The book critiques existing psychological and sociological theories before outlining a more adequate understanding of the criminal offender. It sheds new light on a series of crimes—rape, serial murder, racial harassment, ‘jack-rolling’ (mugging of drunks), domestic violence—and contemporary criminological issues such as fear of crime, cognitive-behavioral interventions and restorative justice. Authors David Gadd and Tony Jefferson bring together theories about identity, subjectivity, and gender to provide the first comprehensive account of their psychoanalytically inspired approach. For each topic, the theoretical perspective is supported by individual case studies, which are designed to facilitate the understanding of theory and to demonstrate its application to a variety of criminological topics.

Why Psychosocial Criminology?

Why psychosocial criminology?

Our starting point is a concern, developed over many years of teaching criminology, that the individual criminal offender has long ceased to be of much interest to criminologists, especially to those of a radical persuasion. The result is that the subject (the conception of what it is to be a person) presupposed in existing theories of crime – whether psychological, sociological, psychosocial or integrated – is woefully inadequate, unrecognizable as the complex and contradictory human being operating in often difficult and cross-pressured social circumstances we know to be the reality of all our lives. In place of messily complex human subjects shot through with anxiety and self-doubt, conflictual feelings and unruly desires, we are offered depleted caricatures: individuals shorn of ...

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