Importance Of Cultural Criminology

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Cultural criminology is a response to cultural and social trends and contextualises crime within lived experiences of offenders, victims and society. The geographical focus of cultural criminology is within western societies, mainly the United Kingdom and the United States of America, as this is where many of its theorists originate, such as Presdee, Ferrell and Young. Cultural criminologists see the act of transgression to contain emotions and attractions, where crime is a reaction against the feeling of being socially excluded. Subjective experience is placed at the heart of cultural criminology, as they try to understand how crime makes people feel at all levels: the victim, society, including media representation and most particularly, …show more content…
Additionally, it pursues to ‘dissolve conventional understandings and accepted boundaries’ (Ferrell, Hayward and Young, 2008: 5), suggesting it challenges what is deemed as ‘normal’, unlike other criminological theories such as administrative criminology. Cultural criminology is overtly critical of administrative criminology for several reasons. Firstly, administrative criminology refutes and discards the significance of lived experience and culture in relation to crime, offering a ‘pseudo-scientific’ account of the behaviour of criminals (Presdee, 2004: 276). This directly contradicts what cultural criminologists signify, as this is the most important factor in the explanation of crime, and are heavily critical of the intense focus on scientific interpretations. Additionally, administrative criminology relies heavily on the use of statistics, which leads Presdee (2004: 276) to state that the Home Office Research Unit is a ‘fact factory’, making administrative criminology unable to explain crime and criminality, with theories lacking description. This reinforces what Presdee (2004: 276) expresses in his quote, stating that crime is a normal human activity that occurs on a regular basis, reacting against ‘the activities of …show more content…
Cultural criminologists view crime as expressive, for example, feelings of rage may be expressed from being excluded. Jock Young (2004: 1) argues that cultural criminology is important as it ‘captures the phenomenology of crime’ such as anger, rage, pain and pleasure, and adrenaline, leading to the emergence of ‘edgework’. Edgework is the term Stephen Lyng (cited in Hayward, 2002) used to describe voluntary risk-taking within modern society. This includes activities that push the boundaries of what is considered order and disorder, within legal codes and social norms, allowing an individual to come as close as possible to the edge, but not actually crossing it (Lyng, 2012). Some examples of edgework include dangerous sports such as car/motorcycle racing, rock climbing and sky diving or dangerous occupations such as a firefighter or soldier in the army (Lyng, cited in Hayward, 2002: 6). Therefore, edgework allows creativity to thrive, where it has been lost in everyday life, due to the ‘emotional resistance to rationalised control’ (Ferrell, 2004: 293) and escaping the boredom normal life. It also allows for feelings of excitement and adrenaline rushes, which is what society aims for to counteract boredom, rather than achievement, freedom or rights, which were previously sought after (Presdee,

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