BARBARA ANNE LAVIN, Fordham University


This study applies the Political Science perspective to the various interest groups involved in the correctional arena, from 1959-1973. Various theoretical perspectives are utilized, namely the pluralist perspectives of Dahl and Schattschneider and especially the symbolic/tangible framework of Edelman.^ Pluralist theory assumes that the political arena is open and responsive to various groups at various times, with no one permanent group in a position of power. Schattschneider, in clarifying pluralist conceptions, has stated that the political arena is opened to interests other than those represented in group membership. This widening of the political arena occurs through conflict generated by leaders or organizations. Conflict thus for Schattschneider enables interests, not previously represented by interest group membership, to participate in the decision making process. Edelman adds still another dimension to pluralist conceptions for he has sought to analyze the nature of governmental response to these organized and disorganized interests in a framework he has defined as the allocation of tangible/symbolic rewards and their relationship to power and organization.^ The various interests studied as business/labor, correctional bureaucracy, religious/social reformers and prison inmates.^ This thesis is essentially a case study utilizing techniques of participant-observation, interviews with actors and content analysis of relevant documents.^ Interest group conflict is traced through a series of events and adaptations to external events of social change. The conclusions, while demonstrating the utility of the theoretical perspectives of Dahl and Schattschneider, highlight the contributions of Edelman while suggesting that Edelman's symbolic/tangible framework should be modified by a subdivision of tangible benefits into "substantive" and "token." ^

Subject Area

Political science|Criminology

Recommended Citation

LAVIN, BARBARA ANNE, "AN ANALYSIS OF CORRECTIONAL POLICY IN NEW YORK STATE, 1959-1973" (1978). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8727848.