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 8: Critical Criminology
Critical criminology Stan Cohen (1971) provides a succinct outline of the reasons that led to the formation of the National Deviancy Conference (NDC) in July 1968. A generation of young sociologists were radicalised through labelling theory with its questioning of how deviance is defined, processed and reproduced by control agencies and how conformity to social rules and norms is secured. In policy terms, the perennial ‘criminological knowledge for what purpose?’ question was, as a result of Becker (1967), re-posed as ‘whose side are we on?’. This sceptical, deconstructionist, humanist approach to crime and deviance stood against ‘correctional criminology’ in terms of the latter's: connections with the re-socialisation’ ideologies and practices of penal-welfarism; conception of ‘the criminal’ as essentially different from ‘the non criminal’; reliance on the criminal justice system for research data; desire to be an applied ‘scientific’ discipline closely involved in the identification and management of offenders; empiricist acceptance ...