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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70047 Find in a Library
Title: Radical Criminology - The Coming Crises
Editor(s): J A Inciardi
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 320
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This anthology presents the varying perspectives of radical theorists and their critics and documents the changes taking place in both traditional and radical criminology.
Abstract: Opening essays discuss the emergence of radical criminologies in the United States and Great Britain and provide an overview of ways in which the social conflict paradigm has been used in criminological theory. Three dimensions of the social conflict paradigm (socioeconomic class, culture and group conflict, and power and authority relationships) are discussed, and each of the dimensions is addressed in summaries of three scholarly works. Other essays evaluate partisan criminological analysis, attacking it as dogmatic, unscientific, and political; argue that Marxist theory is couched in untestable and, therefore, irrefutable concepts; and suggest that the 'new criminology' is really a reemergence of the sentiment of overidentification with the underdog, or criminal. Another article examines the Marxist concept of 'praxis,' the unity between theory and practice. Attention is then directed to crisis issues facing and caused by radical criminological thought. The discussions focus on major problems of radical criminology and the credibility of a theory which shuns empirical research and neglects crime analysis in socialist societies. A review of 89 research studies spanning 5 decades is presented which examines the empirical validity of the popular conflict theory in criminology as it relates to differential processing of offenders; a subsequent analysis is provided which explores the inclination of academic criminologists to accept or reject the new criminology as an alternative to traditional perspectives. Ethical issues confronting teachers who must present a critical view of criminology are addressed and, finally, future research issues are discussed. These include the functionalist theoretical structure of radical criminology, the possible reconciliation between radical and traditional criminology, and the potential for a shift to more philosophical ends in criminology. Each essay contains references, and some have footnotes. For related documents, see NCJ 70048-62.
Index Term(s): Criminology; Marxism; Radical criminology
Note: Sage Focus Editions, V 23
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