Paul Kooistra, “Criminals As Heroes: Linking Symbol To Structure”

  1. How does the media affect the idea of a “social bandit?” How did the changes in technology aid in the making of a social bandit? [Kooistra reading]
  2. Kooistra argues that social bandits appear under certain conditions – widespread depression or national crises – and the heroic narrative emerges when a large number of people feel “outside the law” or feel the law unjust. Do you agree with this? Why or why not? Can you apply this theory to events in our time? (Current event?)
  3. What was actually outlawed with the 18th Amendment/Volstead Act? Why do you think that the law/amendment did not outlaw consumption of alcohol?
  4. Prohibition is often referred to as “The Great Social Experiment.” Why do you think that is?
  5. What were some of the arguments that were used for prohibition? Was there a religious/ethnic consideration to outlawing alcohol? Do you think prohibition was targeted for urban or rural environments? Why?


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