount of time.
The Dothraki of Essos can be seen as a less advanced society.
They are a nomadic people who follow a warrior culture and are technologically less advanced.
You can understand how they adhere to the first law
by taking a look at their weddings.
A Dothraki Wedding is considered a dull affair
If there are fewer than 3 deaths.
So following that logic, their punishments are harsh and permanent.
A wine merchant tries to murder the queen by giving her poisoned wine.
Because the Dothraki are always on the move, so are their prisoners. The merchant is tied to a horse and forced to walk (or be dragged) alongside the group until he dies.
No hope
Westeros is relatively advanced, with many punishments that limit one's freedom for an amount of time.
You have the typical dank and dark dungeons.
With the Dothraki, you see that they do implement freedom restricting (and life preserving) punishments such as slavery.
In Westeros, you see psychopathic
boy-kings who impulsively decides to chop the head off someone who shouldn't be having their head chopped off.
stupid boy-king
And you see in the North that those who break their oaths to protect the realm get their heads chopped off too.
Also a particular noble family is known to flay and skin their prisoners. This falls into the law of quantitative variation since you don't really bounce back after being turned into a coat.
And you also have these things called Sky Cells which allow the prisoner to end his or her own life (so it still technically follows the law of qualitative variations).
*note how he is the only one who finds this amusing.
i.e. prisons
i.e. execution
Another harsh punishment the king (or khal) used involved molten gold
(warning: may contain season 1 spoilers)
Side note: why does Sean Bean always die?
This is a bad idea.
what is dead may never die
maybe this was a bad idea
That's the wine merchant
Even in our world today
you have to wonder which law places like Abu Ghraib and North Korea's prison camps adhere to. Where do some Indigenous peoples' restorative justice fit in the laws?
The punishment type is affected by the type of government in place and this sometimes does not reflect how complex a society may be.
Because of the this ambiguity, the harshest punishments do not always follow the first law nor do the more favorable
punishments always follow the
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