Download The Blackwell companion to criminology by Colin Sumner PDF

By Colin Sumner

The essays hide a variety of subject matters and topics: - the social building of crime- kin among classification, gender, race and crime- realities and boundaries of legal justice- juvenile delinquency and its therapy- the luck of punishment and rehabilitation- respectable statistical styles of criminalization and their relation to the nation and its guidelines- the elevated significance of mass media and new details structures in defining, portraying, and speaking crime- foreign crimes and their relation with globalization and the worldwide social order- the opportunity of social regulate after a century of violenceWritten accessibly, that includes a global viewpoint and first-class scholarship, this can be actually the 1st international guide of criminology.

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Sadly, this escape route avoids the question. The obsession with the "cultural" does little more than redesignate some things we once called "social," because they were common or collective in character, at the same time as not addressing things we really wished would be more collective in character, such as capitalism and the state, and their relation to the cultural. Too much cultural studies or sociology today is a description of popular current meanings with no discernible methodology for establishing or defending their veracity or value as facts-in-existence or their effects in general or in particular.

This of course remains very poignantly true today, although resurgent free-marketeers frequently forget its wisdom and social policy experts have to remind them equally frequently of the value of "social capital" (see Putnam 1995, 2001). Social control was and is a modern form of rule which had to be integrative, representative, and fair, while also involving an impersonal machinery of justice which could mass-process large numbers of people at a low cost. Today, we still try to maintain this difficult balancing act, but what Ross's great insight shows is that the idea of the criminal or deviant as an evil demon beyond the pale of humanity is not at all a required ideological tool of modern social control but actually a throwback to an age of pre-social control.

In that sense, it is still a social world. To paraphrase Durkheim (1970 [1897]) from a hundred or so years before, even when, in our individualistic world of "alternative lifestyles," we think we have escaped the social bond, we remain inextricably within its clutches. However antisocial the criminals or deviants, or even the lawmakers, they too are social beings, "hot-wired" into society's circuits and networks. Nevertheless, what the rest of this essay will bring out is that within this very broad understanding of the "social" there are actually several competing meanings with significant differences of emphasis.

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