The current work has asserted that certain patterns exist in the development of the economic system of the United States. The fact is that since the 1780's the world capitalist system has appeared to experience long periods of sustained expansion followed by long periods of sustained contraction. These periods of sustained contraction generally include increased unemployment and economic insecurity. In turn, social unrest and crime increase and become critical problems. In order to deal with these problems, old techniques of social control are replaced by newer methods. For example, incarceration, the urban police force, community corrections, and federal enforcement agencies were all developed in these periods of sustained contraction in the U.S. economy (Barlow 1991, 110–111).
What has been attempted in this work is to document that beyond these concrete innovations in social control, there also exist more abstract innovations in the form of intellectual thought that justify and facilitate the use of this social control. One example of this type of thought is the philosophy of positivism, which has been defined as a control-oriented doctrine that accepts, and even advocates, the status quo.
The data provided in this writing offered evidence to support the stated thesis, and, while they did not provide differentiation between the publishing trends of positivist and non-positivist criminological writings, they did show that there is more criminological positivist publishing in the contraction phases of the long swings. However, future research should make efforts to improve on the problems of a limited data set. Moreover, future research should examine how sensitive the results reported in this writing are to changing the
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Publication information: Book title: Positivism in Criminological Thought : A Study in the History and Use of Ideas. Contributors: Teresa J. Neyhouse - Author. Publisher: LFB Scholarly. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2002. Page number: 133.
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