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Critical Criminology

During the 1960s, a critical criminological paradigm emerged to challenge the traditional, more conservative framework known as the “consensus paradigm.” Some referred to it initially as the “Marxist” or “conflict paradigm,” but that designation evolved up to the present. Currently, criminologists typically refer to the field as “radical” or “critical” criminology. The more traditional, consensus paradigm emphasized order, homeostasis, and linear logic, accepted the legalistic definition of crime and official crime statistics, and focused on the working classes as crime prone with the nonproblematic nature of who offenders were. On the other side, radical or critical criminology problematized the definition of crime, nature of law, notions of causation, desirability of order, and who the offenders were (that is, now more extensively including the state, corporate ...

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