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Cultural Criminology: A New Perspective To Understanding Crime And Deviance

2602 words - 10 pages

Cultural criminology is a relatively new perspective and approach to understanding crime and deviance. Cultural criminology first began to develop in the 1990s and rapidly progressed in to a new field of criminology that is both influential and informative. The core concept of cultural criminology is built upon by using traditional approaches from different disciplines such as sociological studies, cultural studies, symbolic interactionism and many other disciplines, theories and methods. (Oxford bibliography Keith Hayward) Although it would seem that cultural criminology is nothing more than an interdisciplinary field, using only the studies and theories of some of the disciplines mentioned above - it actually does offer a new line of thought and individuality that other fields of criminology in the past did not. This is because instead of viewing crime objectively, it instead looks at crime subjectively by analysing the idiosyncrasies of the modern sociocultural environment. It offers an explanation of crime and deviance as a constructed result from either political, social or cultural actors and groups who commit crime, because of a shared sense of meaning, emotions, symbols, styles and even fashion within different subcultures. (Oxford bibliography Keith Hayward) Cultural Criminologists hope to explain and examine how the meaning of certain aspects of a subculture can play an active role in society and the construction of crime, not only by explaining why crime is committed, but also how crime is controlled. This essay will explain what cultural criminology is by using The 1989 Hillsborough disaster as an example in illustrating some of the research findings by cultural criminologists. There have been many different topic areas which have been examined and explored throughout the years by criminologists in an attempt to subjectively understand why and how crime is committed, as well as how the agencies that control crime interact and view the different subcultures committing the crime. This essay will look at three of them areas. Firstly there will be an introduction explaining the key details of the Hillsborough disaster; secondly the essay will move to look at some of the discoveries found by criminologists in the following three topics; ‘cop culture’; ‘crimes of the powerful’ and the effect media has on the construction of crime and the creation of some subcultures as deviant.
The Hillsborough disaster.
On the 15th April 1989, 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives due to the overcrowding of a stand at a FA cup football game between Liverpool and Sheffield Wednesday, where they had attended. The families of the victims and the Liverpool fans that had been present that day had argued and insisted that the lack of police presence; the incompetence of the police in opening a large gate; known as gate C, and the failure of an appropriate emergency procedure from the ambulance service, had all resulted in the deaths of the victims. The police,...

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