Title

What sort of future for critical criminology?

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Hil, R & Robertson, R 2003, 'What sort of future for critical criminology?', Crime, Law and Social Change, vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 91-115.

Published version available from:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1022475615965

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

This article argues for a critical criminology that is more mindful of the growing number of critiques of its general epistemological direction. Specifically, such criticism takes issue with the continued emphasis in critical criminology on crime and penalty, often to the detriment of a more encompassing focus on issues associated with "social harm". In an attempt to highlight the current weaknesses of critical criminology attention is drawn to a small although revealing conference that took place at the University of Western Sydney in February 2001. In contrast to the narrow concerns demonstrated at this conference the article calls for a more expansive approach to the study of crime and penalty that falls under the zemiological umbrella of social harm and which takes account of social movements and other disciplines that have given recognition to the question of human rights. Such a call derives from Stan Cohen's evocation of the "voracious Gods" that must be sated if a progressive and relevant critical criminology is to be developed in an era of rapid socio-economic and political transformation.