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NCJ Number: 65878 Find in a Library
Title: NEW CRIMINOLOGY - SOME CRITICAL ISSUES
Journal: BRITISH JOURNAL OF CRIMINOLOGY  Volume:20  Issue:1  Dated:(JANUARY 1980)  Pages:1-19
Author(s): D SCHICHOR
Corporate Author: Stevens and Sons
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Stevens and Sons
London, England
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: THE ARTICLE SURVEYS NEW THEORIES OF CRIMINOLOGY WHICH VIEW POLITICAL POWER RELATIONS AND ECONOMIC ORGANIZATION AS THE PRINCIPAL DETERMINANTS OF CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR AND LAW.
Abstract: FOR MOST OF THE 20TH CENTURY, THE PREDOMINANT THEORIES IN CRIMINOLOGY AND SOCIOLOGY HAVE EXPLAINED CRIME IN TERMS OF SOCIALIZATION, LIFE CONDITIONS, AND LABELING. THIS FUNCTIONAL APPROACH VIEWS LAW AS AN EVOLUTIONARY PRODUCT OF SOCIAL CONSENSUS AND EMPHASIZES REHABILITATION AND PRACTICAL MEANS TO CONTROL CRIME. IN CONTRAST, MARXIST CRIMINOLOGISTS CONSIDER THAT EXPLOITATION OF THE WORKING CLASS BY PRIVATE OWNERS CAUSES CRIME AND SEES LAW AS THE SOCIAL CONTROL INSTRUMENT OF THE RULING CLASS. RADICAL CRIMINOLOGISTS CONCLUDE THAT THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC SYSTEMS CAN ONLY BE ALTERED BY REVOLUTIONARY CHANGE WHICH WILL THEN SOLVE THE CRIME PROBLEM. IN THIS CONTEXT, THEORISTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO BECOME POLITICAL ACTIVISTS. THIS EMPHASIS ON POLITICAL POWER IS NOT INNOVATIVE, BUT THE RADICALS TEND TO OVERSTATE THE POLITICAL NATURE OF CRIME AND FORGET ABOUT ITS VICTIMS. IN OVERSIMPLIFYING THE ORIGINS OF THE CRIMINAL LAW AND CAUSES OF CRIME, THEORISTS IGNORE THE EXISTENCE OF CONFLICTS AMONG MEMBERS OF THE PROPERTIED CLASS AND CRIME PROBLEMS WITHIN THE WORKING CLASS. RADICALS ARE INTOLERANT OF OTHER OPINIONS AND CRITICIZE LIBERAL CRIMINOLOGISTS FOR ATTEMPTING TO REFORM THE SYSTEM. SO FAR, STATES BASED ON MARXIST IDEOLOGY HAVE BEEN TOTALITARIAN, USED STRICT SOCIAL CONTROL MEASURES, AND PRODUCED AN ISOLATED RULING CLASS. THIS IS NEGLECTED BY THE NEW CRIMINOLOGISTS WHO HAVE ALSO FAILED TO PRODUCE EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THEIR THEORIES. THE RADICALS HAVE RAISED SERIOUS ISSUES CONCERNING POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC FACTORS IN CRIME, BUT MUST ATTEND TO THEORETICAL AND EMPIRICAL WEAKNESSES BEFORE THEIR APPROACH CAN PROVIDE A VIABLE ALTERNATIVE TO MAINSTREAM CRIMINOLOGY. REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (MJM)
Index Term(s): Crime causes theory; Marxism; Radical criminology
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65878

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