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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70056 Find in a Library
Title: Some Problems of Credibility in Radical Criminology (From Radical Criminology, P 191-212, 1980, by James A Inciardi - See NCJ-70047)
Author(s): D Shichor
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 22
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: The credibility of radical criminologists' claims is analyzed with regard to their perception of law, crime causation, the role of criminologists, religious devotion and liberation, and crime and revolution.
Abstract: First, radical criminologists perceive the law in capitalist societies as a control mechanism serving the interest of the ruling class. They present a simplistic picture of social classes in Western industrial societies, while tending to overlook the existence of any real consensus regarding laws among various segments of the population. They refer to these expressions of consensus as 'false consciousness' of the working class. Second, radical criminologists attribute crime to the socioeconomic arrangements of capitalist society, neglecting the problems of explanations of crime in 'socialist' societies, which in reality tend to use conservative explanatory concepts. Third, the role of the criminologists, with the adaptation of the Marxist principle of 'praxis,' is conceived as political activism by radical criminologists. Because of their strong ideological commitment, they are intolerant of ideas other than their own; consequently, they neglect empirical research, because the answers to research questions are already known. Fourth, radical criminologists believe that the change from a capitalist to a socialist society will ultimately eliminate crime, and will result in human liberation. However, social control policies of political regimes based on socialist principles do not bear out these beliefs. Fifth, radicals try to distinguish between the revolutionary action of working-class people, motivated by the true class consciousness, and the crimes of the 'lumpenproletariat' who possess false consciousness and support the capitalist system. Six notes and about 75 references are provided. For related documents, see NCJ 70048-55 and 70057-62. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Criminology; Radical criminology; Ticket fixing
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