Punishment at the Margins: Groundwork for a Revisited Sociology of Punishment

  • David S. Fonseca


The enterprise of the sociology of punishment rests on a reassessment of modern social theory and an appraisal of changes in patterns of crime and punishment in recent years. The emergence of a Southern criminology indicates, though, the need for repositioning knowledge production in the field of crime and crime control to include broader perspectives and theoretically accommodate new realities outside mainstream academic production. The same effort needs to address the specificity of punishment and imprisonment in this broader context. The aim of the present argument resides, thus, in developing new underpinnings for the sociology of punishment, in which the historical roots of the so-called peripheral spaces are taken seriously in their complexity and distinctiveness.


Punishment Global South Dependency theory World-systems theory Marginal realism 


  1. Alvarez, M. (2003). Bacharéis, Criminologistas e Juristas: Saber jurídico e nova escola penal no Brasil. São Paulo: Método.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, B. (2006). Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  3. Baratta, A. (1999). Criminologia Crítica e Crítica do Direito Penal: Introdução à sociologia do direito penal. Rio de Janeiro: Revan.Google Scholar
  4. Batista, N. (1990). Punidos e Mal Pagos. Rio de Janeiro: Revan.Google Scholar
  5. Bauman, Z. (2004). Wasted Lives. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bergalli, R. (1989). Poder Político y derechos humanos en América Latina (autoritarismo y democracia). Nuevo Foro Penal, 43, 83–106.Google Scholar
  7. Canêdo, C. (2017). Teorias criminológicas. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  8. Carrington, K., Hogg, R., & Sozzo, M. (2016). Southern criminology. British Journal of Criminology, 56(1), 1–20. Scholar
  9. Castro, L. A. D. (1987). Criminología de la liberación. Maracaibo: Editorial de la Universidad del Zulia.Google Scholar
  10. Castro, L. A. D. (1999). A participação cidadã na prevenção do delito. Discursos Sediciosos: Crime, direito e sociedade, 4(7–8), 143–158.Google Scholar
  11. Chirot, D., & Hall, T. D. (1982). World-system theory. Annual Reviews in Sociology, 8, 81–106. Scholar
  12. Comissão Justiça e Paz de São Paulo. (1985). Brasil: Nunca mais. Petrópolis: Vozes.Google Scholar
  13. Connell, R. (2007). Southern Theory: The Global Dynamics of Knowledge in Social Science. Malden: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  14. Connell, R. (2015). Social science on a world scale: Connecting the pages. Sociologies in Dialogue, 1(1), 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. de Sousa Santos, B. (1995). Three metaphors for a new conception of law: The Frontier, the Baroque, and the South. Law & Society Review, 29(4), 569–584. Scholar
  16. de Sousa Santos, B. (2016). Epistemologies of the South: Justice against Epistemicide. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. de Sousa Santos, B., & Rodríguez-Garavito, C. (2005). Law, politics, and the subaltern in counter-hegemonic globalization. In B. de Sousa Santos & C. Rodríguez-Garavito (Eds.), Law and Globalization from Below (pp. 1–26). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dirlik, A. (2007). Global South: Predicament and promise. The Global South, 1(1), 12–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ferla, L. (2009). Feios, Sujos e Malvados sob Medida: A utopia médica do biodeterminismo, São Paulo (1920–1945). São Paulo: Alameda.Google Scholar
  20. Fonseca, D. S. (forthcoming). Expansion, standardization, and densification of the criminal justice apparatus: Recent developments on Brazil. Punishment & Society.
  21. Frank, A. G. (1978). Dependent Accumulation and Underdevelopment. London: The Macmillan Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Furtado, C. (2002). Formacão econômica do Brasil (31st ed.). Sao Paulo: Companhia Editora Nacional.Google Scholar
  23. Harding, S. (2016). Latin American decolonial social studies of scientific knowledge: Alliances and tensions. Science, Technology and Human Values, 41(6), 1063–1087. Scholar
  24. International Labour Organization (ILO). (2016). World Employment Social Outlook: Trends 2016. Geneva: International Labour Office.Google Scholar
  25. O’Brien, P. J. (2011). A critique of Latin American theories of dependency. In I. Oxaal, T. Barnett, & D. Booth (Eds.), Beyond the Sociology of Development: Economy and Society in Latin America and Africa (pp. 7–27). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  26. Olmo, R. D. (1981). America Latina y su criminologia. Mexico: Siglo XXI.Google Scholar
  27. Pomeranz, K. (2000). The Great Divergence: China Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Santos, M. (2001). Por uma outra globalização: Do pensamento único à consciência universal (6th ed.). Rio de Janeiro: Record.Google Scholar
  29. Simon, J. (1995). They died with their boots on: The boot camp and the limits of modern penality. Social Justice, 22(2), 25–49.Google Scholar
  30. Smith, N. (1990). Uneven Development: Nature, Capital, and the Production of Space. Athens: University of Georgia Press.Google Scholar
  31. So, A. Y. (1990). Social Change and Development: Modernization, Dependency, and World-System Theories. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  32. Sozzo, M. (2011). Los exóticos del crimen. Inmigración, delito y criminología positivista en Argentina (1887–1914). Delito y Sociedad, 20(32), 19–51.Google Scholar
  33. Trefzer, A., Jackson, J. T., McKee, K., & Dellinger, K. (2014). The global South and/in the global North: Interdisciplinary investigations. The Global South, 8(2), 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Trubek, D., & Galanter, M. (1974). Scholars in self-estrangement: Some reflections on the crisis in law and development studies in the United States. Wisconsin Law Review, 4, 1062–1103.Google Scholar
  35. United Nations (UN). (2016). International Migrant Report: Highlights. New York: United Nations/Department of Economic and Social Affairs.Google Scholar
  36. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). (2016). Global Trends: Forced Displacement in 2015. Geneva: UNHCR.Google Scholar
  37. Young, J. (1999). The Exclusive Society: Social Exclusion, Crime and Difference in Late Modernity. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  38. Young, J. (2007). The Vertigo of Late Modernity. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  39. Wacquant, L. (2001). Deadly symbiosis: When ghetto and prison meet and mesh. Punishment and Society, 3(1), 95–133. Scholar
  40. Wallerstein, I. (2004). World-Systems Analysis: An Introduction. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Zaffaroni, E. R. (1988). Criminología: Aproximación desde un margen. Bogota: Temis.Google Scholar
  42. Zaffaroni, E. R. (1991). Em busca das penas perdidas: A perda de legitimidade do sistema penal. Rio de Janeiro: Revan.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • David S. Fonseca
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Law, School of JusticeQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia

Personalised recommendations