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NCJ Number: NCJ 241502    
Title: What Have We Learned From Five Decades of Neutralization Research? (From Crime and Justice: A Review of Research, Volume 32, P 221-320, 2005, Michael Tonry, ed. – See NCJ-241498)
Author(s): Shadd Maruna ; Heith Copes
Date Published: 2005
Page Count: 100
  Annotation: This essay discusses changes in neutralization theory that have occurred through five decades of research.
Abstract: Neutralization theory, though a popular framework for understanding deviant behavior, remains badly underdeveloped. Few attempts have been made to connect it to narrative and sociocognitive research in psychology and related fields. From this wider perspective, one reason neutralization theory has received only mixed empirical support is that it has been understood as a theory of criminal etiology. This makes little sense (how can one neutralize something before they have done it?) and makes the theory difficult to rest. Neutralization should instead be seen as playing a role in persistence in or desistance from criminal behavior. The theory’s central premises need to be substantially complicated. The notions that all excuses or justifications are “bad” and that reform involves “accepting complete responsibility” for one’s actions are not tenable. (Published Abstract)
Main Term(s): Neutralization theory
Index Term(s): Behavioral science research ; Criminal responsibility ; Corrections research ; Criminal justice research
Sale Source: University of Chicago Press
1427 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States of America
Publisher URL: 
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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