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Critical Criminology

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 209–223 | Cite as

Poverty and Peacemaking Criminology: Beyond Mainstream Criminology

  • John F. Wozniak
Article

Abstract

Mainstream criminology has traditionally focused on poverty as an isolated variable, whose effects are typically explored by inserting a limited measure of this variable in a multivariate analysis. Peacemaking criminology, however, offers an alternative perspective. In this paradigm, poverty is seen as a source of suffering and, to a degree, a “crime” in and of itself. Furthermore, the suffering poverty engenders is an enveloping social experience that exposes its victims to concentrated disadvantage—or, to use Jonathan Kozol’s (1991) term, to a range of “savage inequalities.” Thus, poverty is best understood not as an isolated variable, but as a master status of fundamental social reality that subjects people to lives filled with suffering—suffering that can engender criminal behavior. From a peacemaking perspective, a key avenue for preventing crime is, in the short run, diminishing the suffering poverty causes and, in the long run, embracing social policies that reduce the prevalence of economic suffering in contemporary society.

Keywords

Criminal Justice System Restorative Justice Critical Criminology Social Harm Circular Model 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and AnthropologyWestern Illinois UniversityMacombUSA

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