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Thinking About Criminology

Thinking About Criminology

Simon Holdaway
Paul Rock
Copyright Date: 1998
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Thinking About Criminology
    Book Description:

    Essays aims to provide an analysis of the relationship between theory and criminological research, discussing the ways in which theoretical perspectives have contributed to the understanding of relevant criminal justice institutions, law and policy.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-6473-9
    Subjects: Sociology, Law, Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Notes on contributors
    (pp. vii-xii)
  4. CHAPTER 1 Thinking about criminology: “Facts are bits of biography”
    (pp. 1-14)
    Paul Rock and Simon Holdaway

    We embarked on editing this book in the belief that there is an important gap in the writing on criminological theory, and that doing something to fill that gap could help to improve understanding of the work of criminology and criminologists. Let us explain.

    Descriptions of scholarly activity tend to differentiate sharply between paradigmatic revolutions and normal science (Kuhn 1970); between brief bursts of innovation and longer periods of intellectual quiescence; between work that is analytically-driven and work that is driven by policy problems; between the theoretical and the empirical; the pure and the applied; the abstract and the concrete....

  5. CHAPTER 2 Theorizing – sotto voce
    (pp. 15-34)
    Clifford Shearing

    In their introduction to this edited collection, Paul Rock and Simon Holdaway contrast theorizing as it is normally understood – that is “intellectual exegesis” of the grand sort – with a more subterranean understanding grounded in, and essential to, practice. They remark that while many criminologists have eschewed conventional theorizing, they have very often engaged in theorizing in this second vein. They talk about this as a “theoretical enterprise undertaken, as it were,sotto voce ...”They suggest that what might at first blush look like a lack of interest in theory might indeed be theorizing in a different voice, undertaken behind...

  6. CHAPTER 3 Making the invisible visible in criminology: a personal journey
    (pp. 35-54)
    Elizabeth A. Stanko

    I am a 46-year-old, North American born in the mid-west of the USA, educated there and in New York City; a sociologist who self-identifies as a criminologist. I started by working on two large scale criminological research projects in New York City, taught for 14 years in a sociology department in a small private liberal arts university in Massachusetts, and took my first job in Britain in 1990 as the convenor of an MA in Criminal Justice in a Law Department, where I am now.

    I am female, white, middle class, heterosexual, a mother, non-disabled, non-religious, and self-identify as a...

  7. CHAPTER 4 Translations and refutations: an analysis of changing perspectives in criminology
    (pp. 55-72)
    Frances Heidensohn

    In this chapter I shall attempt to reconstruct and analyse the history of certain developments in criminology in the twentieth century. I consider these to have been important and influential developments and they involve my own work and that of a range of respected colleagues. Yet it is not easy to give this narrative a title, nor label the developments in a neat, defining way. One such heading might be “feminist criminology”, although I and many others should prefer “feminist perspectives in criminology” (Gelsthorpe and Morris 1990; Rafter and Heidensohn 1995). These names can give rise to problems for the...

  8. CHAPTER 5 Copping a plea
    (pp. 73-98)
    Robert Reiner

    I imagine all the contributors to this volume share my quandary of knowing exactly the level of intimacy and revelation appropriate for an intellectual autobiography. When I was studying O-level physics 30 something years ago we were told to write up our experiments to the formula “ADAM was a Roman Catholic” i.e., aims, diagram, apparatus, methods, results, conclusion. ESRC and other grant applications (and to a slightly lesser extent reports of the resulting research), presuppose the same sort of pure rationalistic progress from aims and objectives to results and implications. Yet we know that even in the supposedly harder realms...

  9. CHAPTER 6 Back to the future: the predictive value of social theories of delinquency
    (pp. 99-120)
    David Downes

    The social and economic landscape today is widely regarded as subject to tumultuous change unprecedented in its speed and seemingly uncontrollable direction since the first Industrial Revolution of the 1780s. At the same time, it is eerily familiar. Ghosts long since thought of as laid have returned to haunt us, in the shape of the shrouded figures of the homeless, the outstretched hands of beggars and municipal graves for the nameless dead. It is increasingly the case that these developments are regarded as the sad, but inevitable accompaniments to late or post modernity, whose results are viewed as immensely beneficial...

  10. CHAPTER 7 Roots of a perspective
    (pp. 121-132)
    Nils Christie

    I have been invited to reflect upon ideas that underpin my work, and also to include a discussion of personal intellectual history.¹ The danger in such a task is to become entrapped in the private. To escape that danger, I will attempt to describe how the development of ideas are influenced by the same forces that also influence both crime and forms of crime control. Theories on deviance and theories of theories on deviance might stem from the same root. This does not mean that I see myself as a robot, where my writing is fully determined by the surroundings....

  11. CHAPTER 8 From criminology to anthropology? Identity, morality and normality in the social construction of deviance
    (pp. 133-160)
    Richard Jenkins

    This chapter distils a series of debates which I had with myself, and with successive groups of undergraduate students, while I was teaching in the department of sociology and anthropology at the University of Wales, Swansea.¹ The catalyst that precipitated these thoughts was the departure in the mid-1980s of the colleague who had been teaching “crime and deviance” in the department. I had a long-standing interest in deviance, as a consequence of research that I had done on historical witchcraft in Ireland (Jenkins 1977) and working-class youth and the transition to adulthood (1982, 1983). I was also teaching the course...

  12. CHAPTER 9 Obituaries, opportunities and obsessions
    (pp. 161-174)
    Ken Pease

    When I went to University College London in 1961 I was just turned 18 and cannot recall ever having met any real people who had been to university. Real people excluded teachers and the like. They had degrees, but their social distance only served to make me aware that a postman’s son from a graduate-free extended family in Berkshire would be well out of his depth among students. And so he was. The degree was psychology, chosen without advice or much thought. Other students seemed so mature and urbane. How could I survive the exams at the end of the...

  13. CHAPTER 10 Thinking about criminology: a reflection on theory within criminology
    (pp. 175-182)
    Simon Holdaway and Paul Rock

    Ours is a culture of confession. Novels about incest, family conflict and sexual indiscretion are confessed as autobiography. Biographers have recently disregarded the wishes of their subject, revealing personal, tantalizing information more suited to the private than public sphere. Recently one of us watched a Channel 4 documentary in which a number of men confessed their use of prostitutes, apparently without concern for the effect on their partners, friends or family. One, who attributed the death of his wife to her discovery of his previously hidden behaviour, said tragically that he hoped that taking part in the programme would in...

  14. References
    (pp. 183-200)
  15. Index
    (pp. 201-207)