Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: March 31, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781446200926 | Print ISBN: 9781412920384 | Online ISBN: 9781446200926 | Publisher:SAGE Publications LtdAbout this handbook
Chapter 19: Defiance, Compliance and Consilience: A General Theory of Criminology 1
Lawrence W. Sherman
Defiance, compliance and consilience: A general theory of criminology You are not required to obey any court which passes out such a ruling [Brown] . In fact, you are obligated to defy it. U.S. Senator James Eastland, as quoted by Klarman (2004: 413) This chapter restates “defiance” (Sherman, 1993) as the independent variable in a general theory of all three domains of criminology: law-making, law-breaking and reactions to law-breaking (Sutherland, 1934: 3). The theory predicts behaviour in all three domains on the basis of emotion-driven moral obligations to defy the status quo , which can be dampened by “moral numbness” or heavily constructed through social networks of “rhetorical asymmetry” (Sunstein, 2009). Using the criminology of race in the US from 1619 to 2009 as case in point, the chapter shows how defiance theory achieves “consilience” of predictions in one class of events with similar predictions in other classes of events, ...