Critical Criminology in the Twenty First Century: Critique, Irony and the Always Unfinished

Jock Young, Middlesex University

Critical Criminology is the criminology of the late modernity in that it arose at the cusp of change in the last thiid of the twentieth centuryand that its sensitivity to the social consruction of reality and the blurring, pluralism and contested nature of norms best fits the grain of every day lifetoday.The development within critical criminology of ten key ironies as a sustained challenge to the taken for granted assumptions about crime and the criminal justice system has even more relevance at the begining of the twenty first century as it did in the 1970's. A critique of the revisionist history of critical criminology as presented in the work of David Garland with its emphasis on the past and momentary nature of the critical trdition. Instead an examination of the flourishing of critical criminology and its position as the major opponent of neo-liberalism. The need to develop a criminology which despite scepicism about metanarratives of progress does not lapse into a postmodernist nihilism but takles full on the problems of social transformation amid an open-ended narrative ever aware of the changing and contested nature of social justice A discussion of the of the work of Nancy Fraser ans Zygmunt Bauman in this respect.

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Updated 05/20/2006