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Crime, Law and Social Change

, Volume 63, Issue 1–2, pp 65–90 | Cite as

The classlessness state of criminology and why criminology without class is rather meaningless

  • Michael J. Lynch
Article

Abstract

Criminology has returned to a stage of development where class is no longer seen as a relevant theoretical or empirical concern. This state of classless criminology reflects the decline in radical scholarship over the past two decades and the absence of radical/Marxist critiques of criminology. Despite the neglect of class by criminologists, class remains an important construct for understanding the main issues of concern within criminology: crime, the construction of law, and justice. This article reviews the neglect of class analysis in contemporary criminology, and draws examples of the ways in which class remains an important consideration in the contemporary world where the world economy of capitalism dominates economic, social and political relations globally. In reviewing the neglect of class, examples are provided of contemporary areas of criminological research where class based theory and empirical work could alter what we know about crime. While orthodox criminology has long neglected class, new forms of critical criminology that emerged since 1990 have also promoted the neglect of class analysis.

Keywords

Social Class Class Analysis Class Structure Class Relation Environmental Crime 
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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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Criminology, Associated Faculty, The Patel School of Global SustainabilityUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA

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