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Constitutive Criminology

Constitutive criminology is a postmodernist theoretical analysis of crime and justice. The core of the constitutive argument is that one cannot separate crime and its control from the totality of the structural and cultural contexts in which human agents produce crime or control or contribute to those contexts. Instead of identifying “causes” of offending, constitutive criminology examines relations that coproduce crime with a view to questioning assumptions, mundane discourse, and the actions that sustain them. Constitutive theorists challenge us to deconstruct those assumptions and to replace the discourse of “war” and harm with a discourse of peace and healing.

Constitutive criminology depends on the proposition that humans actively create their world by transforming their surroundings through interaction with others, not least via discourse. Through language and ...

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