Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Cultural criminology is a theoretical orientation founded on the claim that crime and crime control cannot be understood apart from the domain of culture—that is, the domain of shared symbolism, collective meaning, and mediated communication. Cultural criminologists contend that the basic issues on which criminology has traditionally focused—issues like everyday crime, individual and corporate violence, patterns of victimization, and the practice of crime control—are in fact cultural in nature. They are constructed out of symbolic interactions among people and groups, and they are shaped by ongoing conflicts over their meaning and perception. Because of this, cultural criminology advocates widening the theoretical lens of criminology, such that the analysis of crime and crime control includes a critical conceptualization of subcultural rituals, shared emotional exchanges, mass media images, and other cultural phenomena. Noting the failure of conventional criminological theories and methods to engage with such phenomena, cultural criminologists in turn work to ...