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NCJ Number: 97927 Find in a Library
Title: Epistemological Issues for a Critical Criminology
Journal: Crime and Justice  Volume:7/8  Issue:3/4  Dated:(1979/1980)  Pages:175-179
Author(s): Y Dandurand
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 5
Format: Article
Language: French
Country: Canada
Annotation: The author contends that methodological issues in criminological research produce only empty discussions when they are not considered in relation to the general aims of such research.
Abstract: In criminology, these issues bear an interest only insofar as they contribute to the growth of a critical understanding of social control. Since a critical criminology is basically a radical attempt to create doubts about the postulate of the ineluctability of certain historically determined forms of social control, the consideration of research methodology entails a look at how such a methodology contributes to the task which the discipline sets for itself. Before such a consideration can be undertaken, criminological researchers must address certain epistemological questions about how the very act of research itself actively contributes to social control. Social control is ensured mainly through the manipulation of symbolic representations of social control, i.e., precisely those representations which the researcher is bound to use in apprehending the reality of social control. The researcher's own mind, beliefs, and symbolic representations of social reality are part of an apparatus which is meant to reproduce certain historical forms of social control. The researcher who resists the positivistic temptation to negate his own participation in social control is left with reflexive approach, one which situates itself within the researcher's own subjective experience of social control. Eight references are included. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Critiques; Radical criminology; Research methods; Social control; Sociology
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