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NCJ Number: 98035 Find in a Library
Title: Critical Criminology, the Construction of Social Problems, and the Question of Rape
Journal: International Journal of the Sociology of Law  Volume:13  Issue:1  Dated:(February 1985)  Pages:35-46
Author(s): T Pitch
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 12
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: The development of a new criminal law regarding rape in Italy is described in the context of critical criminology and the way that this discipline analyzes and explains crime and deviance.
Abstract: Critical criminology developed during the last 15-20 years. It focuses on how institutions of social control operate and influence awareness and handling of social problems. In Italy, social problems have been seen as complex phenomena that emerge from the interactions between real needs, perceptions of those needs in the particular sociopolitical and cultural situation, and the definitions and choices of the agencies of social control. Alternative descriptions of the emergence of rape as a political issue in Italy show how critical criminologists differ in their analyses of the forces that lead to legal or other reforms. The Women's Bill on Sexual Violence defines rape as an act of violence and supports the Penal Code's assumption that punishment functions as a general deterrent measure. The social movement which generated this bill and the criminological analyses of that movement show how critical criminology needs to confront the inconsistencies and ambiguities found in its paradigms. It must focus on three subjects: the nature of social problems, the nature and foundations of justice, and the basis and nature of legitimacy of strategies for change.
Index Term(s): Criminology theory evaluation; Critical criminology; Italy; Rape; Social control
Note: Earlier version presented at the Ninth International Conference on Criminology, Vienna, September 25-30, 1983.
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