Criminology Theories: Defining Crime

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18 Questions

What is the primary focus of feminist approaches to crime prevention?

Institutional and societal reform, and the empowerment of women and girls

Which perspective assumes that crimes are socially defined and implicated in systems of hierarchy and power?


What is the primary characteristic of New Right criminology?

A conservative approach to crime, emphasizing punishment and deterrence

Which perspective does not have a primary focus on the definition of crime?

New Right

What is the 'us' versus 'them' approach related to in the context of New Right criminology?

The virtuous and law-abiding vs. the criminal and destructive

What is the essence of populism in the context of New Right criminology?

Reaching out to ordinary people through simple solutions

What does Marxist feminism explain relative to the existing mode of production?

All forms of oppression including racism and sexism

What is a critique of feminist criminology?

It neglects the role of individual choice

Which approach to criminology focuses on the social context of crime and criminality?

Feminist Criminology

What is a key difference between Feminist Criminology and New Right Criminology?

Feminist Criminology is structuralist, while New Right Criminology is individualist

Which of the following is NOT a perspective mentioned in the text?

Digital Crime

What is a goal of Feminist Criminology?

Challenging sexist domination in the criminal justice system

What do Marxist and Feminist criminology have in common?

They focus on broader structural relations

What is the central concern of Marxist Criminology?

The existing mode of production and its impact on society

What do Feminist Criminology and Marxist Criminology share in terms of their perspective?

A critical view of power and social relations

What is the name of the school of criminology that views crime as a consequence of social and economic conflict?

Social conflict theory

According to Marxist and Feminist criminology, what is the role of marginal position in gaining critical insight?

It provides an epistemic advantage in understanding societal structures

What is a common concern of both Marxist and Feminist Criminology?

The distribution of economic and social resources

Study Notes

Feminist Perspectives on Crime

  • Crimes are socially defined and implicated in systems of hierarchy and power relative to gender norms and practices in society (patriarchy)
  • Feminist criminology approaches the topic of crime and criminality through a social/structural lens
  • The focus of analysis is not on the individual but on determinative social relations

Crime Prevention Strategies

  • Feminist approaches include institutional and societal reform, and the social, economic, and political empowerment of women and girls
  • New Right approach focuses on deterrence, punishment, and incarceration

New Right Criminology

  • Defined as a political orientation rather than a systematic theory
  • Generally considered to reflect a conservative approach to crime
  • Incorporates both a populist dimension (related to the political process) and an academic one
  • Takes an 'us' versus 'them' approach (the virtuous and law-abiding vs. the criminal and destructive; the citizen vs. the criminal)

Types of Feminism

  • Liberal feminism: associated with 1st wave feminism, sees the solution as removing institutional barriers to equal opportunities
  • Marxist feminism: explains all forms of oppression relative to the existing mode of production (including racism and sexism), and so the solution lies with overturning the capitalist system
  • Radical feminism: takes a structural approach as well as an intersectional approach to explaining the experiences of women in a patriarchal, racist, and colonialist society

Implications of Feminist Criminology

  • Pros: challenging sexist domination in the criminal justice system, highlighting the experiences of women and girls, offering a critical approach to explaining criminality and toward crime prevention
  • Cons: may fall into the 'structuralism trap' through negating the role and power of individual choice, and how it deals with issues related to gender, class, and colonialism

Explore the different perspectives on defining crime, including the individual choice approach and the feminist perspective that implicates systems of hierarchy and power. Test your understanding of criminology theories and their implications on our understanding of crime.

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