Mariana Valverde and Pat O’Malley

in The Oxford Handbook of Criminal Law

Published in print November 2014 | ISBN: 9780199673599
Published online March 2015 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Law


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This chapter examines the identity crisis that currently afflicts the field of criminology. Arguing that “criminology” must be viewed as a bundle of several distinct disciplines with separate (though often intertwined or at least connected) historical trajectories, it discusses four distinct criminological research traditions: the “psy” knowledges, empirical studies of criminal law/criminal justice, miserology, and the social construction of deviance/social interactionism. It begins with an overview of the psy knowledges of crime and criminality, followed by an assessment of the development of empirical social science research dealing with criminal law and criminal justice, the rise of miserology as a form of social science/social reform and contemporary miserological writings, and the symbolic interactionism of the 1960s that gave rise to the tradition of social construction of deviance.

Keywords: criminology; criminological research; psy knowledges; criminal law; criminal justice; miserology; deviance; social interactionism; crime; criminality

Article.  9783 words. 

Subjects: Law ; Criminal Law ; Criminology

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