Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Martin D. Schwartz
A problem in explaining critical criminology is that it has almost as many variations as it has practitioners. Some criminologists are interested in German critical theory, including such seminal thinkers as Jürgen Habermas; some focus on French social thinkers such as Pierre Bourdieu, Michel Foucault, or Jacques Lacan. Others use the term critical simply to mean that they write in a radical tradition that is critical of the way in which modern capitalist society is constructed. By the 1980s, the term critical criminology had begun to evolve into a description of an umbrella group of theories of the left that at times shared and at times did not share viewpoints. These groups achieved mainstream acceptance with the formation of the large division on critical criminology in the American Society of Criminology, and the section on critical criminology in the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. Most criminology textbooks today cover Because ...