introduction_to_critical_criminology.doc

Page 24 of 44 26th may 2017 politics

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Page 24 of 44 26th May 2017 http://www.open.edu/openlearn/people-politics-law/introduction-critical-criminology/content- section-0
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Introduction to critical criminology Critical criminological perspectives or criminologies represent a dynamic, interconnected yet diverse range of theories, perspectives and methods that share a commitment to providing an alternative approach to the ways crime, justice and the ‘discipline’ of criminology are examined. Critical criminological approaches have continually pushed the boundaries and scope of criminology, creating new areas of focus and innovation in relation to its subject matter, methods and theory. Although there is much diversity and difference between critical criminological strands, they are united in their emphasis on economic and social conditions, the flows and uses of power, the interplay between crime, ‘race’, gender, and/or class, and their concern to seek out marginalised perspectives and investigate multiple truths. Critical criminologists often prefer to be called social theorists, historians, sociologists, feminists and activists in rejection of the arguably conservative and state-compliant label ‘criminologist’. They have sought out and examined new areas that are often excluded from governmental and mainstream criminological agendas. For example, the critique of activities involving state and corporate harm that produce human suffering or environmental degradation and economic bias in the name of profit and power has long been the mission of critical criminologists. As such, laws and activities of the powerful that permit or engender racial and economic inequality, discrimination and gender prejudice have been subjected to critical examination in pursuit of social justice. Page 25 of 44 26th May 2017 http://www.open.edu/openlearn/people-politics-law/introduction-critical-criminology/content- section-0
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Introduction to critical criminology Contemporary critical criminological perspectives maintain this emphasis through examining, for example, global issues of human trafficking, terrorism, environmental exploitation, and highlighting national injustices and human rights abuses – often entailing a critique of the unlawful actions of governments and large transnational corporations. Page 26 of 44 26th May 2017 http://www.open.edu/openlearn/people-politics-law/introduction-critical-criminology/content- section-0
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Introduction to critical criminology Critical analysis: Two examples To be critical in an academic context does not just mean participating in the debates within an intellectual discipline. It also involves questioning the paradigms within which the discipline sits; the assumptions, concepts and categories through which it frames its concerns; and the methods by which it seeks to arrive at an understanding of the world. To be a critical criminological scholar is to look beyond official crime statistics and criminal justice policies and practices that are constructed through seemingly unquestionable mechanisms of state governance and control. It
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