CRITICAL CRIMINOLOGY

By , October 28, 2009 8:20 pm

Check out the following from Jock Young. Good stuff! Link is below:

Critical criminology is the criminology of late modernity. Its inception was in the late sixties and early seventies at the cusp of change, its inspiration a world where oppressive relationships of class, age, gender and ethnicity became highlighted and evident (in that historical order)and where the pluralism, ambiguity and shift of values heralded a society where migration and human creativity created a diversity of cultures in close propinquity and interaction. In Britain the key academic organisation which provided a theatre for such debates was the National Deviancy Conference (NDC). Here, as Stan Cohen astutely noted, “well before Foucault and a long way from the Left Bank – our little corner of the human sciences was seized by a deconstructionist impulse” (1998, p.101). Indeed the NDC was pivoted around deconstruction and anti-essentialism. It dwelt on the social construction of gender, sexual proclivity, crime, suicide, drugs and mental states whilst fiercely criticising the major discourses of modernity, positivism and classicism, and its institutions, whether it was the prison or the clinic. The NDC was anarchistic and antinomian, set deep in the counterculture of the time. My own involvement in it was initially reluctant to say the least. It was a time when we regarded people with 9 to 5 jobs as complete failures, lived in communes and regarded the “straight” world with complete disdain. I was living in Notting Hill where Pink Floyd played weekly at the local parish hall, Jimi Hendrix was at Middle Earth and there was poetry in the streets. Academic conferences were not exactly where it was at. I was persuaded to go to the first NDC in York in 1968. I remember Mike Brake – later to be well known for his books on youth culture (1980, 1985) saying to me the evening we arrived, “What are we doing here, man? Let’s get out quick and get to Leeds where there’s much better clubs.” We stayed all the same and next day I gave my first academic paper, ‘The Role of Police as Amplifiers of Deviancy, Negotiators of Reality and Translators of Fantasy’ (1971a). A pretentious title but it still captures for me a constant theme of the way in which powerful forces in society create demons out of illusions which then, through stigma and oppression, take on a reality of their own.

via CRITICAL CRIMINOLOGY IN EUROPE:.

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