The Mouse Who Would Take Over the World! The Disneyization of American Criminal Justice

Matthew B. Robinson, Appalachian State University

This paper specifies the relationships between the trend of Disneyization and the increasingly efficient, scientific, costly, control-oriented American criminal justice system. Disneyization is the process by which the principles of the Disney theme parks are coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society as well as the rest of the world. It is related to the concurrent phenomenon of McDonaldization, which has been more widely written about and even applied to criminal justice. This paper discusses the trend of Disneyization and then illustrates how the main elements of Disneyization (theming, dedifferentiation of consumption, merchandising, and emotional labor) typify American criminal justice activity.

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Updated 05/20/2006