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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70059 Find in a Library
Title: Teaching Critical Criminology - The Ethical Issues (From Radical Criminology, P 245-256, 1980, by James A Inciardi - See NCJ-70047)
Author(s): S J Pfohl
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 12
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: Issues the critical criminology instructor must address when teaching the construction of criminal law, the development of criminal behavior, and the organization of criminal controls relate ethically to social justice.
Abstract: The successful teaching of critical criminology engages the student with ethical questions regarding the development and criminological consequences of structured social inequality. Critical criminology employs a 'conflict model' of social life to explore the relationship between social, economic, or political power differentials and the production of criminal law, the emergence of criminal behaviors, and the application of criminal controls. Critical criminology produces the initial fruits of uneasiness and discomfort, as 'helping' criminals or victims may mean actively opposing the structures through which criminal justice services are presently provided. Therefore, instructors must attend to particular stylistic and content areas. Instructors must avoid preaching about 'the truth,' and instead provide students with the empirical and reflective tools of critical scholarship so that students will have the opportunity to recognize for themselves the filtered truths about crime within history. Students should be exposed to other criminological perspectives and issues, so as to have a framework within which to explore and critique critical criminology. Instructors should support and provide constructive critiques of students' reform efforts because, through reform activity, students can experientially learn the structural resistances inherent in the system. Students should be exposed to alternative social, political, and economic structures, which should then be critically assessed. Finally, a community of shared concern for the delivery of social and criminal justice should be nurtured, a critical community of persons whose present lives will coontribute to the nucleus of major structural change in the future. Two notes and 14 references are provided. For related documents, see NCJ 70048-70058 and 70060-62.
Index Term(s): Criminology; Radical criminology; Ticket fixing
Note: Previous version of this paper presented at the 1979 meeting of the American Society of Criminology
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