Essay about Future of Criminology
Criminology is, as John Lea (1998) points out, not so much a discipline as a field, its distinctiveness is not its knowledge base but the form of its focus: theories of crime, criminal law and the relation between the two - in this it is a sub-category of the sociology of deviance. It can, and never should be, conceived of as a separate discipline, its categories and processes are social constructs, they have no separate ontological reality. It cannot, therefore, exist separately from social theory as its concerns are inevitably with the nature of social order and disorder. Not only have all of the major social theorists concerned themselves with order, disorder and regulation, but there has been across …show more content…
Perhaps more than any other discipline in the social sciences, criminology has engaged in deep and prolonged critical reflection of itself. This process points to the deep uncertainty of critical criminologists as they search for a meaningful self-identity and a coherent theoretical perspective on crime and crime control. Such angst has taken critical criminology along a tortuous path of self-examination resulting in an endless array of revisions, renewals, mea culpas, altered perspectives, paradigmatic shifts and adjured theoretical positions. More generally, the discipline has fractured artificially into a multidisciplinary melange of competing perspectives and administrative and theoretical concerns. Binary divisions have been created between ‘applied’ and ‘theoretical’ criminology, and criminologists (especially those regarded as ‘critical’) are often seen as marginal to the modernist imperative of practical relevance.