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NCJ Number: 50302 Find in a Library
Title: NEW CRIMINOLOGY - CONTINUITY IN CRIMINOLOGICAL THEORY
Journal: JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW AND CRIMINOLOGY  Volume:67  Issue:4  Dated:(DECEMBER 1976)  Pages:461-469
Author(s): R F MEIER
Corporate Author: Northwestern University
School of Law
Managing Editor
United States of America

Williams and Wilkins Co
United States of America
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: Northwestern University
Chicago, IL 60611
Williams and Wilkins Co
Baltimore, MD 21202
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE MAJOR TENETS OF THE 'NEW CRIMINOLOGY' ARE REVIEWED, AND ELEMENTS OF ESTABLISHED NOTIONS (SOCIAL PATHOLOGY, FUNCTIONALISM, LABELING) THAT APPEAR IN POLITICIZED FORM IN THE NEW CRIMINOLOGY ARE IDENTIFIED.
Abstract: THE NEW CRIMINOLOGY VIEWS SOCIETY AS BEING DOMINATED BY AN ELITE WHICH USES THE CRIMINAL LAW TO CONTROL THREATS TO ITS POWER AND POSITION. CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR IS VIEWED AS A FUNCTION OF SOCIAL CLASS POSITION, WITH CRIME A FEATURE OF CAPITALIST SOCIETY, WHICH GUARANTEES THE POSITION OF THE ELITE THROUGH ITS SYSTEM OF POLITICAL ARRANGEMENTS. THAT ELITE CONTROLS THE CRIME DEFINITION PROCESS. THE NEW CRIMINOLOGY'S DISTINCTIVE CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK ACTUALLY HAS TAKEN SOME OF THE DISCIPLINE'S MORE ESTABLISHED IDEAS -- THE SOCIAL PATHOLOGY VIEW, THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO CONCEPT OF SOCIAL DISORGANIZATION, FUNCTIONALISM, LABELING -- AND REPHRASED THEM IN POLITICAL TERMS. THOUGH THE NEW CRIMINOLOGISTS OVERTLY REJECT THE SOCIAL PATHOLOGICAL APPROACH TO CRIME, THEY DEAL WITH THE POLITICAL PATHOLOGY OF CAPITALISM, TRANSFERRING THE CONCEPT OF PATHOLOGY ACTIONS OF A CRIMINAL TO THE BEHAVIOR OF AN ELITE. USE OF THE TERM 'CONFLICT' WITH RESPECT TO CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR APPEARS TO DERIVE MORE FROM THE CONCEPT OF SOCIAL DISORGANIZATION AS A RESULT OF CONFLICTING CONDUCT NORMS AMONG COMMUNITY RESIDENTS, THAN FROM THE MARXIST NOTION OF POLITICAL CONFLICT. THE NEW CRIMINOLOGY ALSO RELIES ON FUNCTIONALISM, AN APPROACH CONSIDERED THEORETICALLY AND POLITICALLY CONSERVATIVE. FUNCTIONAL ANALYSES OF FORMS OF CRIME THAT ARE MANIFESTLY DYSFUNCTIONAL FOR SOCIETY (ORGANIZED CRIME, PROSTITUTION, ETC.) HAVE FOUND THAT THESE CRIMES EXHIBIT LATENT FUNCTIONS TO ACCOUNT FOR THEIR EXISTENCE. THE NEW CRIMINOLOGY USES THIS STYLE OF RESEARCH TO EXAMINE THE NATURE OF CRIME AND THE FUNCTIONS OF CRIMINAL LAW. THE NEW CRIMINOLOGY OVERLAPS WITH LABELING THEORY IN THAT BOTH ARE CONCERNED WITH THE CREATION AND FUNCTION OF RULES, THE ENFORCEMENT OF RULES FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE RULE MAKERS, THE EFFECT OF THE APPLICATION OF RULES IN THE FORM OF SOCIAL CONTROL ON INDIVIDUALS, AND THE POLITICIZATION OF DEVIANTS WHO SEE THROUGH THE GUISE OF THE LAW TO THE TRUE NATURE OF THEIR OWN REPRESSION. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Criminology; Labeling theory; Marxism; Political influences; Radical criminology; Social organization; Theory
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50302

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