Understanding Criminology: Current Theoretical Debates

By Sandra Walklate | Go to book overview

chapter eight
Conclusions: new directions
for criminology?

Positivism, modernism and gender

A word on cultural criminology

Gender, race and class

Criminology and risk

Criminology and trust

Criminology, the citizen and the state

Criminology, political economy and social capital

Conclusion

The crisis in criminology is a crisis of modernity. The twin pillars of
the modernist project of reason and progress, the use of law in the
control and adjudication of human affairs and the intervention of
government to engineer a just social order totter under the weight
of their own inconsistencies and ineffectiveness.

(Young 1998: 262)

So what does this crisis look like?


Positivism, modernism and gender

The influence of positivism on the criminological agenda has been profound. The desire to produce and work with the objectively measurable facts of crime, as has been shown, is intimately connected with the emergence of criminology as a 'modern' social science. It is also intimately connected with the subject matter of the discipline itself and the diversity of interests that people the discipline.

Lawbreaking behaviour can, to a greater or lesser extent, be measured.

-145-

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