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Values in criminology and community justice$
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Malcolm Cowburn, Marian Duggan, Anne Robinson, and Paul Senior

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447300359

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447300359.001.0001

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Postmodernism and criminological thought: ‘Whose science? Whose knowledge?’

Postmodernism and criminological thought: ‘Whose science? Whose knowledge?’

Chapter:
(p.21) Two Postmodernism and criminological thought: ‘Whose science? Whose knowledge?’
Source:
Values in criminology and community justice
Author(s):

Liz Austen

Malcolm Cowburn

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447300359.003.0002

This chapter analyses the impact of postmodernist theorising on criminological knowledge in order to consider the impacts on the practises of criminal justice agencies and the social construction of crime. From a postmodern perspective, crime, people who commit crimes, people who suffer as a result of crimes and the legal processes through which crimes are defined and processed are not fixed entities with objective characteristics that can be measured and described. They are open to interpretation, and it is interpretation that ‘constructs’ the science and the knowledge. Thus, postmodernism introduces the possibility of there being multiple voices that can contribute to understanding phenomena such as crime. The chapter also explores theoretical constructions of deviance and how criminological research is conducted before concluding with a reflection on the contribution that postmodernism can make to criminology and community justice.

Keywords:   Post-modernism, criminological, theorising, research, deviance, community justice

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