By Colin Sumner
The Blackwell better half to Criminology presents a latest and international source to scholarship in either classical and topical parts of criminology. Written accessibly, and with its foreign standpoint and fine scholarship, this can be actually the 1st worldwide guide of criminology. Editors and participants are foreign specialists in criminology, delivering a comparative standpoint on theories and systemsContains complete dialogue of key debates and theories, the results of recent themes, reviews and concepts, and modern developmentsCoverage comprises: type, gender, and race, felony justice, juvenile delinquency, punishment, mass media, overseas crimes, and social keep watch over
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The emerging socially conscious interactionism neither saw the offender as the sole cause of his actions nor his offending act as externally driven by objective forces: it saw CRIME, DEVIANCE, AND SOCIETY 15 offenses as products of social interaction between lawbreakers and lawmakers. Crime was no longer an individual disease but a social dis-ease, tension, conflict, or dysfunction. Tannenbaum claimed that society overdramatized crime as evil, at the expense of self-critical reflection (see Sumner 1994: ch.
It is not surprising in this context that armed militants should arise from the mass of "others" who feel victimized by the Western powers to begin a jihad against them. As long as the West continues to support one kind of terrorism, such as that in Israel, it will generate another, opposed, kind, such as that of al-Qa'eda. What is censured as crime or deviance is now so obviously a political issue (see Bergalli and Sumner 1997; Sumner 1997b). Adherence to legal principle is seen by politicians as lawyers' blocking efficient justice, and politicians make decisions about the length of individual sentences.
But what of economics and politics, and "the social"? It has become common within contemporary criminology to say that crime and deviance are "cultural" phenomena. Sadly, this escape route avoids the question. The obsession with the "cultural" does little more than redesignate some things we once called "social," because they were common or collective in character, at the same time as not addressing things we really wished would be more collective in character, such as capitalism and the state, and their relation to the cultural.