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The purpose of this paper is to explore Bryan Stevenson’s (2014, 2015) call to action from within two emergent schools of thought in criminology, “cultural criminology,”…
The purpose of this paper is to explore Bryan Stevenson’s (2014, 2015) call to action from within two emergent schools of thought in criminology, “cultural criminology,” and “convict criminology”, which share a special concern with the contributions that criminological research makes to a climate of social control and punishment. The author’s central aim is to explore the capacity of what the author argues is a potentially under-leveraged tool of social change – the philosophies underlying and implemented in cultural and convict criminology.
To demonstrate the potential impact of this research, the author draws upon a purposive sample of qualitative studies that exemplify the particular emotive, moral, and aesthetic goals central to Stevenson’s call to action. The impact of the production of images of crime, crime control, and criminals that emerge in the development of the paradigms central to cultural and convict criminology is finally discussed in terms of Stevenson’s four prescriptions for social and criminal justice reform.
The underlying philosophies, theoretical assumptions, and methodological approaches dictated by convict and cultural criminology are uniquely equipped to make visible the forces linked to resistance to penal and social reform.
In synthesizing cultural criminology and the emergent convict criminology as guides to doing empirical research, and identifying each as embodying Stevenson’s call to action, the author hopes – maybe not to extract those easily ignitable, invisible forces away from reform efforts entirely, but at least – to provide those who are interested with a more nuanced map of where they are not likely to live and breathe them. Stimulating and widening the criminological imagination might not satisfy our need to quickly and concretely apply a solution to injustice, but it might be what the problem demands.
Stevenson (2014) argues that the extent of injustice in the US criminal justice system is so pervasive, extraordinary, and long standing, that everyone has a role to play in the course of our everyday lives in turning the tide of indifference and cruelty that feed mass injustice and incarceration. Applying his proposals to the on-the-ground working lives of empirical criminologists holds potential for effecting change from the top-down.
This chapter draws on previous work calling for a narrative criminology sensitive to fictional stories about how we have instigated or sustained harmful action with…
This chapter draws on previous work calling for a narrative criminology sensitive to fictional stories about how we have instigated or sustained harmful action with respect to the environment. It begins by offering some defining features of narrative criminology, before turning to two examples of narrative criminological work focused on environmental crime and/or harm. One analyzes a corporate (offender's) website; the other examines attorneys' stories of environmental wrongdoing. Together, they depict a cultural narrative in the US of the causes, consequences, punishments (or lack thereof) and corporate representations of environmental harm. Next, this chapter turns to a discussion of examples of depictions or representations of environmental harm and protection in the literature. Here, the focus is on fictional works that are explicitly environmental – where the subject, plot and message centre on one or more environmental issues, such as a particular harm, its cause or causes and possible responses thereto. Finally, this chapter considers ‘allegories of environmental harm,’ examining literature that is less overtly environmental. As an illustration, it suggests an interpretation of the American children's story, Muncus Agruncus: A Bad Little Mouse (Watson, 1976), as a cautionary tale of Western hubris in the face of environmental catastrophe – with the goal of demonstrating how green criminologists have attempted to identify environmental lessons and messages in works with ostensibly other or broader messages. Overall, the intent is to acknowledge both that cultural narratives (and our interpretation of them) change and to demonstrate (the importance of) human agency to transform those narratives (and our interpretation thereof).
This study examines the connections between subculture theory, symbolic interaction and the work of David Matza with a special focus on exploring alcohol consumption by…
This study examines the connections between subculture theory, symbolic interaction and the work of David Matza with a special focus on exploring alcohol consumption by young adults in the UK. We apply Matza ideas of the “techniques of neutralization,” “subterranean values,” and “drift” within an ethnographic study on alcohol to suggest that young people's “calculated hedonism” can be understood as a strategy of agency in the context of a subcultural setting. This article adds to the literature of symbolic interaction, subculture and the discipline of sociology by critically focusing on the work of David Matza from its reception in the 1960s to today as a central element of the new paradigm of cultural criminology. For us the sociological imagination is “alive and well” through Matza's advocacy of naturalism whereby he sought to integrate the work Chicago School under Park and Burgess with his assessment of the so-called Neo-Chicago School. In the literature Matza's work is often defined as symbolic interactionist we see his ambition in a wider sense of wanting sociology to recover human struggle and the active creation of meaning. Our approach is to understand the calculated hedonism of young adult use of alcohol through their humanity.
In this chapter, I present the historical pillar on which a Southern green criminology can build new knowledge. Employing a genealogy of Southern green criminology, I show…
In this chapter, I present the historical pillar on which a Southern green criminology can build new knowledge. Employing a genealogy of Southern green criminology, I show how the Global South was producing Southern and green criminological knowledge long before they became foci of academic research. Based on my historical account, I argue that the tradition of the Global South in producing knowledge useful for the prevention of ecological discrimination demonstrates that Southern green criminology is a potent and feasible project. But, I also warn of the threat posed by the dynamics that made Southern and green criminologies disappear in the past and that still exist today.
In this chapter, I present the scientific pillar of the project. Given the political proposal that informs the book, it is necessary for me to show why and how such an activist endeavour as I propose produces valid and reliable knowledge. To this end, I deal with the historical debate about the role of the intellectual in society based on the ideal types of the neutral expert and the academic activist introduced in Chapter 2.
As more and more people decide to commit their lives to print, autobiographies constitute a significant resource to explore stories of harm, violence and crime. Published…
As more and more people decide to commit their lives to print, autobiographies constitute a significant resource to explore stories of harm, violence and crime. Published autobiography, however, presents a unique form of storytelling, unavoidably entailing the accumulation and (re)telling of a mass of stories; about oneself, others, contexts and cultures. Relatedly, paratexts – or the elements that surround the central text, such as covers, introductions and prologues – demonstrate how these texts are both individually and collectively shaped. Taking the co-constructed nature of all narratives, including self-narratives, as its starting point, this chapter seeks to demonstrate how terrorists who have authored autobiographies understand the world and their actions within it. In doing so, this chapter provides a practical demonstration of how insight derived from literary criticism can profitably be brought to bear in systematically breaking down and analysing an autobiography – that of a notable American jihadist, Omar Hammami – including its paratextual elements. In particular, I argue that considerations of genre, the inclusion of different types of events and stories collected from others all provide valuable strategies for the ‘doing’ of narrative criminology using autobiographies.