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.

Sociology and the Criminological Subject

Sociology and the criminological subject

In broad terms we might divide sociological approaches to understanding crime into four: ecological, ‘strain’-based, labelling and phenomenological. Ecological approaches, variously embracing the ideas of social disorganization, differential association and cultural transmission, originated in the Chicago School that dominated American sociology in the first part of the twentieth century. Since our chapter devoted to a re-reading of Shaw's The Jack-Roller (1930), undoubtedly the most famous of the Chicago School's case studies, commences with a critical look at Chicago School presumptions about the subject, we shall not address the issue here. ‘Strain’-based theories start with the work of Merton on ‘anomie’. Transforming Durkheim's notion of anomie as ‘normlessness’, Merton's (1938) idea of anomie as a structurally based ...

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