Punishment and Society

Punishment refers to chastisement whether legislated or not. There are four guiding principles that usually define punishment:

  • It is ordered and/or dispensed by a figure of authority.
  • It is in response to an act of wrongdoing.
  • The wrongdoer would experience some sort of loss.
  • The wrongdoer is the person deemed responsible for the act of wrongdoing.

While there have been arguments for and against various forms of punishment, the primary objectives are still relevant. After reviewing the history of punishment, this entry focuses on various aspects of punishment, including its role in deterring or changing behavior, and explores the relationship between punishment and surveillance.

Historical Context

In ancient times, barbaric forms of ad hoc punishment were unfairly meted out for various acts of wrongdoing; today, this still holds true for some ...

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