10. Critical Criminology

10.5 Conclusion

Kevin Walby and Kelly Gorkoff

Critical criminology appears abstract and difficult, but in many ways, it is simple. It has its beginnings in the critical theories of Marx and the conception of repressive power as it is linked to the state and the capitalist economy. It was expanded by Foucault who thought about power as constitutive and all- encompassing, considering people as part of the processes of power in how they regulate themselves and others. Contemporary critical criminology has largely settled on abolitionist thought. All these different ways of thinking about criminal justice share the idea that existing systems are inherently violent therefore, they must be rethought, denaturalised, and deconstructed in an effort to emancipate and create material change.


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Introduction to Criminology Copyright © 2023 by Kevin Walby and Kelly Gorkoff is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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