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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70060 Find in a Library
Title: Radical Criminology as Functionalist Theory - The Nature and Implications of an Unacknowledged Identity (From Radical Criminology, P 257-276, 1980, by James A Inciardi - See NCJ-70047)
Author(s): A E Pottieger
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 20
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: This essay argues that the development of radical criminology could be enhanced by recognition that, in terms of theoretical structure, radical criminology is structural-functionalism.
Abstract: The thesis explored is a very specific variation on the general theme of strong commonalities between structural-functionalism and radical, or Marxist, sociology. Structural-functionalism is discussed only as a form of theoretical logic. In this respect, the theoretical structure of functionalist analysis is defined. The argument is presented that this structure is displayed in even the defining theoretical characteristics of radical criminology. Moreover, the use of this structure is demonstrated with examples from throughout the range of topics studied by radical criminologists. The implications of this argument-the identity of radical criminology as structural-functionalist theory--are then briefly sketched, with the identification of several problems. These problems include that of confusing objective observable consequences (functions) with subjective dispositions (aims, motives, purposes); that of assuming certain cultural or social forms to be indispensable for achieving certain consequences; and that of creating an inferior criminology from radical criminology by using bad functionalism. Finally, the metatheoretical dimension of radical criminology, or its value stance, is examined as being quite different from that of structural-functionalism. This last discussion is extended to illustrate how the value stance of radical criminology may represent an advantage in the use of structural-functionalist theory. Four notes and 33 references are provided. For related documents, see NCJ 70048-59 and 70061-62.
Index Term(s): Criminology; Radical criminology; Ticket fixing
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