Critical/Radical Criminology

Willem van Veggel
Mind Map by Willem van Veggel, updated more than 1 year ago
Willem van Veggel
Created by Willem van Veggel over 5 years ago


Law, University Criminology Mind Map on Critical/Radical Criminology, created by Willem van Veggel on 12/03/2014.

Resource summary

Critical/Radical Criminology
1 Key assumptions:
1.1 Crime and criminal law are shaped by the political economy of society
1.2 The repressive approach of the state to dealing with crime and deviance is ineffective and perpetuates social inequalities
1.3 The solution to the crime problem lies in an overhaul of the entire social and cultural structure of society
1.4 That positivist approaches to understanding and addressing crime are flawed
2 Marxist criminology
2.1 Influence of marxism
2.1.1 State and criminal law function in interests of dominant/ruling (capitalist) class Ruling class uses State to preserve economic power Criminalisation of behaviour used to control lower classes Criminal law functions to contain resistance to dominant social order
2.1.2 Crime arises out of deprivation (material necessity) and exploitation
2.1.3 Crime as a primitive form of rebellion
2.1.4 Revolution as route to solving the problem of crime
3 Inspired by Labelling theory and Marxism
4 2. Key ideas
4.1 Criminal law as an ideological tool
4.1.1 Implicit class bias in the definition of crime
4.1.2 Crime typically punishes behaviours of the economically and socially powerless
4.1.3 Ignores similarly harmful acts of the powerful Stephen Box (1983) Reiman and Leighton (2010)
4.1.4 Consequently, critical criminologists have challenged existing definitions of ‘crime’
4.1.5 Criminal law is only there for the upper class, and not for the working class.
4.2 Crime as a response to structural inequalities
4.2.1 A fully social theory of deviance” (Taylor, Walton and Young, 1973) The wider origins of the deviant act e.g. capitalist social system 2. The immediate origins of the deviant act social psychology of crime - how structural demands interpreted by individuals 3. The actual act Relationship between individuals’ beliefs and actions how crime can be seen as rational in a given context of, e.g. inequality How, together, they can be used to explain deviance as: Socially constructed Rational response Within capitalist social order And NOT as: Individual pathology OR Anomic response
4.2.2 4. The immediate origins of social reaction Examining why certain acts cause certain types of response Why someone report?
4.2.3 5. The wider origins of social reaction Examining why social groups in society respond to behaviour of members of certain social groups in particular ways
4.2.4 6. The outcome of social reaction on the deviant’s further action
4.2.5 7. The nature of the deviant process as a whole How all the other 6 elements interact with each other
4.3 Criminal justice as a form of social control
4.3.1 Criminal justice system as imposing social order rather than reflecting collective consensus
4.3.2 Presents interests of capitalist social order as universal
4.3.3 Denies inherently exploitative and repressive nature of social order
4.3.4 “problems of material and social deprivation… recast as problems of crime and disorder” (Hudson, 1995: 61)
5 Hall et al. (1978) Policing the Crisis
5.1 ‘Rise’ in street robberies in inner city
5.1.1 Defined by media as a new and dangerous crime Term ‘mugging’ imported from the USA: Symbolises ‘Black crime’; inner city decay; racial tension; drugs and violence Justified a punitive response: growing moral panic about law and order Used by the State to deflect attention away from deeper structural tensions and re-establish its authority
6 Richard Quinney (1977) Class, State and Crime
6.1 Crime°
6.1.1 a political act
6.1.2 a response to capitalism
6.1.3 highlights the problems inherent within capitalism
6.1.4 3 types of crime: Crimes of domination Crimes which serve the interests of the ruling classes Crimes of control (e.g. crimes undertaken in process of law enforcement) Crimes of government (e.g. political assassinations) Crimes of economic domination (e.g. price-fixing) Social injuries (e.g. human rights abuses; sexism; racism) Crimes of accommodation Crimes undertaken by lower classes in response to exploitation and inequality May form a small form of resistance to capitalist social order Predatory crimes (e.g. theft; burglary) Personal crimes (e.g. homicide; robbery) Crimes of resistance Crimes undertaken by lower classes More overt acts of resistance Terrorism
7 3. Criticisms
7.1 Idealistic?
7.1.1 the vision of the crime-free society is left vague
7.2 Deterministic?
7.2.1 Assumption that circumstances of capitalism inevitably result in revolution
7.3 Limited empirical data?
7.4 Left-realism critique
7.4.1 Romanticisation of criminal as working-class hero
7.4.2 Crime as intra-class as well as inter-class
7.4.3 Criminal law does not function solely in the interests of the ruling class Robin hood scenario is not right. Most people are just robbing from poor people as well
7.5 The zemiological critique: Ultimately reinforces criminal justice system
8 4. Impact and influence
8.1 Fundamental in challenging accepted definitions of crime and conventional criminological theories
8.1.1 We accept that law isn’t what we say law is
8.2 Identified criminology as a political project committed to social reform
8.3 Central to reorienting concept of crime to better recognise the harms of powerful actors
8.4 Similar approaches have been developed to highlight the relationship between crime and criminal justice in other systems of power (i.e. patriarchy/sexism and racism)

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