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NCJ Number: 202676 Find in a Library
Title: From Modern to Postmodern Penality? A Response to Hallsworth
Journal: Theoretical Criminology  Volume:7  Issue:4  Dated:November 2003  Pages:469-482
Author(s): Sue Penna; Majid Yar
Editor(s): Lynn Chancer; Eugene McLaughlin
Date Published: November 2003
Page Count: 14
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article addresses issues regarding a prior research claim that contemporary changes in penal practices indicate the use of a postmodern penality.
Abstract: In 2002, Hallsworth claimed that contemporary changes in penal practice indicate the rise of a postmodern penality. He proposes that the modern-postmodern distinction is both a legitimate and valuable framework within which to locate recent development in penal practice. This article presents a critical discussion of Hallsworth’s claim. It attempts to demonstrate that Hallsworth’s innovative approach to understanding contemporary change in penal practice still has some questions to be addressed before the claim can be sustained. The article points to methodological, evidential, and conceptual issues. The first section discusses methodological issues related to the use of ideal-typical models, specifically the model of modern penal systems developed by Hallsworth. It is argued that Hallsworth’s account displays a crucial slippage between the phenomena about which he is supposedly making generalizations and representations of those phenomena. The article continues by addressing the problematic use of empirical data to support the case for a postmodern penality. The conclusion notes that various problems raised bedevil many post theories, and point to alternative interpretations which locate changing penal practices within the continuity of capitalist commodification. It is suggested that the various questions raised would need to be addressed in order to establish a plausible case for a postmodern penality. References
Main Term(s): Penology
Index Term(s): Correctional reform; Criminal codes; Incarceration; Punishment
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